The Insurance Council of New Zealand is warning Wellington homeowners to quake check their houses after new research reveals not enough is being done by homeowners to check their biggest asset for earthquake vulnerabilities.
“Wellington homes are generally older than the national housing stock which makes them more vulnerable to earthquakes. Wellington is more vulnerable to earthquakes than many other parts of New Zealand,” said Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton.
A survey by market research and evaluation company UMR explored the age of the housing stock in New Zealand and asked homeowners what maintenance checks they had undertaken for earthquake vulnerabilities.
“The older Wellington housing stock clearly points to a vulnerability for the city with 21% in homes older than 75 years old (nationally 15%), 59% living in homes that were 26-75 years old (compared with 50% nationally), and 20% in houses less than 25 years old (nationally 34%),” he said.
The survey found that 61% said their house had been re-piled (Wellington 78%), 72% had checked that their roof was properly braced (Wellington 77%), 70% had checked whether foundations were properly attached to the floor framing (Wellington 72%), 66% had checked to see floors were level (Wellington 75%), 57% had checked for sub-floor dampness (Wellington 63%) and 50% had checked for sub-floor borer (Wellington 56%).
“When those with homes older than 75 years old were asked about actions they had taken to make their homes less vulnerable, Wellingtonians were more responsive but there is a lot of room for improvement,” he said.
The Wellington Resilience Strategy has outlined seismic risk as one of three challenges for Wellington this century.