Water Intrusion

Case Description:

ARCCA was contacted to investigate water damage that allegedly resulted from an HVAC unit in a building.  The claim was that condensation from the HVAC unit was leaking to business below.  Water leaks and water damage resulted in business operating losses or loss of revenue that far exceed the cost of leak and water damage repair.

Steps Taken:

  • ARCCA’s expert performed a site inspection of the floor allegedly impacted by the water leak, the floors between the incident floor and the rooftop HVAC unit.
  • ARCCA examined the plumbing between the floors.
  • ARCCA inspected the HVAC evaporator unit inside the building, the installation, the function and controls, and any plumbing to and from the evaporator unit.
  • ARCCA inspected the HVAC condenser unit outside of the building.
  • ARCCA researched and reviewed all available manuals, repair and maintenance history and activity with the HVAC unit, and witness statements.

Final Findings:

Several of the building’s HVAC evaporator units were located several floors above the incident floor.  Between the units and the incident floor, there was no sign of water intrusion or penetration.  The evaporator units did not have drip pans, but had installed sump pumps that actively pumped condensation from the AC units out of the building.

Although there was one evaporator unit that had experienced a failed sump pump and water spill in the past, based on the pattern on the hardwood floor and location of the unit, the water would not have intruded through the building to the incident area.

The source of the water damage in the incident building appeared to be a device that was local to the business and was owned, operated, and maintained by the business.