Common leak points in leaky buildings

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In Mike Anticich’s experience as a weathertightness assessor and building surveyor, he has found there are several very common areas where leaks occur on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, he says these critical leak points are still being overlooked in new buildings and alterations. They are:

uncapped parapets,

window and door openings, and

at the bottom of apron flashings where the roof penetrates an exterior wall.

“Most builders and designers are now well aware of the dangers of parapets. However, this is not true of either window or door openings or apron flashings,” Mr Anticich says.

“I want to have a look at the cause and the extent of damage due to apron flashings. This painfully common leak is due to the lack of an apron diverter.

“This simple roofing component will save a complete re-clad and keep the builder, designer and roofer out of the courts.

“Here in Canterbury we have, in the process of field testing our Flashman window and door flashing systems, re-clad 25 leaky homes. Ninety per cent of these homes were leaking into the exterior walls at the bottom of apron flashings.

“The damage was often very severe and always in need of cladding removal and replacement of some framing.”

Mr Anticich says he was asked to look at a large house valued at around $2 million. “It is subject to a leaky home claim. Every visible leak was located at the bottom of the apron flashings.

“The house will have to be re-clad as there are no half measures taken these days. The cost will be more than $200,000. This could have been avoided if apron diverters had been installed at a cost of $500.

“I urge all builders and roofers to use an apron diverter of some shape or form as they are simple and fast to install, cheap and the best roofing insurance you can buy.

“Apron diverters are very versatile, and are useful in providing a simple and cheap solution to many leak prone junctions around a house,” he says.

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