Ethical and Effective Legal
Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa

What Is Latent Defect?

Latent defects are one of the two most common types of defects found in new home construction. Unlike patent defects, latent defects are not immediately noticeable to the naked eye during an inspection. These defects typically aren’t apparent in a home inspection or even during a walk-through.

Since 2000, Reno’s population growth has soared by nearly 50%. The demand for housing solutions has attracted a volume of builders. Unfortunately, sometimes new home builders try to ensure a speedy construction process and cut costs simultaneously. This can lead to defective construction. Since latent defects are more difficult to identify, they can often cause unseen damage over time and significant financial loss for families. A construction defect lawyer can help you understand your rights under Nevada law should you discover a latent defect in your home.

Common Types of Latent Defects

A latent defect is a deficiency that is hidden or hard to detect, even after a thorough inspection, because these defects may be hidden behind walls, under flooring, or within the soil, the home is built on. These areas may be inaccessible to the presumptive owner or their inspector and cannot be detected with a visual inspection, no matter how thorough.

Our firm has seen a number of different types of latent defects in the Northern Nevada region, including but not limited to, improperly prepared expansive clay soil, improperly compacted soil, improperly installed plumbing, improperly installed windows, roofs, etc.  The problem with latent defective conditions is that it could be years after a homeowner purchases the home before resultant damage is discovered.  For instance, expansive clay soil movement could take 6-8 years depending upon Nevada’s drought conditions to show the extensive drywall and/or stucco cracking that generally will occur.  Defectively installed and corroding plumbing systems could take years before a leak actually occurs in the walls or beneath a home. Hidden water damage and mold can occur for years before being noticed by a homeowner which can result in extremely costly remediation and repair of the home.  

How Do You Deal with Latent Defects?

It is very important to contact a construction defect attorney as soon as you see the damage that might be caused by a latent defect.  For instance, water intrusion through a defectively installed window, a roof leak, or severe drywall, or stucco cracking, could all be indicative of a very serious underlying and hidden defective condition.  An experienced construction defect attorney and a team of qualified experts will be able to help you determine what the cause of the damage is and who should be financially responsible for repair.

Contact your builder!  As soon as you see the damage being caused by a latent defect, contact your builder.  If your builder tells you that your home is out of warranty or is unwilling to help, then immediately contact an experienced construction defect attorney who can provide you with information regarding applicable statutes of repose and statutes of limitations that may apply to your claim.  Given that latent defects often take a while to manifest damage, it is important to act quickly once discovered so that you can file a timely claim.  The attorney’s role in the construction defect claim process involves making sure you meet the necessary deadlines.

Make sure to take a lot of photos and videos of any damage being caused by the latent defect so that you have good evidence to support your claim should you decide to pursue one. Nevada has a very strict prelitigation and litigation process for residential construction defect claims so make sure you consult with someone with adequate experience to preserve and pursue your construction defect claim.

What Our Clients Say

My family and I are thankful to Maddox, Segerblom and Canepa for their assistance during a three year case regarding construction defects to our home. We are truly appreciative of their knowledge, determination and assistance during this process. They were always courteous, and available to answer any and all of our concerns and questions. Thank you for the wonderful resolution. Many thanks to you and your staff.

Frances Castelli

We used Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa to represent us in a legal suit re problems in construction on new properties that we purchased from a developer.

We were very pleased with the representation provided by this law firm. They were fully communicative, responsive to our questions and were very knowledgeable about the issues that required resolution. Even after we reached a resolution, they have been responsive in making sure to point us in the right direction for help with repairs that are required.

We would recommend them to others with similar issues that require legal help.

Atam & Margo Lalchandani

Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa did a FANTASTIC job in our construction defects case. I interacted with several people from their office throughout our 2 year litigation. Their staff is friendly, knowledgeable and always prompt about getting back to you when you have questions/comments/concerns. I especially enjoyed working with Darcy, Ardea, Eva, and Sandra. Being part of a lawsuit is no fun for anyone, but if you have to be a part of one, I can’t say enough positive things about this firm!

Victoria Fox

The law firm of Maddox, Segerblom, and Canepa were amazing to work with. They were thorough and always available for any questions we had. We worked a lot with Sandy who was always professional, friendly, always on time for appointments and just a great person to represent this firm. We have never been involved in a law suit before and they made it comfortable for us. We appreciate the hard work the lawyers and people who work for the firm did and would recommend them.

Becky Loudenburg
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