The presence of a structural defect can be one of the most difficult issues facing a homeowner. The structural warranty provides homeowners the assurance of knowing a structural failure will be addressed should it occur.
Warranty insurance coverage for the new home provides for the following repair or replacement of Defects or Structural Defects:
- Defects in materials and labour for a period of 1 year from the commencement date;
- Defects in the materials and labour in delivery and distribution systems for a period of 2 years from the commencement date;
- Defects in the building envelope for a period of 5 years from the commencement date;
- Defects in the building envelope for a period of 7 years from the commencement date, if extended building envelope coverage has been purchased; and
- Structural defects for a period of 10 years from the commencement date.
Structural Defect Definition
As defined in the Home Warranty Insurance Policy, a structural defect means “any Defect in the material, labour and design that results in the failure of a load-bearing part of the New Home and any Defect that causes structural damage that materially and adversely affects the use of the New Home for residential occupancy.” [p3 (A. xvi)]
The structural components of a home include the footings, piles, foundation walls, grade beams, teleposts, load-bearing walls, beams, floor systems, and roof trusses.
Following is a list of issues you may have noticed in your home; however, one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate a structural failure.
- Binding of windows and / or doors
- Crack(s) in drywall at the corners of windows and / or doors
- Crack(s) in foundation wall
- Settling or uplift of piles or footings
- Notable differences in the level of floors
- Floor joist cracking
- Sagging or cracking of drywall ceilings
Frequently Asked Structural Questions
Cracks resulting from normal shrinkage and settlement processes are common in all concrete construction. Under the structural defect warranty, the Program may inspect any crack(s) for possible
coverage. Alone, crack(s) in the foundation are not considered a structural defect.
Normal cracks in drywall are not considered defects in materials, labour or design. Under the terms of the structural defect warranty, the Program may inspect drywall cracks for evidence of a load-bearing component of the home failing to provide support. In making this determination, factors causing the movement are examined.
The normal drying processes of the home, and the soils beneath the home, often result in slight movements of the telepost footings in relation to the perimeter footing of the home. The Program considers telepost adjustment to be a homeowner maintenance responsibility. See the Program’s Guide to the Care and Maintenance of your New Home for information on adjusting teleposts.
Settlement of the soils around the home in conjunction with nearby downspout or sump discharges may allow surface water to enter the home through cracks or water may migrate to the footing level, which can result in movement of the home. The management of surface water is a homeowner maintenance responsibility. Please review the Program’s Surface Water Management brochure.
Often basement leakage is directly attributed to improper surface grades. Correction of these items alone is often sufficient to address the leakage problem. If this is not successful, repair of the crack may also be required. Concrete cracks can be repaired from the interior or from the exterior; this is a homeowner maintenance responsibility. Please review the Program’s Surface Water Management brochure.
Although water leakage alone is not a structural defect, situations may arise where leakage into a roof or load bearing wall cavity will potentially threaten the structure of the home, if left uncorrected. Note that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to remove excessive accumulations of ice and snow from eaves, valleys and roof vents during prolonged cold periods. A structural defect caused by improper maintenance by the homeowner is not covered by this warranty.