Serving as a comprehensive resource that builds a bridge between engineering disciplines and the building sciences and trades, Forensic Engineering: Damage Assessments for Residential and Commercial Structures, Second Edition provides an extensive look into the world of forensic engineering. Focusing on investigations associated with insurance industry claims, the book describes methodologies for performing insurance-related investigations, including the causation and origin of damage to residential and commercial structures and/or unhealthy interior environments and adverse effects on the occupants of these structures.

Edited by an industry expert with more than 40 years of experience and contributors with more than 100 years of experience in the field, the book takes the technical aspects of engineering and scientific principles and applies them to real-world issues in a nontechnical manner. The book provides readers with the experiences, investigation methodologies, and investigation protocols used in and derived from thousands of forensic engineering investigations.


  • Covers 24 topics in forensic engineering based on thousands of actual field investigations
  • Provides a proven methodology based on engineering and scientific principles, experience, and common sense to determine the causes of forensic failures pertaining to residential and commercial properties
  • Includes references to many codes, standards, technical literature, and industry best practices
  • Illustrates detailed and informative examples utilizing color photographs and figures for industry best practices as well as to identify improper installations
  • Combines information from a multitude of resources into one succinct, easy-to-use guide

This book details proven methodologies based on over 10,000 field investigations in which the related strategies can be practically applied and appreciated by both professionals and laymen alike.

1. Introduction 2. Hail Fundamentals and General Hail-Strike Damage Assessment Methodology 3. Hail Damage Assessments for Residential and Light Commercial Exterior Finished Surfaces and Steep-Slope Roof Systems 4. Hail Damage Assessments to Low-Sloped Roof Systems 5. Synthetic Storm Damage (Fraud) to Roof Surfaces 6. Wind Damage Assessments for Residential and Light Commercial Roofing Systems and Finished Surfaces 7. Wind Damage Assessments for Low-Sloped Roof Systems 8. Water Infiltration – Cause and Origin Assessments Steep- and Low-Sloped Roof Systems 9. Water Infiltration – Cause and Origin Assessments Exterior Residential and Light Commercial Building Envelope 10. Water Infiltration into Basements 11. Indoor Environmental Quality 12. Attic and Crawlspace Ventilation 13. Mold and Bacteria 14. Forensic Inspection Assessments of Residential Wood Framing Systems 15. Forensic Inspection Assessments of Foundation Walls 16. Forensic Inspection Assessments of Brick Masonry Chimneys, Veneer Walls, and Porches/Decks 17. Fire Damage Structural Property Assessments 18. Vehicle Impact Structural Property Assessments 19. Tornado-Related Structural Property Damage Assessments 20. Blast and Explosion Damage Property Assessments 21. Lightning Damage Property Assessments 22. Plumbing/Piping/Tubing Failures 23. Equipment Failures and Investigations 24. Serving as an Expert Witness