Most residential cladding systems require regular maintenance to ensure that the building remains weathertight. Building elements must also (with some exceptions) continue to meet Building Code performance requirements for the intended life of the building.

Wall cladding and coating systems, in particular, need regular maintenance to ensure that they remain waterproof and durable. Some cladding systems also incorporate functional components (such as drained and vented cavities) that require maintenance and, in some cases, protection to ensure that they continue to function.

The responsibility for house maintenance lies with the homeowner, but the designer and the builder must ensure that the owner is aware of their responsibilities and of the consequences if maintenance is not carried out.

Many weathertightness failures would have been avoidable if thorough maintenance had been carried out.

BRANZ House Condition Surveys, conducted around every 5 years since 1994, have assessed the standard of maintenance in New Zealand houses. The 2015/16 survey found that: 

  • 48% of owner-occupied homes were well maintained, 38% were reasonably maintained and 14% were poorly maintained 
  • 24% of rental houses were well maintained, 44% reasonably maintained and 32% poorly maintained.

The Building Act requires information about maintenance requirements, current insurance policies and guarantee/warranty details must be given to clients after construction work finishes.

BRANZ provides a considerable number of resources around maintenance, from Build articles to sections in books, bulletins and websites. BRANZ also has a maintenance schedule tool that allows a customised schedule to be put together for each new property.”

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Updated: 1 May 2017