Home Inspection News – Issue 9

July Property Market 2017

The July property market reflected that of a July winter month. Auckland sales were down 12.6% on June and 26.8% on July last year. Prices flattened at 0% price increase for the 2nd month in a row. Hamilton saw slowing numbers of sales with a 0.4% growth in prices over the past 3 months. Christchurch values have dropped 0.2% over the past 3 months and sales numbers have also fallen.

Wellington and Dunedin are also seeing a slow down in sales and prices. Price increases are now below 1% for the past 3 months. Nationally the average selling price increased slightly from $639,051 in June to $641,280 in July. The shortage of houses is worsening as new houses being built lags behind population growth.

Prices and sales are expected to remain subdued until after the election is over. Providing there is no change in government, this shortage of houses and high demand is likely to see
increases in both sales numbers and prices.

What About The Roof Over Your Head?

The roof of your house is designed to keep the house dry and warm. The main enemies of your roof are rain and sun. If water gets into a house from rain or snow melting it can destroy not just the roof but the structure of the home too.

Dampness inside often leads to mould which can be a danger to ones health. The sun with its UV light degrades housing materials including roofing materials. To be effective a roof needs to shed water into the gutters and down pipes which takes it away from the house, to the stormwater drains.

Roof structure help prevent issues later on

The higher the slope or pitch of the roof, the more easily it will shed water. Architectural designs means that to add variety to the “style” of houses there are many types of roof, ranging from very steep eg A frame roofs to very low sloping almost “flat” roof.

The type of roofing materials used in New Zealand are many and varied. The most common and traditional roofing materials are galvanised iron (actually galvanised steel). Either unpainted or factory painted (colour steel) and tile roofs (mostly concrete now but originally clay which are still available).

Pre-painted colour steel may be obtained in original long run profile or pressed metal tiles—actually sheets of colour steel not individual tiles. Many other roofing materials are also in use such as asphalt shingles (usually fixed over construction plywood), asbestos cement shingles (asbestos not used now), membrane roofing (eg butynol) which is mostly used on low pitch flat roofs, aluminium roofing and so on.

The material used is dictated by the design, the look required, cost and suitability for the pitch of the roof. Where there are changes in the roof directions or where penetrations of the roof take place such as chimneys, hot water overflow pipes, skylights etc there will be the need for flashings to prevent water entering at these points.

Roof maintenance

All roof materials will require maintenance over time to ensure they preform well and last as long as possible. A regular inspection of the roof and the flashings as well as the gutters and down pipes is strongly recommended. The is an old proverb – a stitch in time saves nine.

It means only one stitch is needed to fix a tear if done soon enough but if left too long then 9 times as many will be required. With a house roof this is very, very true. Finding a defective flashing or rusty spot in a roof and fixing it right away may take only a few hundred dollars.

If say the rusty spot became a small hole over time the rain could drip into the ceiling. The water could be soaked up by the roof insulation for months until the insulation becomes saturated and heavy. The water would then soak into the gibboard of the ceiling which could then loose its strength and collapse into the lounge.

The homeowner now has a massive bill – to clean up the mess in the lounge, dry out the ceiling space, re-gib the ceiling, gibbstop plaster the ceiling, paint the ceiling, replace the insulation – oh and fix the roof. Easily 9 times the original cost of maintenance.

A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections can provide home owners with a maintenance inspection report which would identify any problem areas so that timely maintenance  can be done on not just your roof but all parts of your property. The long terms savings can be huge.