A recent string of wildfires in California has left the state susceptible to mudslides. These blazes destroy the underbrush, trees, and root systems that provide stability to hills and washes, increasing the likelihood of devastating mudslides occurring. When heavy rains hit the areas where fires recently burned, the weather and the resulting mud forced thousands from their homes and resulted in eight deaths with seventeen still missing.
Though homeowners have no control over wildfires or the weather, contractors are well aware of the potential for these types of natural disasters. Just as defensible space is utilized to lessen the likelihood of a home burning if a fire occurs in nearby woodlands, there are precautions that can be taken when building a home to lessen the likelihood of significant damage from mudslides. These precautions include managing the slope of the property or building barriers.
Contractors and architects should take into account hills, floodplains, and other natural features of the property and nearby property. Though not common, mudslides occur with enough regularity for professionals to recognize which areas might be susceptible to the combination of factors that lead to these disasters.
Though contractors are often responsible for these defects, they are not the only individuals worth questioning when significant property damage occurs. Realtors must disclose any information they have regarding whether or not a property is prone to suffering damage in the event of storms or other weather phenomena. Failure to disclose known faults with a property is not acceptable.
If you or someone you love has been affected by a mudslide, and you suspect that a contractor cut corners or a Realtor failed to be forthcoming, please consider retaining an experienced attorney. A qualified lawyer can help you with the process of having the property evaluated and determining whether or not another party was responsible for the extent of the damage.