Leaky House Syndrome
Leaky House Syndrome is the term used to describe
houses that have fallen victim to poor building standards and inspection.
The outcome is that water is leaking into the wall space via window
and roof flashings and not able to escape, thereby causing the wooden
framing to rot and dangerous bacteria, called Stachybotrys
Nobody wants to take responsiblity for Leaky Houses, well certainly
not in New Zealand - but let's just quickly look at how this soul
destroying syndrome developed.
- The NZ Government has a body that researches
building structural design and defines the building codes - called
- The Architectual Designer must design in accordance
to the code, if they hope to get a building permit.
- The Building Contractor must build to the exact
building specification presented to them by the Designer
- Local Government Bodies check designs ensure
the design and the construction are done in compliance with the
code - if so, the building is issues a Building Permit before
construction and Code of Compliance after construction.
- The Homeowner trusts that each of these parties
has done their job, and is probably paying a premium of about
5-10% over the bare cost of their homes to ensure all these things
are in place.
But guess who has been left holding the baby! And the $200,000
PLUS bill to fix the Leaky Home - you got it, the homeowner, the
only person who didn't have a role in meeting the building code,
the building permit or the code of compliance.
It's a disgusting show of irresponsibility by the Government of
New Zealand and one that I am ashamed to witness. If you look at
the sequence of compliance above, you can clearly see that the basis
of the problem lies with a faulty Building Code - and whilst it
is accepted that mistakes are made [we are all human] it is not
acceptable for responsiblity not to be taken and a remedy put in
So here I am with an $850,000 house needing a $230,000 fix up,
which will add absolutely no additional value to my home.
Okay, now that I have vented my disgust and frustration, let's
look at how best to deal with repairing a leaky house. There are
three broad steps
- Ensure your leaky home is safe to live in until repair - both
structurally and from the harmful
effects of toxic molds
- Plan the repair
- Ensure the remedy meets all new codes of compliance and will
not suffer a repeat problem
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