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Am I Liable

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  • Am I Liable

    I built a concrete and steel balcany that has went through 3 winters and its starting to rust through the galvanize B deck as well as some of the structural steel and the customer thinks I should warrante it. The decking was the only thing galvanized.

    I'm was not the person responsible for the painting nor am I the person who decides what kind of deicing agent that they use.

    If its rusting away already that tells me there salting the heck out of it along with their painter not using the proper paint.

    And now I have to defend my self.

  • #2
    Am I Liable

    Who's design was it? Was galvanizing the structural steel an option? But the important part is its not your responsibility to properly maintain the customers balcony unless a service contract was included that's my opinion.

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    • #3
      No, but... you may have a headache. How valuable a customer is this (future work) and do you want him as a future customer and can you afford to have him as a customer. Has any of your work failed? Liable, I'd say morally no. Not after that length of time and given that you didn't paint it. If he'd wanted rust free he should have specified stainless at a much higher price of course.---Meltedmetal

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      • #4
        Unfortunately its the nature of the beast, Salt and aluminum, salt and steel, salt and yes even electro plated galvanized metal deck.

        Salt always wins and I finished this project almost 4 years ago.

        Heres the deal, The thickness of galvanize is based on the thickness of the steel, The thicker the steel the thicker the coating is going to be on the steel.
        Or at least thats what I have been told by the people that galvanize my structural steel.

        I dont see where I was at fault, I said we could galvanize everything but informed them that the project would be a 1/3rd more, However that still does'nt help with the fact that galvanized B decking comes pre galvanized and you get what you get when you order it, Maybe on my next job I should consider using galvanized sea wall for decking.

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        • #5
          I would think his attorney would tell them to forget it, if it wasn't in the contract you were to use galvanized rust proof steel on everything I don't see how you could be held liable for the project's untreated steel rusting, stopping rust would be the paint's job......

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          • #6
            The galvanized metal deck has also rusted through but one again the coating on the deck is in relation to the thickness of the base metal before electro plate galvanize.

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            • #7
              Doesn't matter if you are liable or not, you still have to spend the money and time to defend yourself.

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              • #8
                I know it's been quite a while since I've posted...

                We write in a one year guarantee into all of our contracts... It's really all you can do.

                I've dealt with, and am currently dealing with "owner damage" on past projects. There has to be a line where the owner has to maintain their own stuff for it to last....

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                • #9
                  gotta be quick hear, keep getting error 324, have you thought about electrolosis, salt solution, zink, and most likely some stray current, how can you stand behind that

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                  • #10
                    talk to your insurance guy, product liability clause, not now but down the road, they dont want to pay out so they come up with something

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                    • #11
                      Probably too late, but here goes.

                      If galvinizing or any coating at all was not in your work agreement, how are you responsible?

                      Next, electrogalvinize is crap. It should have been sandblasted and hot dip galvinized. Again not your problem, but you can point a finger.

                      I would work with the customer, tell him that, and then ask for records of the finishing work. Probably the customer is just looking for options. And remind him that next time, you will be using stainless steel.

                      Did you do the final install? If so you might just be liable.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shovelon View Post
                        Did you do the final install? If so you might just be liable.
                        You can fabricate bad railings and be fine. You can sell bad railings and be fine. But if you install a bad railing, your screwed!

                        This is true, but they might also be looking for a way to get you to fix it on your dime and not theirs. This would fall under the clause of, if it works great, if it doesn't, we didn't lose anything.


                        I would first find out if ANY kind of engineer/arct worked on it. If they did then some type of finish would have been called for. Even if it was drawn by a company and not used. If they just "rigged" an idea into a thought, into a proposal, into a job then have then show that they told you what finish would have gone on it.

                        Also, this is why I like email. It gives everything a third party time/date stamp.

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                        • #13
                          Would you go to an attorney for welding advice? So why would you go to welders for legal advice?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mikeswelding View Post
                            Would you go to an attorney for welding advice? So why would you go to welders for legal advice?
                            Because someone might have had a similar situation & could offer some advice. Maybe a way to handle it without lawyers involved? Most time lawyers are the only ones who win.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for every ones input.

                              Mikes Welding, I did contact an attorney friend, but just as MMW said, I would like to know if any of you have run into this type of a problem and if so what did you do so I can pass info onto my attorney.

                              Shovelan, Yes I did the finish product, I rebuilt it the same way that it was originally built back in the 70s.

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