SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — After KPIX uncovered serious problems with a South Bay KB Homes subdivision, tiles are still falling off some of the million dollar houses.
Wednesday, work crews were performing tests because every home will need to be fixed.
They’re known in the building trades as forensic tile experts, often hired as consultants to investigate construction failures such as those occurring at the KB Home community on Communications Hill.
They tap the tiles with a piece of metal and listen with trained ears.
They can tell if a tile is firmly attached or is in danger of falling.
Several tiles at one home were so loose workers peeled them off so they wouldn’t fall on someone.
The investigators mark the bad tiles with chalk. There are so many marks on some homes it looks like a graffiti tagger went wild.
On another home, the tiles are marked with a simple question mark. That pretty much sums up Michael Clark’s feelings about how his home was built.
“The place is just falling apart, everything is wrong,” he said. “Somebody was not watching what was going on. Somebody’s got to be responsible for the end product. The ball was rolling but it wasn’t done right. On everything!”
KPIX first learned that heavy ceramic tiles were falling off the sides of brand new homes in early October.
KB Home’s initial response was to warn homeowners not to stand underneath their homes. Now, nearly two months later experts are doing inspections.
Sources tell us that every home with tile, about 70, will need to be fixed. Many homes will need complete tile do-overs.
A KB Home spokesman would not agree to an interview but sent this statement:
“Following through on our commitment to rectify the exterior tile concerns, KB Home hired a third party expert to identify tile for replacement. We are working to finish these inspections quickly so we can promptly implement the consultant’s recommendations.”
Off camera, a KB Home executive told KPIX that most homeowners were happy with their purchase.
As the tile experts continue to listen to what the walls are saying, homeowner Clark just wishes the company would listen to him.
“I don’t know. Am I happy? Talk to the neighbors I don’t think they’re happy. One tile falling from up there is going to take somebody out. Look at them! Does that look professional to you? Get off your **bleep** dude. Something’s got to be done. People are not happy.”