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Some of the most affluent parts of Auckland are also potentially most at risk of leaky homes, a website suggests.

Remuera, Gulf Harbour, Parnell and St Heliers are among the city's top five suburbs for having plaster houses built in the decade when leaky homes became a big problem, 1994 to 2004.

Henderson was the only more affordable suburb on the list.

The data was sourced from Auckland Council records and user-submitted data by property website

The houses are classified as "roughcast" by the council but Relab spokesman Bill Ma said it was important to stress that they were not necessarily leaky.

Affluent areas were hit hard by the leaky home crisis because of a technique favoured by developers of big homes. "Solid plaster homes" involved a plaster coat over the top of solid framing and a backing board. 

Henderson was on the list because it had a lot of housing built with a different leak-prone technique - an 8mm sheet with tape over the joins and a light skim over the top.

Not all plaster houses could be tarred with the leaky housing brush, however.

Nevertheless, many plaster houses built in latter years had been in cross-lease or subdivided situations where cost had been a factor.

Any House Can Leak

Sally Grey, Auckland Council's weather-tightness and compliance manager, said while monolithic clad houses were more susceptible to leaks, any house could be prone.

"No area is immune, although clearly some areas have had a bigger new building programme than other areas, therefore have a higher concentration of houses built through the problem years"

She said the council did not keep records on where plaster houses were concentrated, but it did keep track of leaky houses that were fixed or were in litigation.

Relab's Bill Ma said his suburban breakdown on plaster housing was for reference only.

"And we would recommend home buyers or owners update the data on our website as well as seeking professional building inspectors for advice".

Common features of problematic houses include flat roofs or roofs with parapets, decks over living areas, lack of flashings around windows or joins and houses where the interior floor level was below ground level.

"However, having one or more of these features – or a certain type of cladding – doesn't mean a property will have weathertight issues," a spokesperson said.

"The only way to determine a property's weathertightness is through inspection."


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