Is Winter a Good Time for A Leaky Home Inspection?
It goes without saying… if you are buying a home, it’s MUCH better if it’s been raining. A thermal imaging building inspection will clearly show leaks within a week of heavy rain. It’s only logical to test the house for leaks under the worst possible weather conditions… particulary for roof, deck and window leaks.
Leak detection services in NZ will vary in results depending on the type of equipment used during the home inspection. It’s important to understand that thermal imaging cameras are excellent for detecting leaks on ceilings, under decks, roofs, back of showers and under windows, whilst moisture meters are the best method for testing for moisture problems in external walls.
What if it hasn’t rained for a few weeks, is it still possible to find moisture in walls?
Yes. In NZ, the typical homes we get hired to test for moisture are plaster systems with no cavity system. If the home has no cavity, then the moisture and condensation gets trapped behind the walls and soaks into the timber framing and insulation. The moisture testing meters we use are highly sensitive and will detect the slightest change in timber and gib board density caused by higher levels of moisture.
What about roof leaks after no rain?
It is true that a roof leak that hasn’t found it’s way into an external wall may go undetected in summer months… but the good news is that a roof leak is generally easy to fix, and it’s the least harmful type of leak that can be found in a home (As long as it hasn’t travelled into an external wall). Generally, if the leak was that severe you would see visual signs of damage or discolouration on the ceiling.
The insulation batts may be wet also… but if you have a pitched roof, you can crawl through the manhole and substitute the wet insulation with new batts. If it’s a mono pitched roof (Can’t crawl inside), then you can either fix the source of the leak and let it dry out, otherwise if it’s showing on the gib board you can open up the ceiling and take out the saturated insulation. Not such a big deal considering there is moisture damage to the ceiling anyway.
In summary, winter is an excellent time for thermal imaging inspections and general leak detection investigations. Summer is normally fine for moisture inspections, unless it hasn’t rained for over 3 weeks or so. Don’t rush your property purchase if you feel the place could be leaking and it hasn’t rained for some time. Give us a call if your aren’t sure if the timing is right for you.