Robert Lamoureux | Balcony dispute is up in the air

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question: My name is Ellen. I live in a condo in Canyon Country in a second-story unit. We have a balcony and I’ve just been notified by management that the unit below me has damage to the stucco ceiling of their patio, which is the underside of my balcony. I’ve been told that the damage is caused by the activity on my deck (I have average use, nothing out of the ordinary). 

The management company is pushing hard on this claim and I am wondering if they have even a remote chance of forcing my hand on this one. Can you weigh in, please?  

Answer: Ellen, this sounds incredibly far-fetched to me. I’ve repaired balconies for years and I’m here to tell you that if the stucco below was installed correctly either by nail or staple, that no matter how much running or jumping you’d do, this would stay intact.  

If there is deck damage to your unit that is causing water intrusion and rotting, this could be a different story, as great failure of the structure could then cause spalling of the stucco. If that were the case, then responsibility depends on how the CCR is written.  

I would absolutely stand my ground on this and have a contractor troubleshoot the construction quality first, making sure that the original construction was done properly, then continue from there with troubleshooting. There is a reason that this is failing. Best of luck. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected] 

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