We recently moved into a new 3-story townhome 4 months ago and are under warranty. Two months ago we noticed a soft spot under the carpet in the hallway of our third floor. We pointed it out to the construction manager (the development is only about 65-70% complete) and he brought in the foreman for the flooring company that did the install. Without pulling any carpet back or anything, the foreman said it could be damage caused by the drywall guys dumping a load of drywall on the spot, maybe it could be a bad OSB board, maybe it could be a bad OSB joint. He said he wouldn’t be sure until the pulled all of the carpet away and cut the area away to replace it.
No work has yet to be done. As of 3 weeks ago, that soft spot had greatly enlarged in size. In addition, we discovered another 3-4 soft spots throughout the 3rd floor. As of a week and a half ago, we discovered another 2-3 soft spots throughout the 3rd floor. Each and every soft spot is in high-trafficked areas. In addition, as i was rushing out of one of the 3rd floor rooms to get the front door, I came over that original soft spot in the hall pretty fast. I heard a massive crack and I sunk a few inches. I am not exaggerating when I say that the only thing that prevented me from falling through into the second floor was the carpet!
I should point out that during the course of construction, there was non-stop rain in this area. In fact, there were periods where they had to stop working on these townhouses due to all of the rain. Two other neighbors in the same building are also seeing soft spots. One of those neighbors was looking through the pictures she took from her pre-drywall walk through, and noticed in the pics that there were water puddles on the OSB flooring, and this is despite the fact that the roof was on by this point!
I am afraid that there could be many more that we have yet to discover, because we never use the guest bedroom, or what about under furniture, beds etc? Also, we have 3 areas on this floor that are tiled and our entire second floor is hardwood. My next fear is that due to the strength of the hardwood as well as the strength of the tiles (plus the strength of the durock under the tiles) that if that OSB is also damaged we might not notice it for years to come!
Fearing the unknown, I demoed a wall on the ground floor, under our staircase landing that was just covering up deadspace to see what was going on. I found wood that was green/brown/black in color due to be water stained and I also found some mold. So we hired an independent home inspector to come through yesterday. He lifted back the carpet and confirmed that the OSB was cracked. He stated that he is not sure what caused the crack, but believes that the rain during construction could be a likely culprit.
While he and I were up on the 3rd floor I mentioned that I think the builder should pull back the entire carpeted area and replace all of the OSB as well as chip out all of the tile flooring and replace all of the OSB in those rooms as well. His response was that sometimes the cure can be more of a headache than the problem itself. So he suggested, that we ask the builder to replace all of the OSB in every area that is carpeted and not just where there is currently a soft spot. He then suggested that the builder do some “exploratory surgery” on the rooms with tile as well as on the second floor that is hardwood. Meaning, go down a floor and cut up into the drywall of the ceiling under those areas that are tiled or have hardwood and have a look around. If the OSB looks bad from the underside in any of those areas, then have the company also replace the flooring there as well.
I spoke with the builder today and it looks like they are willing to do the exploratory surgery under the tile and hardwood areas. But when I mentioned replacing all of the OSB under the carpeted areas on the 3rd floor they balked at that. They only want to replace where there is currrently a soft spot. In my mind, the fact that these soft spots are growing in number over time, I do not want to be inconvenienced with patch work now, possibly some patch work a few months from now and possibly some more patchwork a few months after that. I want them to replace all of the OSB in all of the carpeted areas at the exact same time! And if we find issues during the exploratory surgery, I want all of those fixed at that same time as well.
Am I asking too much? Are my requests resonable? When you drop over 500K on a luxury townhome, you expect quality and not the house from Tom Hank’s Money Pit! And just so you know, this is not the only issue with this home. There are many more unfortunately. But this is one of the biggest and of the most immediate concern.
Anyone have any thoughts on my situation? What would you do if you were in my shoes? Should I also be worried about the joists as well? The joists are solid wood at top and bottom and the vertical part looks identical to the OSB. What if these also soaked up too much water???