You Wouldn’t Buy a Ferrari Then Disconnect the Oil and Temperature Gauges
You wouldn’t dream of owning an expensive (or any) car then driving it around without the oil pressure and temperature gauges or lights that protect the engine from damage. That would be plain silly wouldn’t it? Yet we are happy to take that risk with houses worth far more than any car.
We often wonder why we have some expensive houses in our database, with sophisticated, accurate moisture monitoring systems installed, but no-one is reading them – and the houses could easily be leaking and decaying. Even if the owners believe that the original leaks found by the probes have been fixed, those repairs often fail again and new leaks develop.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because your house feels and looks dry inside. Most leaks do not show up on the gib, skirting boards or cladding until they have been there for a long time and done some damage to your timber. Moisture probes are located deep in the bottom plate where the moisture from leaks shows up first.
Why It’s Important To Have Your Moisture Probes Read Regularly?
Your moisture probes are your house ‘early leak warning system‘, giving you enough time to repair leaks before they cause expensive damage. All houses leak and require maintenance at various times. Your probes are insurance, to protect your house and your investment.
Finding a leak in time may be the difference between just repairing a flashing or some sealant, or a major repair job costing tens of thousands.
If you have made some repairs, even re-clad your house, probe readings verify that the repairs or re-clad have worked and continue to work.
Build History for Future Sale
At some time in the future, you will want to sell your house. If it is clad with one of the monolithic claddings, potential buyers will believe there is higher risk of leaks and decay. This is the ‘leaky home stigma’ which wiped billions of dollars off the value of New Zealand’s housing stock.
Every time that your probes are read, the data is stored on your house’s own webpage, building up a history to prove that your house is not leaking. This is absolute gold for your real estate agent when it comes time to sell.
How Often Should My Probes Be Read?
After having your probe system installed, it should be read for at least the first winter and summer, to show how the moisture levels will naturally vary in your house throughout the year.
From there, it depends on your house, its construction and how it is performing.
As a minimum, we recommend a reading at least once per year, in the winter, where leaks are most likely to show up. However, if your house is constructed using untreated timber, we recommend six monthly – because untreated timber has no defence against decay and even small leaks can damage timber rapidly.
If your house has some leaks, then the probes should be read regularly (six monthly), while the the leaks are repaired, and build that history of dry reading.
If your house is built using well treated timber and has few or no elevated moisture issues, then the readings can be extended out to every 18 months to two years – again these should include winter and summer readings.
Peace of Mind for Home Owners
Every house does develop leaks at some time. Most plaster clad houses are built without wall cavities, using timber that is not durable if it remains wet so their owners should be concerned about on-going leaks and hidden damage.
Regular moisture probe readings give home owners peace of mind that their house is safe and dry and being monitored for problems.
Have We Lost Contact With You Or Your House?
Although we endeavour to maintain contact with all of the owners of houses with probe systems, some of you just fall off our radar. Maybe you are a new owner and we don’t have your details? Maybe your email address has changed? Maybe we sent reminders that weren’t answered or maybe our system had a hiccup and we thought you didn’t want to hear from us again?
Whatever the reason, we want to hear from you because we care about you and your house. We know that your probe system will save you money, and stress provided we can read it, and let you know anything that requires your action.
Rest assured that we have retained all of the data on your house, including the original timber samples, reports and testing.
If you want us to get back in contact with you then just give us a call on (09) 271 0522 or fill in the contact form.
Don’t Have Moisture Probes Installed In Your Plaster Clad Home?
Find out more information on the most accurate, sophisticated moisture monitoring system available by clicking here.
On the plan below, the moisture content of the wood at every probe is shown in the boxes. The owner can see that the great majority of the house is dry (Green and Yellow dots), with some slightly higher moisture levels (Orange dots) along the garage. The one wet reading (Red dot), is associated with a leaking shower membrane which can now be maintained before it damages the timber.
Moisture Detection Company, phone 09-271 0522.