A tragic 5th-floor balcony collapse in Berkeley last week took the lives of 6 young partygoers and seriously injured 7 other people who were on the balcony. Early investigative reports point to water-damaged wood as the prime cause of the balcony’s collapse. Though the structure was only 8 years old, broken beams literally “crumbled in the hands of investigators”. How important is water damage restoration? San Diego property managers and homeowners are reminded through tragic stories such as this one that is is VERY important.
Photo from San Diego 6. Click on photo to link to story.
Major deterioration like this may have been caused by improper weather treatment of the wood during construction (or lack of maintenance), thus leaving it unprotected from the elements, and allowing water to infiltrate and damage the wood.
If such was the case, it would have been difficult for the owner or property manager to have knowledge of it and to act to repair the risky structure. Still, it shows the destructive power of water.
In many water damage cases it is possible to foresee and prevent further destruction and risk. Known water damage and restoration must be taken VERY seriously, as unresolved moisture (often hidden in floors, ceilings and walls) can compromise the structural integrity of your building. It can also provide ideal circumstances for mold to thrive, which in itself can cause structural weakening or damage and human health issues.
Our advice: take water damage seriously. It is not only the financially smart thing to do, it’s the responsible thing to do.
We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the young people who lost their lives in the Berkeley balcony accident.