Frequently Ask Questions

Q. What is a leaky home?

A. The term “leaky homes” refers to those buildings where water has penetrated the building envelope or cladding system and is not able to drain or dry for some time. The problem affects apartments, townhouses and stand-alone homes, mostly built between 1992 and 2005.

Q.How many leaky homes are there estimated to be in New Zealand?

A. In July 2009, a PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by the Government estimated that between 22,000 and 89,000 homes were affected in New Zealand with a consensus forecast of 42,000 dwellings that are likely to be leaky homes. This includes standalone homes and units within complexes.

Q.What are some of the health impacts of leaky homes?

A. Damp and some mould or fungi can have serious health implications for people living in a leaky home and can worsen the symptoms of illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and other breathing disorders. In addition, some fungi which grow withinwet wall cavities are toxic and may cause flu like symptoms.

A book published last year by University of Otago Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman says the significant personal mental and physical health costs of leaky homes are conservatively estimated to be $26 million a year.

For more information about the health effects of leaky homes visit

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