Friday, September 17, 2010

Wet, Wet, Wet.

It's wet here in Auckland, terribly, terribly wet. And it's not just the lily-livered Australian complaining about it - even though it seems to rain all spring, every spring, every year, the Aucklanders are over it too. 

To top it off there's a storm the size of Australia heading our way. Heavy rain, severe gales and a load of snow down south.

How will this shrink wrapped house fare?  This is not a Christo... it's one of Auckland's famous leaky homes.
 It does look a little Christo-esque. Remember this?
Berlin's Reichstag building in 1995. It's a similar look but the Auckland home I came across in a very smart suburb is not art, just the reality of leaky home ownership.

During the nineties a lot of houses in New Zealand were built using methods that just don't stand up to the rain and there is a LOT of rain and it comes with force from all directions. A combination of poor design, bad installation and the wrong materials has meant that some people are stuck with a house that leaks - damp, mouldy and rotting with water running down the walls. Some simply can't be fixed. What a nightmare.

There's been an inquiry, compensation battles, long running court cases....  a lot of people looking for someone to sue. Although I suppose there's now a booming new sideline in shrink wrap.
We didn't buy a leaky home.  Ours is just damp - incredibly damp, this is just an incredibly damp city. And yes I am over it this month.

Meet Derek. Derek is our dehumidifier.
He hums away night and day while the rain pours down and shifts around the house to dry each room. He's handy too for drying a load of washing. If we stay longer in this house we'll look at installing a proper roof ventilation system. For now it's up to Derek.

Auckland sparkles in the sun. Bring on summer and another drought. Please...


  1. That is so interesting, Ann. I had no idea that Auckland had that problem. I found Sydney's damp and humidity such a shock after growing up in Hobart. We made do by endlessly buying packets of DampRid crystals to refill the little plastic buckets which seemed to fill with liquid on a daily basis. We had to air our wardrobes so our clothes didn't go mouldy although I did have to throw out a ruined leather jacket. I can't imagine having to wrap your house like that. What a mess. The lawyers must be having a field day. Pity the poor home owners. And thanks for the Christo reference - a favourite of mine. I hope the rain stops - although it might not if you get the weather we're having. Snow right down half the Mountain today. J x

  2. Great post- I had no idea-
    I live in the desert. Often I take clothes out of the washing machine, fold them and put them in the drawers and leave them open- the clothes dry wonderfully this way.
    I did live in the Caribbean where I needed to add Damp Aid in my closets- such different climates.

  3. Auckland is terrible for damp - it's always so humid. Even today humidity is at 78% - we have out dehumidifier going non-stop. We had the guys from HRV through and they said to keep the wardrobe doors open during Winter to get the air circulating. That shrink wrap must be a relatively new thing because they used to use huge blankets of tarpaulin. We were unfortunate to have rented a leaky home on the North Shore - the downstairs bedroom wardrobe was black!

    Funny old weather today though - we haven't had too much rain but a heap of wind

  4. Oh no Ann, rain gets me down too, you poor thing, it's nice and sunny in Sydney today so I'll send some of my sunshine across the ditch to you and hope it beats that nasty storm on its way. That shrink wrap house looks so funny! not funny for the owners though - imagine if it was your house EK!
    Wishing you a lovely day, despite the rain and damp and good to see Derek working hard.

  5. I hear you on the damp front. We had HRV put in last week, no more going around the windows in the mornings with a towel. After living so long in the UK and enjoying central heating, I find it so odd we kid ourselves NZ is even SEMI tropical......IT ISNT! But the rain is a good excuse to stay in with a book:)

  6. I was just reading in the NZ Herald (online of course) about that storm. Hope it passes quickly.
    My sister in Tauranga has just moved out of her damp rental into a more sunny place. She has had to throw out a lot of clothes and shoes as they were covered in mould.
    My Aunty and Uncle spent $300 thousand fixing up their leaky home in Mount Maunganui. What a drama.

  7. How heartbreaking for those people with leaky homes. There's hardly any thing more stressful than that level of injustice. Like you said, what a nightmare. Glad you're not one of them and that you have Derek! Rachaelxx

  8. I feel so heartened that other Aucklanders battle the damp too - sometimes I think it's just me and Derek against the world... but now I know we are not alone...

    Life in the desert sounds rather nice right now!

  9. Oh, yes, I remember those days! Not fondly unfortunately. Hope the rain stops soon ...

  10. Go, Derek! I hope he works hard for you. That dampness sounds so miserable, though clearly there are people much worse off than you. How terrible for them to but care and time into their homes and that they are essentially no good.

  11. 10 years of drought and probably far too much sunshine and then this year! I think we have had three sunny days all winter rain, rain, and more rain...wind, sleet, I know what you are going through!
    I hope this weekend brings you much sunshine. xx

  12. Jayne's right. You are entertaining. I love Derek the Humidifier. And I love your admission that you have a serious problem with chocolate. And that you love books. These are the things which always drive me to push that 'follow' button. (When I say 'these', the chocolate is the priority.)

  13. Dropping in from Jayne's post (where she gave you a lovely shout-out) and am glad I did. I knew NZ was lush and gorgeous but hadn't a clue the rain/damp were to this extent. That can be really miserable. You poor thing...give Derek a hug so he doesn't put in for overtime!

  14. Oh, I'm so glad I found your blog! I haven't found any other Auckland bloggers - I lived in Belmont, North Shore for 6 months, and really miss it. NZ is such a lovely place:)

  15. I can sympathize Ann, I had a horrid fight with mould on a very damp bedroom wall last weekend here in the Adelaide Hills. I'm still too traumatized to post on it! I left you a note over @ The Hedge re your excellent comments on CD's house - thanks so much.
    Millie ^_^

  16. Hi, I'm your latest follower!
    You write so well. I'm glad I stopped by!
    Hope the weather warms up for you. I'm wishing for the same thing too here in Melbourne. :)


Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


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