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Building Materials May Require Maintenance

City Council Advises That Some “Permanent” Building Materials May Require Maintenance

Christchurch City Council is advising owners of homes constructed with seemingly “permanent” building materials and cladding systems, to check them for any maintenance issues before winter arrives.

Tim Weight, of the City Council’s Compliance Inspection team says that there are currently some concerns regarding the weather-tightness of some residential buildings, where homeowners may be unaware of ongoing maintenance requirements. The concerns relate to some building materials and cladding systems used during the last decade, which may look “permanent” in brochures and magazines, but they may require ongoing maintenance to ensure their effective and efficient use.

Mr Weight says that any damaged areas, such as cracks or sealant details in cladding, could allow water to penetrate and should be inspected and repaired if necessary to ensure the building remains watertight.

“Particular areas to check are at window corners, roof to wall junctions and deck to wall connections. Any accidental damage must be repaired immediately using materials suitable to the cladding system in use. This can be discussed with the supplier or manufacturer of the cladding to ensure any warranties or guarantees are maintained”, says Mr Weight.

All claddings should be cleaned regularly to comply with the manufacturers specific instructions. People who live within 500 metres of the sea may have extra cleaning requirements.

Care must also be taken to ensure that ground heights (gardens, paths etc.) have the required clearances from the cladding material to comply with the building code.

Mr Weight says that regular inspection and maintenance of cladding surfaces will assist homeowners in protecting their home investment, now and in the future.

Anybody with questions about maintenance of building materials and cladding systems should contact their builder.

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