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Insurance won't cover rain water damage, coming through neighbor

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We had this project (all up to code and with licensed GC, architect and engineer) to transform about half of our garage into living space. Many other homes in my block have done the same with no issues.

A few months after end of construction the hardwood floor boards started cupping. Obviously there was moisture. Contractor initially brushed off the problem, wanted to just sand and refinish. I had a 3rd party come in and do an assessment and they did find gaps on my external wall, things were not flashed right, etc... I insisted my GC to fix, and to not just look at the report from 3rd party but make sure there were no other sources of moisture. And and asked to replace flooring after fixed. He said he took care of the problem, said that was the only source of water, he flashed it and we were good to replace wood. By the way there were black mold that had to be remedied.

Months later it's cupping again. He again says let's wait a bit, resand, refinish...I insisted he needed to investigate more, take reading, etc... After a lot of back and forth, I suggested to go into the neighbors house which is vacant and for sale and investigate. I always had to be pushing him. He found a gap on the external wall and with a water test concluded rain was probably pouring there and diverting into my foundation walls and under the flooring. He has patched, and the last water tests and rain, didnt show water. But he now claims it's not his responsibility to fix it, that he could not have known. Of course he could if he had done more water tests, taken readings, investigated more either before the project started or the 1st time we had the problem.

My insurance won't cover, says rain is exclusion. My neighbor has passed away, and the house has been sold.

What should I do? Sue the insurance?
Sue GC at small claims, sue structural engineer, architect? Reach out to children of my former neighbor?

I now do understand that building below grade can present risks, etc...but none of the professionals I hired advised me against it.

Thank you very much


Senior Member
What should I do? Sue the insurance?
Sue GC at small claims, sue structural engineer, architect? Reach out to children of my former neighbor?
I can confirm that your homeowners insurance doesn't cover it. But I also don't see any negligence on the part of the potential defendants that you list.

You can talk to an attorney, but I suspect this is just one of life's situations that fall through the cracks that you'll have to pay for yourself.

No need to post more than one thread. Your duplicate will be deleted.
Last edited:
thanks for your response.

As a homeowner, without any expertise in construction, I would expect the professionals to have watched for any risks and advised accordingly. This was an expensive project that cost me $300k plus. I hired licensed structural engineer, architect and contractor, all with, supposedly, vast experience. I live on a hill, in San Francisco, with avg rainfall of 500mm+, there was foundation worked involved, including underpinning. As far as I am aware there were no moisture tests during the construction.

The first time we got leak we know for a fact there were gaps in my exterior wall caused by the contractor, at that point I asked him to look for any other potential leaks, but he kept is easy and cheap. And the leak through my neighbors property might be true, but I can't know for sure. The GC sent some picture and said he patched it the same day, I didn't personally see it, there are no videos. Nonetheless my foundation have signs of erosion, and maybe the professionals should have thought there would be risks where the old foundation meets the new foundation.

I am linking to pictures of the foundation underpinning in the area water was penetrating. And showing the signs of erosion, where water supposedly came through.

See pictures here: (link removed)


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