Cracked Slab, Leaky Air Duct Create Havoc, Health Problems For Family In New Condo; Floor Damage, Mold Problems Lead To $184K Award Against Builder
In Clinton, Massachusetts, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports:
- The crack running through the slab foundation of a Woodlands condominium owned by Michael T. and Nancy J. Vanasse stretches from the bedroom of their two young sons through two bathrooms — where it results in cracked floor tiles — and probably continues under a hardwood floor beyond that. They aren’t sure, and the couple are done with ripping up the Ledgewood Way unit they spent $375,000 on in 2006.
- They already have been told they need to spend $90,000 or so to replace the duct and heating system, thought to be responsible for the excessive water vapor that forms in the condo, resulting in home damage and respiratory problems to Mr. Vanasse and the boys, ages 3 and 23 months.
- In April, the Vanasses were awarded $184,056 in a Worcester Superior Court civil case against Albro Clinton Inc. and Tall Pines Realty Corp., both owned by Woodlands developer Alfred C. Bafaro of Clinton. But they have yet to see a nickel from the award, which was determined by two arbitrators from the court. “The claimants’ condominium has elevated humidity, abnormal condensation, and outbreaks of mold,” the April 20 decision states. “There were clear deviations from the building code and plans regarding the construction of the concrete slab and grading
For more, see Woodlands condo owner still owed damages from suit.
(1) Reportedly, the arbitrators said their decision was based on test results from engineers and a mycologist that found that the leaking duct introduces excessive humidity into the condo, and it should be sealed, abandoned, or re-routed. The ducts, visible through a vent in the floor of the children’s bedroom, are built right into the concrete slab under the unit, and it would be an enormous job to rip them out. The arbitrators also determined that Albro breached its warranty, although it allowed that some attempts were made to correct the problem, and failed to follow through on its promise to install a dehumidifying system, the story states. The couple were told that one solution would be to keep windows open at all times, something they found ridiculous — especially in the winter with an infant and a toddler at home.
The dispute is reportedly the latest in ongoing problems at the 493-unit partially developed complex. Last month, a local building inspector issued a stop work order at Woodlands until questions about ownership and possible zoning violations are resolved, according to the story. Meanwhile, officials from various boards plan to meet with residents, Mr. Bafaro and representatives of Clinton Savings Bank, which took back a large chunk of undeveloped Woodlands property at a foreclosure auction in July.