If the original construction of a building was monolithic/plaster, is this building still a risk if it has been re-clad?
In an ideal world, buildings that have been re-clad to current building regulations should not be a problem, regardless of what building materials have been used.
Multi-apartment type complexes can be high risk and are reliant on the Body Corporate being very proactive on maintenance and repairs. The bigger the complex, the harder it will be to manage with regards to maintenance and cost.
Stand-alone buildings will also need to be kept adequately maintained. Areas of the exterior that are high risk for water ingress will need to be identified and closely monitored for deterioration.
There are a number of properties that have been re-clad, but still have ongoing leaking issues. This can sometimes be attributed to the types of companies that undertake re-cladding projects (particularly large re-cladding projects). It is difficult for these companies to employ large numbers of suitably skilled and qualified trades people to carry out this work. They will therefore employ a small number of qualified people to oversee work carried out by a large group of unskilled or poorly skilled workers.
Monolithic Clad Building Inspections are Recommended
We recommend having a building inspection carried out on any property that you are interested in purchasing.
Even brand new houses can have issues. The council will issue a Code of Compliance Certificate for a property based on the property meeting compliance regulations, not the quality of the workmanship. There are also situations where non-compliant work has been carried out on the property after the council has completed a final on-site inspection.
For further information regarding weathertightness please visit the government Building Performance website at http://www.building.govt.nz/ws-info-for-homeowners