Fascias-style guttering leak internally

Taylor Fascia-style gutters causing water to run into the building

Guttering can be a hidden leaky building danger particularly for plaster clad homes

Klass or Taylor fascia style guttering overflowing into the walls are a significant source of leaks and decay in houses.  This especially affects monolithic clad homes with direct fixed cladding because the wall can’t dry out easily.  Where there are only small or no eaves, the risk increases further. As these houses are often built with untreated or undertreated timber, decay is almost inevitable.

The perfect storm that culminated in the ‘leaky home’ fiasco was caused by a number of products and processes being introduced into the NZ housing market with totally inadequate testing, validation or approval.  High on this list is the Klass or Taylor Fascia style guttering. Because of their design and defects in installation, blockages from leaves can cause overflows into a building.

Moisture Detection Company use their patented Moisture Probe System to identify decay and thousands of leaks in houses which can be directly attributed to this disastrous design.  If the leaks are not found early enough, the decay can cause extensive and expensive damage.

In the house where the picture below was taken, we found large parts of the internal framing of the back wall rotted away behind the gib because of persistent overflows of the gutter.

Timber Decay Caused by Leaking Taylor Fascia.

Fundamentally, the problem is that the internal lip of the gutter is lower than the external lip so that when the gutter overflows, the water can run across the soffit (if there is one), and into the wall and ceilings.

Moisture Detection Company use their patented Mdu Moisture Detection Probe System to investigate and provide hard evidence on the moisture, decay and timber treatment condition of monolithic plaster clad houses.  Contact us on (09) 271 0522 to discuss how we can help you.

Often, where a valley in the roof runs into the gutter, the internal edge is notched even lower which becomes the first overflow point. If there are any blockages, excess rainwater during a heavy rain will overflow back into the house, often without the owner being aware.

Where the valley in the roof meets the gutter, this is often a leak point.

If you are buying a plaster clad house with Taylor fascia, you must find out whether this is leaking, or has leaked in the past and caused decay in the walls.  Only the Moisture Detection Company can find this with minimal visible damage to the house.  Visit our Contact Us page.

This is a particular problem for owners of plaster clad houses built from 1992 to 2004 where there is unlikely to be a cavity allowing the water to drain away, and the timber is likely to be untreated or undertreated.

Most people aren’t aware that the decaying leaves which block gutters and downpipes house particularly aggressive decay fungi which can cause accelerated rot when overflows wash it into the house.  The standard boron treatment cannot stop many of the nastier NZ fungi species.

In traditional externally-mounted guttering systems, these are designed that if there is a blockage somewhere, water will overflow away from the building. This does no harm to the building and will alert the owner to a problem.

Taylor Fascia style gutter may look quite attractive but how could anyone have ever thought that they were a good idea?  Yet this was installed on tens of thousands of houses.

What Can You Do If You Have Taylor Fascia?

While having Taylor fascia is not ideal, the issues can be managed.

Ideally, you would replace it with a conventional guttering with the outer lip lower than the inner lip. This gets rid of the risk and makes your house easier to sell – all pre-purchase building inspectors should know the dangers of Taylor fascia and will warn prospective buyers.  While you are at it, add some eaves if you don’t already have them.

If you don’t want to replace the gutters then there are steps you can take to reduce the risks of leaks and decay.

  1. Install a Mdu Moisture Probe monitoring system – a very small investment for protecting your biggest asset.  Following a full probe installation, you will know where your house is leaking, if there is decay and if the house is built with treated timber.  These will find any leaks or decay arising from gutter problems.  The probes are then a ‘leak early warning system” for your house.  With this information, you can plan the next step.
  2. Cut down any trees that may drop leaves on the roof and check the gutters regularly for blockages.  If you can’t get rid of the trees then consider some type of leaf guard system or clean the gutters more regularly.
  3. Inspect your full guttering system for defects that could lead to leaks – many systems are just badly installed but you don’t see evidence of leaks unless there are major rain events.  Regular small leaks into your walls will destroy them eventually. Moisture Detection Company can inspect and carry out some repairs.
  4. Install Mdu Hi-Flo overflows at critical points around the guttering.  Moisture Detection Company will recommend where these should be installed to allow water to overflow to the outside, instead of into your house, if the gutter tries to overflow.

Moisture Detection Company inspect, diagnose problems with, monitor and repair houses with monolithic cladding for leaks and decay. We are the experts at keeping your house safe and dry – without needing an expensive re-clad.

Contact us today for an informal discussion on your situation.  We promise professional, friendly and ethical advice.

Phone:  (09) 271-0522

Email: info@moisturedetection.co.nz.

Serving owners of Plaster Clad homes twenty years.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi there,
    My parents had a major leakage couple of days ago, when storm hit in the early morning.
    They own a two-storey house in Unsworth Heights in North shore. Problem was the Taylor fascia system like you mentioned on your website.
    Rainwater overflowed into the roof space came down through the lighting mount holes, some came down the wall frames and filled the mid floor joist and out to the ground level floor through the lighting holes.
    He has already contacted the insurance company and myself, as a builder, sent them a investigation report.
    But Is there any suggestion that you might have look into, or may be have another investigation?


    • Hi Jimmy, sorry to hear about your parents house. A lot of the properties in that area are monolithic clad and built with untreated or undertreated timber. This means that they are at high risk of leaks and decay, which is often going on undetected behind the cladding. There have likely been other overflows from smaller floods in the past and likely at other parts of the roof as well. I urge your parents to get a full weathertightness inspection done ASAP to identify the building risks and test if they are leaking or have leaked. I will send you an email with the details of a company who use our systems to find leaks. Good luck.


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