Case Study: Leak Investigation Involving Solar Panel Installation

The Problem

This project was a 3,900 square-foot, single-family residence in Beverly Hills, CA that was built in 1961. The Owner of the house contracted with our client for the purchase and installation of solar panels. Our client hired subcontractors to install the panels and re-roof under them. Within a month there were leaks.

The Owner’s alleged that the solar panel system was defectively installed and caused water intrusion. Their cost of repair exceeded $80,000. Our client did not believe the leaks were related to their work. The Owners alleged that the roof was sagging under the solar panels which allowed standing water to collect, that there were cracks in the cold-applied roofing cement at the flashing, and that the new area of roofing had not been properly integrated with the older section of the roof. 

PFCS conducting water testing.

PFCS conducting water testing.

Cracking around the cold cement.

Cracking around the cold cement.

The Solution

PFCS was hired by the solar panel company to investigate whether or not the leaks were caused by the installation of their panels. In addition to the leak below the new panels, there were several other leaks that were not below the client's work. PFCS conducted water testing to determine if our client was liable for any of the damages. We found that the leaks below the new panels were caused by our client's subcontractors, but we proved that the leaks in the other areas of the house were unrelated.

We composed and delivered a scope of work (repair) and cost estimate that totaled approximately $25,000 to execute the repairs related to our client's work. PFCS then composed a request for proposal (RFP) and solicited bids from local contractors, which were the same price as our estimate. Because we now had real bids, the owner and our client were able to reach a sensible settlement. The result was a significant savings to our client.

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