Leaky Homes

Or

How are our homes constructed?

A leaky building is one where moisture gets between the outside of the house (the cladding) and the inside walls.

 


A leaky building is one where moisture gets between the outside of the house (the cladding) and the inside walls.


(from  https://www.settled.govt.nz/buying-a-home/researching-the-property/learning-about-leaky-buildings/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-JKuvJbm5QIVmAVyCh3MwAHdEAAYASAAEgLC-fD_BwE )


So, quite simply, we eliminated the space between the inside and outside cladding. 


A traditional home is built like an old fashioned car, with a structural chassis, which in a home is called the (timber or steel) frames.


In the 1930s the first cars with monocoque or unibody construction were manufactured. They were of higher quality, stronger, and quicker to make.


This is now the general standard in mass produced car manufacturing.


So how is it that house construction is still using a method of construction that went out in cars in the 1930’s?


Most of todays houses still have either a steel or timber frame, with cladding on the outside, a cavity, and then fixed to a frame. In that frame sits the insulation, and then finally there is a wall lining on the inside.

This frame, weather metal or timber, acts as a thermal cold bridge, allowing heat from inside to escape at a higher rate through the frame, than through the insulation. This can lead to" thermal bridge staining" over time. 


A typical wall construction might have a layer of masonry or brick, fixed to the frame with metal wall ties, then a breather membrane and maybe a rigid board to add extra bracing. Then a timber frame, either partially or wholly filled with fiber glass batts. In this insulation also runs pipes and cables. Finally on the inside is usually a plasterboard


All these different materials have many different properties, and getting them all to work together as they are designed to, is a very skilled job.


There often only needs to be one breakdown in the many components of a traditional wall for moisture to get into the wall construction and decay to start. The structural timber is fit for purpose - until it gets wet. And then it will decay rapidly. Hidden behind the external and internal linings.


Simpler is better. Phones will dozens of buttons on went out years ago, replaced with a single surface.


So it is with our homes - a simple panel comprised of structural skins and a solid insulation core between them. No voids. No point of entry for moisture. Simple, efficient, factory manufactured under ISO 9001 standards.


Simply put, we have engineered out any chance of moisture penetration leading to structural failure of hidden structural elements, and hence any risk of leaky homes.