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Top 10 Callback Items and How You Can Avoid Them.

These are the most common callbacks builders and homeowners face on typical new construction projects.

Lets look at some tips to avoid these costly callbacks.

Paint Problems

Proper surface prep, protection from moisture, use of proper application techniques, plus use of a quality product that's right for the task will go a long way in preventing paint problems. Semi-gloss or gloss improves wash-ability, but homeowners should be advised to wait 2-4 weeks before washing paint and use of abrasive cleaners & hard scrubbing will ruin paint, necessitating repainting.

Drywall Cracks

Callbacks due to cracks in plaster, gypsum wallboard or other drywall materials are also common. Try lapping the sheets over the comer so that the joint falls over the middle of the doorway or window opening. Fasten the drywall to the cripples and wall plates above the header, but not to the header, to allow some float. Many new vinyl or paper faced corner beads resist edge cracking, chipping, and nail pops better than conventional metal corner bead.

Nail Pops

Visible nail pops in finished walls or ceilings are an often heard complaint. Be sure to use proper drywall screws or nails and push the drywall firmly against the framing members. Nails that are too long are more likely to lead to nail pops as lumber shrinks. 1-1/4" nails work well with drywall.

Window Leaks

Water penetrating wall cavities or interior spaces around windows can be tough to fix.
Often flashing is omitted or improperly installed. Proper flashing is critical along with proper application of house wrap. New flexible flashing tapes along with proper installation will ensure a watertight window opening.

Roof Leaks

Leaks where shingles butt against a wall or around chimneys, skylights, and vents are a frequent callback. Once again, tricky flashing details handled in a makeshift manner by roll stock, mastic, and heavy doses of roofing cement just don't hold up. Where a one-story garage butts into a two-story wall, use a fabricated corner flashing. For added protection, insert 8 to 10 inch high pieces of overlapping L shaped flashing up the slope behind usual step flashing.

Pipe Leaks

Nothing is worse than a call about a wet sub-floor or wet ceilings after cabinets are installed or floor covering is put down, but it happens! Marking the sub-floor before drywall installation to alert crews to plumbing lines and other utilities is a good idea. Some sheetrock nails that have punctured a water line may not leak immediately. Vibration and shrinkage will gradually work the nail loose or enlarge the hole, leading to costly callbacks. Be sure your subs are well aware of plumbing & utility locations before they start nailing and drilling.

Basement and Crawlspace Leaks

Wet basements and crawlspaces can be a big problem for builders. The causes are low foundation elevation, poor grading, substandard or marginal materials used in moisture barriers, no gutters or downspout extensions, and no or improperly installed foundation drains. The key is to direct water away from the foundation as rapidly as possible. Set foundation elevations higher. Know your site conditions. Use gutter & downspout extensions. Let your concrete cure properly before backfill and brace to prevent cracks that facilitate moisture penetration.

Improper Surface Drainage

Flat or negative drainage around foundations and standing or ponding water in swales are familiar complaints. Settling of ground around foundations or utility trenches, not establishing proper grades, swales, and drainage away from the home are common causes. Be sure and build up soil around foundation to allow for settling of ground. Tamping backfill with about one to six passes should be adequate in most conditions. The minimum slope or fall within the first 10 feet of the foundation should be 5 percent or 6-inch vertical in 1O-foot horizontal.

Hardwood Floor Movements

Fluctuation in relative humidity levels of the home causes wood to expand and contract. Only install wood flooring that has equalized to its in-use moisture content. Educate your customers on what is normal in wood floors, the importance of proper care, and the importance of controlling indoor moisture levels.

Vinyl Floor Problems

We all hear complaints about nail pops, depressions, ridges, or seams in resilient floors. Improper sub-floor preparation and improper fastening along with sub-floor joint preparation are all callback contributors. Low spots in concrete floors up to 5/8 inch may be leveled with floor filler. On wood framed floors be sure and apply a layer of 1/4" underlayment and follow the manufacturers recommendations on proper installation.