Articles: Conveyancing Articles
What is a "leaky home"?
© Copyright ASCO Legal June 2013
It is a term for a property which, because of the way it is made or what it is made of or when it was built, is likely to be at risk of very serious and very expensive problems. These are not just a risk of leaks, but a risk that some or even most of the frameworks and concealed structure may rot away. If so the whole house or major parts of it may need to be rebuilt. (They are often referred to as properties with potential “weather tightness” problems – but the risks go far and beyond mere lacking weather tightness).
The properties concerned are commonly residential but can be commercial properties also, and they have some or all of the following features:
(a) The exterior surface is or appears to be made of plaster or with some similar looking synthetic coating on it; and/or
(b) The exterior cladding consists of large sheets of material known as “mono-lithic cladding”; and/or
(c) It has wooden framing timber which was either not rot-proofed at all or not treated in any effective way, and usually was only heat dried - “kiln-dried”; and/or
(d) It was built without an air gap (or a sufficient air gap) between the exterior cladding and the framework underneath.
The above are the key features, but they are commonly associated with the adoption of other newer design features including for example items such as
(e) Capping at the top of exterior walls (or, often, failing to have proper capping) and/or
(f) A reduction or abolition of overhanging eaves from the roof, which in both cases and along with other items also allows easier water penetration into the structure.
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