S.C. Inspectors Scurry to Check Sun City Roofs Before Hurricanes Start

May 31, 2007

Home inspectors are rushing to check roofs in South Carolina’s Sun City Hilton Head development before the heart of hurricane season to see if trusses were properly built and can handle high winds.

Beaufort County is trying to hire as many as 10 temporary home inspectors in the coming weeks, county administrator Gary Kubic said.

An investigation last week found three of about a dozen homes inspected had improperly constructed roof trusses, Kubic said.

“That’s enough to tell me that (problems) are out there, and we have to figure out a protocol to identify all of them and remedy them as quickly as possible,” Kubic said.

The county wants to get the inspections done as quickly as possible. Hurricane season starts JUne 1y, but the worst storms usually don’t threaten the East Coast until August at the earliest.

The county’s building code requires fastenings hold together in a 130 mph wind gust lasting three seconds.

Sun City Hilton Head is a sprawling development for people over age 55 started in the 1990s that will have 8,000 homes once it is finished.

Pulte Homes, Sun City’s developer, will pay for any repairs and is discussing how to split inspection costs with the county, vice president of construction Mark Guenther said.

In most of the problem trusses, nails connecting one truss to another have split the lumber or protruded out the side of the wood instead of directly penetrating it. In other cases, nails shorter than the prescribed size were used and in some homes, the nails are entirely missing.

Since the problems came to light last month, Kubic said he has received more than 1,000 e-mails and more than 200 phone calls.

The county plans to hire temporary home inspectors with no ties to Sun City so there is no temptation to overlook any oversights, Kubic said.

The county also has filed a formal complaint with the state on behalf of Sun City residents asking the state to involve its inspectors and engineers.


Information from: The Island Packet, http://www.islandpacket.com

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