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Improper Flashing?


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A local inspector is telling folks that their window, door, and band trim flashings have to be replaced if the horizontal portion doesn't slope to drain toward the exterior surface of the trim. He uses a marble to determine whether or not the slope is adequate. If the marble rolls off the flashing, it's ok. If the marble stays put, then the flashing has to be replaced or reinstalled.

Before I express my opinion about this, I'm interested in hearing the opinions of others.

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Well,

Best practices manuals always say to slope the flashings, blah, blah, blah; but if you look at the code it doesn't specifically say the flashing must be sloped - only that there need to be flashings.

Now, go to the manufacturer's installation instructions for Hardi-Plank for instance and they use those drawings that JLC created in one of their best siding practices articles and they parrot JLC's article. Then there is the MVMA best practices manual that says something similar.

That's all fine and great in theory but almost nobody actually slopes them or installs them with the siding the proper distance above the flashings.

We have to be realistic; we aren't going to see "perfect" - we're going to see f****d up and we're going to see varying degrees of correctness. Personally, I'm just happy when I find the flashings and it looks like the guy doing the work actually did his homework and was trying to emulate best practices.

I don't call flat flashings; hell, in nearly 17 years at this gig I've never found anything damaged 'cuz the flashings weren't sloped away. I have found stuff damaged because some horse's ass with teeth has caulked flashings to the bottom edge of siding but not for flat flashings.

I think he's being anal retentive and his inexperience is showing. Baby steps - first we get them to realize that there need to be flashings there and why, so they get in the habit of installing them, and then we gradually get them to modify what's there to reach the ideal.

Pissing everyone off by making them redo the work, and costing builders a whole chunk of change plus the good will with their customers is going to backfire eventually. Before you know it, some Magilla pol is going to introduce legislature that says home inspectors can't do this or can't say that. When that happens, you can thank the guy with the stick up his ass for bringing that down upon the profession.

Oh, you probably won't be able to do that anyway 'cuz by then he'll probably end up putting himself out of business by having to pay lawyers to defend himself against lawsuits when builders finally get fed up with him playing unofficial code official who doesn't know that his calls aren't backed up by the code.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If a home inspector is saying that, he's got his criteria for writing something up in the wrong place. I've seen level flashings, don't recall seeing a problem with it - that's one of my criteria - and I'm always happy to see it because I usually see no flashings at all.

Marc

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He also mentioned band trim flashings.

It's really common around here for builders to install 2 by 10 bandboards around the base of the wall and over the rim between floors and install Z-flashings over the top of the bandboards before applying the cladding. The first illustration below is taken from the Hardiplank instructions. It depicts how they want flashings installed above horizontal trim or above doors or windows.

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tn_201322816462_HardiPlankFlashingGapRequirements.jpg

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The second illustration is from Build a Better House - a series of handouts provided for free on the Engineered Wood Association's website.

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tn_2013228165225_HeadFlashingOverWindow.jpg

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The third shows a head flashing installation taken from the James Hardie Best Practices - Installation manual. This is not actually a J.H. illustration. These were illustrations they borrowed with permission from the Journal of Light Construction.

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tn_2013228165722_JamesHardieHeadFlashingRules.jpg

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ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Each situation is different for me; it's a case by case basis.

If there's an obvious backslope, especially when siding is pushed down against the flashing or when water looks like it will travel over and seep in behind the siding at flashing ends, I'll write it up.

PS: I don't carry any marbles, but thanks for the great idea.

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I have a brass marble in my pouch, (where did I get that?) but I've only used it once, to show my clients that the house was sliding down hill. It was very dramatic to watch it roll across the dining room and smack into the wall. [:)]

A real pro would use a laser level. I have one of those too, but I don't use it. The housing stock here is pretty much on the level.

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Right. When I see that sort of stuff, I put it in the report. Same thing with window sill aluminum wraps that don't drain.

I'm still don't understand which window and door flashing Katen's talking about.

We're talking about Z-metal over a window or door or over a belly band.

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