How to check your home for leaks
2023 has been an exceptionally wet year for Auckland. By late May, the city had recorded over 90% of its average annual rainfall. This unprecedented deluge has resulted in water getting into homes that may have previously not shown any signs of leaks.
No home is 100% weathertight. Good home maintenance can reduce the risk of leaks, but it’s important to be proactive in checking for weathertightness. Moisture can get in during extreme weather events, such as the Anniversary Weekend floods, and start to do hidden damage.
Problems with a home that isn’t weathertight
One of the main problems caused by excess moisture is mould and mildew. Mould is a blanket term for the types of fungus that, in nature, help to decompose organic matter. They reproduce by releasing spores into the air, and some of these spores blow into our homes. While mould is vital to the planet’s ecosystem, when it starts to grow on damp surfaces in a house, it can cause serious health issues, especially in people who already have respiratory problems.
The other major problem caused by moisture ingress is the structural damage that happens when building materials get damp. Timbers, wall linings, and floor coverings will begin to rot or deteriorate. Damp can even cause damage to your furniture and soft furnishings.
How to spot the signs that water has gotten into a home:
- Ceilings are sagging or developing bulges
- Floor surfaces like vinyl are lifting or the floorboards are becoming uneven
- Skirting boards and other wooden surfaces are swelling
- Mould is growing on walls and ceilings, and on the contents of closets
- Parts of the house smell musty
- There are stains on the carpet
Get an expert’s opinion
Water damage can be expensive to repair, so if you suspect that your current home, or one you are about to buy, might not be weathertight, talk to Innohome about getting a building inspection with a free moisture test. We carry out non-invasive moisture testing, which identifies problem areas without having to do any damage to the property.
With years of experience in the building trade and the home inspection industry, registered building inspector Kevin from Innohome has extensive knowledge of building materials, design, and practices, and where problems are most likely to exist.
These might include:
- Flat roofs
- Where the walls and roof meet
- Windows and door frames without flashings
- Decks over living spaces
- Areas where decks or groundworks have not been properly connected to the property with flashings or other protective methods
- The subfloor – particularly if the floor is wooden, or the house is on piles
Kevin’s high-quality equipment gives very accurate moisture readings. Usually, non-invasive testing is enough to satisfy most banks or lenders as part of a report. However, if the problem is extensive, we can also carry out thermal imaging moisture testing and invasive moisture testing. We can also do any additional testing required by your insurance company or builder to plan repairs.
As part of the building inspection report, we can suggest repair options and maintenance schedules to prevent problems from spreading or escalating.
To arrange an inspection, contact us.