Common misunderstandings


Leaking cladding materials are commonly used to describe some monolithic types of claddings materials, such as textured fiber cement EIFS, Soild plaster etc

We receive phone calls almost every day asking the same question

"We are interested in a house, but it has got harditex cladding or polystyrene cladding, should we buy it? will it leak?"

If all leaky buildings are defined based on two types of wall cladding only, then we can simply put a label on each house 'Leaker' or 'non leaker'

Nothing it that simple

I would categorize cladding materials as part of a design consideration rather than a separate driven factor causing leaky building syndrome

Every type of wall cladding has its pros and cons

As long as the material characteristics are fully taken into consideration during the design stage even paper can be fully watertight

While doing a cladding inspection,the first thing we must identify the type of cladding used 

Then we do not make a conclusion it is a leaker or non leaker just on the cladding type alone

We need to carry out a detailed examination about design and construction details based on the type of cladding and other factors 

There are problematic building materials but none of them can be categorized as a leaking material in fact any cladding material wrongly used can be problematic

Just because the cladding is direct fixed and not on a cavity can we label it leaky? The answer is NO we can't

Never judge a book by its cover until it is inspected 

Many inspectors will put fail on these types of cladding. It is a performance based inspection not just a cladding material based inspection

Make sure your inspector has an understanding on the design principles as well as a full knowledge on house construction

Ask them have they got Full Indemnity Insurance as well as wet cover 

Make sure you know who is inspecting your investment and what qualifications they have or don't have