With many homes being diagnosed as “leaky buildings” it is really important to know and understand the reason for leaky homes syndrome and how a remedial specialist architect can help you.
Leaky homes syndrome happens when the construction, design, or build of the building in question isn’t water tight. While water coming into the building isn’t always a problem, it can become a problem when the building is unable to dry out effectively because this can lead to moisture levels rising and rot setting in.
When rot sets in to a leaky building there are two main concerns – the structural safety and the health of the inhabitants. This is where a leaky building specialist architect can help.
In the early nineties there was a trend towards Mediterranean-style homes which moved New Zealand tastes away from more traditional building styles. These traditional style homes with weatherboard cladding and joinery may have leaked a little but they were also designed with ventilation that allowed any moisture to naturally dry out. Mediterranean style homes, on the other hand, often use ‘monolithic cladding systems’. These modern cladding systems, when applied incorrectly or over a timber substrate, can crack and allow moisture in – but not out. These build concerns combined with the style of Mediterranean homes – flat roofed and without eaves – contribute to leaky home syndrome. When a building does not have adequate deflection of water and drainage built in to the construction, it is inherently at risk. This risk can be heightened by building material choice.
The problem of leaky homes syndrome worsened in 1998 when the NZ government and the Building Industry Authority (BIA) approved the use of untreated, kiln dried, timber in home and building construction. The reason this approval contributed to increasing and worsening leaky buildings is because this type of timber allows rot to develop more easily in buildings that were already at risk. Over the last twenty years, the role of a specialist leaky building architect has become more important as more leaky buildings are discovered over time.
Moisture Readings: by testing the moisture levels in your home you can monitor when they become too high.
Visible Blemishes: take note of bubbles and blemishes on your walls, behind paint or plaster, as these can be signs of excessive moisture. Dark marks or stains on walls can also be a sign of moisture.
Rust: if you notice that screws and nails used in the construction of your home are rusty this could be due to excess moisture.
Warped Surfaces: if walls, ceilings, doors, or floorboards appear to be warped or swollen this could be a sign of waterlogging.
Visible Mould: visible mould in the interior of your home is a sign of excess moisture, this could be caused by leaky building syndrome or by poor ventilation in rooms such as bathrooms, laundries, or kitchens where warm and moist air is common.
Smells: musty smells can be caused by trapped moisture inside the walls.
The key to finding the right leaky buildings architect is to choose the architectural remedial specialists with the most experience and highest quality results. Because all leaky buildings are different and have individual needs, we ensure that every solution we deliver precisely matches those needs and will provide you with a watertight and safe home.
At Solutions Architecture we have completed documentation and contract administration for over 150 homes requiring remediation. We have an experienced Architectural and Building Surveyor network.
Getting to work on fixing your leaky homes syndrome is of highest priority as fixing the issue can be time intensive and the longer a rotting issue is left the harder it will be to fix.
We can handle your project from start to finish. We will create Concepts, Detailed Design, Contract Procurement and Contract Administration.
Our experienced team will navigate through the mine-field of the Specialist Re-clad Team at Council, saving you the grief of dealing with them.
So, get in touch with us today to discuss how our team of specialist leaky buildings architects can help you!
Whether you need an architect, designer, feasibility studies, or site observations and documentation. We have experienced staff to carry out the work for you.