Leaky Buildings....Is there a Green Solution?
Is there a leak in your home?
If you are not sure what Leaky Building Syndrome is then you are lucky as this man-made housing problem affects
over 20 million homes in the USA and Canada alone.
These are not just a problem for those living in them, health risks and the huge financial costs in repair are
two effects that have repercussions on the community.
It would seem that modern buildings should be safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly but mould, running
water and rotting timbers are just some of the catastrophic results of what seems to be a poorly regulated
Ignorance of some basic environmentally based codes may have protected many of these homes from the
deterioration that they now face.
For a start, good home insulation practices and planning
to utilize water runoff would have minimized many of the problems now faced. These homes seem to be designed to
leak from the inside out and with proper ventilation some of the worst effects could have been avoided.
In fact the installation of roof turbines at a minimal cost may reverse some dampness in some of the homes
already affected. Replacement of timber paneling with Structurally Insulated Panels offer both effective
insulation and lightweight solutions to replace damaged existing structures.
When replacing poorly working flashing on the roof and surrounds that has leaked, consider collecting the runoff
for use as water for the garden or lawn.
Roofs that were designed to do just that have not contributed to the problem where installed. Looking at roofs
in particular it may be time when renovating to choose a
green roof garden for both its insulation quality and the ability to reduce excessive runoff during major
Combine this with a roof turbine for air venting and you have the potential to save money on winter heating
bills and to keep your home cooler in summer as well.
The benefit of a truly green roof may also be to reduce the risk of fire during dry seasons if the planting is
well chosen and water collection effective.
One of the considerations to reduce the cost of making good some of the buildings affected by Leaky Building
Syndrome may be to utilize material that is recycled in the repair. Certainly interior fittings and fixtures from
older properties should be replaced with those of similar eras rather than gutting a house and turning it into just
another modern interior.
Take the opportunity also to insulate all hot water pipes and wall cavities that are exposed during the
refitting. This will help to offset the cost of the exercise by saving you on power bills in the long run.
Extra insulation and attention to detail will assist in making your home a valuable asset for resale. Don't
neglect the chance also to incorporate a renewable energy power source in this reconstruction.
Solar panels for water heating are not expensive especially if you are rewiring and undertaking roofing
replacement in any case. These suggestions may sound like being wise after the event but the repair of your home
should have three main things in mind.
1) Rebuild to give a dry healthy home.
2) Use the opportunity to incorporate some energy future proofing.
3) Make your home as attractive as possible for future sale.
An eco-friendly approach to the whole project may go a long way to achieving all of the above and save you money