We use the Mdu Probe investigation system to collect the important evidence. We assess the Mdu Probe locations to get a clear set of facts around the whole house* before we start diagnosing and offering suggestions. The ranking of evidence is important – follow the logic:
- Is the timber framing treated and if so, is it treated enough to control decay? This is THE MOST sought after information required before diagnosis starts as it will determine the threat that moisture will have on the buildings structure
- What condition is the framing in? Is it already decayed and if so where? Is the decay affecting structural bracing, loading or support beams? This can determine the starting point on whether any significant repairs are needed and how soon. The framing may have been exposed to moisture before you purchased it and a previous owner may have ‘patched’ things up but left decay behind. Does this matter? Can small amounts of rot be left? – Can small amounts of rot be removed without recladding?
- What residual strength does the framing have? Some decay may exist but is the framing still strong enough to continue doing the job it was designed for? Would a longer term plan work? Would damaged framing have to be removed immediately – and why? If damaged framing is left insitu what must be done to stop it getting worse? What would be the consequences if things were put on hold?
- Is it leaking and if so how wet is the timber framing? Is it wet enough to start or continue rotting? If your investigation was done during summer do you have all the information you need? What will it be like in winter? Conversely if you relied on winter investigations that may show some wet framing – does this dry out in summer and is any damage being done? – Would sealant and paint be enough to address issues? If the framing is not rotten, may be the leak is new and therefore becomes part of normal maintenance. Act early to prevent the problem festering?
- The diagnostics begins – eg If leaking or rotting, then review where and why. Which details are causing the problems? Can they be fixed in isolation or as part of targeted repairs? Or does it need something more? What is the condition of framing that is nearby the known areas of decay?
- The solutions can begin – Prepare a plan to correct problems and undertake the work. Generally issues are either urgent or can be delayed to fit a budget over time. Sort out the immediate issues / essential things to meet your goals. Can money be spent wisely?
- Monitor moisture contents after any repairs and maintenance have been done, especially over the upcoming winter months to show that any improvements have worked and to update your long term plan. PLAN LONG TERM. It’s a fallacy to say that an externsive fix undertaken now will work and never leak again. Buildings are just not like that – they have many complex details and builders will not get it right, 100% all the time. Plus as the building’s details age, they often start to leak again. The heights of ground lines / garden beds / planting / paving may all change. Roofs, gutters and internal valleys may block and often age allowing water to ingress. Windows may leak. Homes are our most significant asset – so take precautions – . MONITOR MONITOR MONITOR. Problems will be resolved more amicably under a builders warranty if detected early (and well before any rot sets in) because the cost to rectify at that point is affordable to the builder. Builders know that Mdu Probes don’t lie.
Sometimes people reclad for different reasons – for looks, as part of alterations / renovations or to sell for better value? Some don’t like the thought of selling a home with problems? Will you get that investment back? Will the cost of a reclad be fixed or will it blow out due to surprises – (i.e. rot found once the cladding is removed?) Will you be protected once the new owner takes control? Will any reclad work 100%? Who is driving the decision making process? What is in it for them?
* Some investigations like the Healthy Home Check and Limited Probe Installs are used for gathering initial information at some key locations so owners can start the process of making important decisions.