We fix leaky homes
How did the crisis happen?
Leaky homes in NZ
Even in 2022, experts believe there are commercial properties and around 174,000 homes across Aotearoa with watertightness issues. It’s been called New Zealand’s biggest, costliest man-made problem.
Leaky homes first hit the news nearly 30 years ago. Most of us will have heard something about it and some of us may have had a leaky home built for them or wittingly, or unwittingly, bought one.
So, what caused the leaky homes crisis?
The leaky homes crisis is the result of a perfect storm of factors between the mid-1990s and early 2000s.
Simply put, timber-framed dwellings were often built using materials and practices that weren’t up to scratch.
Over time, these dwellings – both homes and apartments – have not stood up to New Zealand weather conditions. Unwanted moisture has made its way in, creating all sorts of harm.
Most leaky homes in New Zealand were built between 1994 and 2005. This was the era when complex roofs, plastered exterior walls, internal decks and small or no eaves were the trend.
Sub-standard building practices, materials and regulations
Issues were compounded by the quality of building materials used, poor workmanship overall and the New Zealand Building Code permitting the use of flawed building systems. Untreated timber was used in wall framing, cladding cracked and leaked and houses were built without water-resistant cavity battens.
Monolithic cladding with its unbroken, seamless finish was all the rage. Materials like plaster, stucco or fibre cement were applied directly over plywood, polystyrene, cement or building paper. Monolithic cladding is prone to cracking. Watertightness issues are particularly common where the cladding meets window frames, roofing, decking or balconies. These cracks let in water.
To make matters worse, the cladding was often fixed directly to a building’s untreated, or lightly treated wooden framing, with no cavity system.
This made it easy for water to get trapped between the cladding and framing. Without proper drainage in place, you have all sorts of nasty problems: dampness, water damage, mould, rotted framing and structural damage.
But wait there’s more. During the leaky homes era, dwellings were built with insufficient ground clearance. This means rain can bounce off the ground and up into the cladding. Buildings are now required to have a 10cm gap between the ground and cladding.
Flashings, windows, and roof junctions were either installed or constructed poorly and leaks in membrane decks and roofs were commonplace.
The result: leaky homes and homeowners with serious health risks and financial strain.
Fixing leaky homes
The primary reason we reclad homes in Auckland is to repair damage from the leaky home crisis. What is involved varies with each recladding project, but all recladding projects require an application for building consent to the council, which we can take care of.
After that, depending on the severity of the damage, a reclad involves the removal of all existing cladding, the leaking home being enclosed in building wrap, the removal of all damaged or rotted timber to be replaced with treated timber, and the coating of all existing timber with an approved timber treatment.
We may need to repair and make changes to decks, for instance, to make your building compliant with the current building code. We will then install new insulation, building wrap and waterproofing tapes, and if required, refurbished or new joinery.
If you have a leaky home in Auckland, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll help you through the entire recladding process.
You deserve an efficient, cost-effective solution with minimum disruption to your lives, so you’ll be looking for an experienced builder to reclad your property. A proper recladding job takes good management skills and an in-depth understanding of the entire process. That is why our team is so good at them. We have reclad home right across Auckland over a number of years.
If you’re worried about your home’s moisture levels, get in touch with our professional builders so we can assess the situation.
Recladding Auckland homes
Recladding your home is a big decision. However, it can make a huge difference even if you don’t have a leaky home. It will improve the look of your home, and help to protect it from the elements to keep it in good condition for years to come. If you’re considering recladding your home, get in touch. In the meantime, take a look at our building services for more information about leaky homes and recladding.