60% that’s a big number. Survey results have been released regarding Wellington and how quake safe we really are – sadly the results don’t look too good.
Below we’ve provided summaries of these surveys and how you can quake check your Wellington investment properties.
If you want to check your property portfolio is earthquake safe we can organise a Quake Check via the Wellington City Council for you.
Results from Recent Studies
A report released in April 2017 stated 60% of inspected Wellington homes had earthquake or weather resilience issues. Unsecured foundations, unsecured hot water cylinders, borer infestations, and poor weather-proofing were found to be the main issues.
A separate survey showed Wellington has the largest number of homes more than 75 years old in New Zealand, putting residents at greater risk during earthquakes.
A Victoria University study found another earthquake could leave half the city’s residential properties unliveable, with an average city-wide repair a third higher than Christchurch.
Quake Check Assessment
Check the Roof
There should be no cracks in load-bearing joists, water storage tanks should be strapped down, any tiles should be tied back, and the chimney column should be free of cracks.
Any load-bearing beams should be free of cracks.
Concrete or slate tiles should also be tied down. The wires should be visible from inside the attic space, connecting with rafters.
Finally, the chimney column should also be checked from the attic space to check for defects or cracks.
Inside the House
Water cylinders should be tied back with two metal straps, one at the top of the tank, and one at the bottom.
Under the House
The ground should be dry, not smell of damp, and no running water through it.
The house should also be tied to its foundations.
Homes with normal piles, the ground around the concrete bases should be undisturbed. If water had eroded earth from around the pile, it could compromise the house's strength (most common in properties on hillsides).
NB: If you can’t complete these checks because you’re not in the country or another reason, mention these to your property manager to check they’ll be completed at the next property inspection.
Our Response to November 2016 Earthquake
The safety of our tenants was our upmost priority. The day following the earthquake we contacted all our tenants to check they were fine and asked them to inform us of any obvious damage. The days following the quake we visited each property and conducted a non-invasive property inspection to ensure all damage and repairs were documented and photographed, then reported to the owner and insurance.
Unfortunately, earthquakes are an on-going threat in Wellington, November last year being a textbook example. To protect your tenants and investment property make sure these checks are part of your next property inspection. Get it checked and repaired now to reduce damage costs later after another capital and prevent the inevitable work needed when you sell the property. Also keep in mind, tenants are still asking how properties fared in the last big earthquake, so it’s good to be ready with an answer.
Quake checks can be organised via the Wellington City Council, costs $160, and takes approximately 2 hours to complete.