Victims of leaky homes can tell stories about buildings with water tightness problems, monolithic cladding and bad workmanship. How to consider your options?
Are you feeling screwed?
All houses will leak at some stage
That is bold prediction, but the reality is proving it. The weak point can be from the outside like roof, gutter, cladding, windows or doors and internal leaks from plumbing or areas not fit for human habitation. It is a matter of time, workmanship, material fatigue and design faults. These situations are intensified by lack of maintenance and repairs. On the other hand also lifestyles contribute to moisture damage from spilling over water or condensation. I see the human risk factor as the major problem that starts with “it-will-be –right” builders and “I-do-not-care” people.
Leaky homes and housing politics
You cannot ignore the man-made problems mentioned above and politics allowing closed building companies to open a business with a new name to defeat warranty claims.
NZ’s costs for housing and foods are on levels that many homeowners are unable to keep up with payments for maintenance and repairs. For instance as seen in Europe, incentives to bring sub-standard housing in line with building regulations and living standards in NZ have not been priority. The peculiarity in finding political solutions are just different rules for owner-occupied and rental housing as the recent law change for investors/landlords shows.
Everyone wants housing to be affordable – and that is why practical solutions to mobilize everybody are missing rather than using “law changes with a stick” and not addressing the underlying issues. Remember the leaky home crisis of homes built in the 90s has been argued about for some time, but what is the situation? Homes we purchased built after 2009 have got similar problems (leaky roofs and plumbing faults). “The leaky home/leaky building crisis appears far from over as new cases continue emerging and affected owners still battle for solutions”.
We have renovated houses from the 40s, 50s, 70s and newly built, and none of those were in sound conditions. But the most difficult work we had to fix was a recent built townhouse with water ingress on flat roof. The battle with the builder, helpless water pressure test and useless bills have taken nearly four years. Finally we found screws without washer, not sealed holes—actually an easy fix as you can read here details.
Leaking House Story
When reading the “Leaking House Story” from a couple in Auckland that admitted “We purchased the property about 11 years ago and as first time buyers we were shamefully ignorant of the necessary caution and numerous pitfalls that accompany such an important financial decision” I felt deeply touched. That could have happened to anybody, as you know even experienced homeowners became victims of leaking homes.
I read somewhere that 90 percent of apartments, terraced houses and other multi-unit homes built between 1992 and 2005 would leak badly at some point. The water tightness problems are well know in the meantime. That affects people’s health, financials and unfortunately it is a relationship killer, too.
What are common faults?
Many of these houses have been built in new appealing designs. Monolithic cladding in particular is prone to ingress of water because of not visible cracks or moisture in frame work, behind cladding and because of lack of ventilation or roof cavity.
Houses I have inspected were leaking because of
· Faults in terms of workmanship
· Material choice and design
· Leaking hidden pipes, plumbing
· Damage caused by condensation, and
· Lack of maintenance
Do you feel screwed?
Depending on the extent of damage, commitments to family and career or health issues DIY repairs are often not an option. Dealing with a leaking house results in unbelievable stress, loss of assets or more sadly it causes health problems, destroys marriages and tears families apart. After years of fighting with massive legal bills and unsuccessful settlements the results are emotional fatigue and financial ruin — it is a man-made disaster.
Ask yourself, would you rather carrying on with hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, or would you rather start new? For moving on in some cases selling with full disclosure at a discounted price is a hurtful experience. The larger the damage the greater the loss. Good luck.
Klauster Properties Ltd. - Homeowner's Blog
Homeowner’s joy and misery
Klauster Blogs lead to a real person, IT professional, investor, landlord and business owner with interests in technologies, residential properties and healthy lifestyles.
The passion of making experiences available comes from renting in different countries and working with people who are interested in home ownership. Helping people to avoid pitfalls has been most rewarding, when forming relationships.
Our philosophy to treat life, partnerships and hobbies as an investment has helped people in our circle. Life is a dream with a deadline, happiness comes from making the right choices by having realistic expectations.
Come along and participate — boost your confidence!