Design features

Certain design features and installation techniques have come to be associated with leaky homes. Not all houses that have one or more of these features will be a leaky home, but the risk is increased. These features and techniques include:

  • monolithic cladding such as texture-coated fibre-cement, stucco and EIFS
  • no eaves
  • parapet construction
  • enclosed decks and balconies
  • reliance on sealants rather than flashings
  • insufficient roof slope to drain water
  • insufficient or no overlap between claddings, flashings, door and window facings
  • poorly detailed and/or constructed intersections between materials
  • lack of clearance between the cladding and the ground.

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Enclosed decks and balconies

Where buildings have an enclosed deck or balcony or parapets, the design features that have further increased the risk of leaking include:

  • flat tops to parapet or solid balcony walls, in particular those finished in a textured coating
  • insufficient threshold at openings from the interior onto the waterproof deck
  • handrail supports that penetrate the top of the balcony wall
  • insufficient number and size of outlets and overflows
  • insufficient fall across deck to allow water to drain
  • junctions between the balcony wall and other walls that rely on paint or sealant to keep water out.

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