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Construction Forensics & Expert Witness Services

It’s the worst-case scenario. Your home renovation or build project is done and all of the design/build team members have moved on. Then suddenly there’s a problem and it’s a big one. When no one steps up to take responsibility, we determine what happened, who’s at fault, and how to fix it.

And we’re as comfortable in arbitration and the courtroom as we are on the job site. If your case requires legal action, we’ll gather evidence and provide the expert witness testimony necessary to resolve the issue in your favor, with the same sense of professionalism and dedication we apply toward building heirloom residential projects.


Water Penetration Problem: Solved

With more than four decades of experience in high-end build and design, the team at Von Salmi & Associates, Inc. are more than superior custom home builders—we are also your ultimate resource for home and landscape maintenance problem solving.

Today, we'd like to share our solution for a difficult water penetration issue at a two-year-old, 6000 square-foot single-family residence in the Boston Metro West area.

The homeowner had been dealing with water penetration through the foundation and window wells. The original builder was unable to correct the water intrusion and after several months the owner called Von to ask for assistance.

Through a methodical fact based approach we were able to find the source of the water penetration. Several small errors during the build process had resulted in a catastrophic failure of the water handling system. Gutter drainage piping was incorrectly installed and was undersized. Window wells leaked as there was no place to divert the accumulated water. The grades around the house were continually settling as the footing drains were silting in and had no outlet to drain the water. Seasonal ground water is very high in this location and an inadequate attempt had been made to alleviate this.

The entire site had to be excavated. Styrene insulation was removed from the foundation and the damp proofing was covered with waterproofing. A 2” insulating drainage mat was applied to the surface to protect the waterproofing and disperse any hydraulic pressure resulting from the high ground water table. A new footing drain system with a mechanical outlet was installed with a generator backup. New properly sized and pitched downspout drains were introduced. The paving system had been incorrectly installed and was removed. Once the deep excavation work was completed the proper base was installed and the paving was re-installed according to the manufacturers recommendations.

Soils around the house were amended to facilitate proper drainage and the landscaping was correctly reinstalled.

The result: The owner has a completely dry basement with no water penetration from the outside.


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Boston Globe Interviews Von Salmi

"Whodunit? Bullet fragments, bloodstains, and DNA samples are the clues for crime investigators. But for construction forensics specialists like Von Salmi, telltale signs can range from a bit of mold or a rotten baseboard, often symptomatic of a bigger issue."