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`Dampness And Ill Health In New Zealand Homes Often Misidentified As 'Leaky Homes'

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
`Dampness And Ill Health In New Zealand Homes Often Misidentified As 'Leaky Homes'

Many New Zealand homes unnecessarily suffer from moisture buildup in subfloor spaces, which often cause illness and ill health due to dampness, dust mites and mould. Worse still, this dampness is often misdiagnosed and mislabeled as being the much more expensive and potentially serious problem of a 'leaky home'.

William Hempsey, Managing Director of Thermal Leak Detection, one of Auckland's premier Leak detection and pre-purchase inspection companies has seen the problem first hand. While investigating a dampness problem on a North Shore home, Liam identified the cause as moisture buildup in a subfloor space. This had previously been incorrectly diagnosed as a 'leaky home' by the real estate agent marketing the property. The homeowner took the property off the market and remedied the problem. Four weeks later another agent revalued the property for $75,000 more than the previous valuation.

Sub floor spaces create a great deal of water and air flow through a home, most of which is released from the subfloor soil (up to 0.4 litres per day for every square meter of soil, maybe even more during winter months). Not removing this moisture and having poor ventilation can lead to damage of the building structure even as faraway as the roof void.

The sub floor is often referred to as the engine room of a building as it circulates air and moisture throughout the buildings cavity and roof space. Estimates suggest that up to 50% of the air we breathe is coming from the subfloor, this can sometimes be identified by excessive condensation on windows in the winter months.

In order to remedy this problem that has become synonymous with many New Zealand homes, the issue must initially be properly diagnosed, then there must be a suitable ventilation system installed in direct correlation to the level of moisture and dampness present. Often the dampness has been a problem for many years, therefore identifying fungal growth which has lead to decay and insect infestation must be concurrently remedied.

If you are worried about any dampness or moisture related problem, or if you are looking to buy a new home, contact William Hempsey from Thermal Leak Detection for an inspection using the latest Fluke TiR1 thermal imager.

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