Upgrades dominated by deferred maintenance issues

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Window frame damageAddressing deferred maintenance, especially painting and weathertightness of cladding and roofs, repair of gutters and windows and dealing with moisture issues, dominated the upgrades suggested in the houses studied. 

The effect of deferring maintenance on house performance was clearly demonstrated in these houses, with significant rot, leaks, structural damage, internal mould and draughts all performance issues resulting from lack of maintenance.  




A number of the issues caused by deferred maintenance had become costly to repair, particularly in comparison to the costs of the original maintenance.  Painting stood out as a key maintenance intervention required to keep our stock of largely timber buildings in good repair, the significance of which is poorly understood, and which is often deferred given its relative expense. Consequently, many of the sample houses showed significantly deteriorated paintwork both inside and out, and this had been the cause of further need for intervention to deal with rot and repairs.

Evidence from the household and community interviews suggests that deferring of maintenance may in part be a financial issue (ability to set aside enough money for regular maintenance) as well as an advice and informational issue (understanding of the need and/or importance of regular maintenance.