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Flashing between hardi siding and brick?


jayreeder
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We're building a house down here in Georgia and the siding installer didn't put flashing between the brick wall (3 ft tall) and hardi siding band above. All the other houses have that flashing but he said they didn't need it because the drip edge on the top of the band will prevent water from getting in the brick wall cavity.

Should I be concerned?

These are pictures of the home we're building with the drip edge above the trim band but no flashing between the trim band and the brick:

100_5753_small.jpg

100_5721_small.jpg

These are pictures of a home in our area that did include the drip edge above the trim band and the flashing between the band and the brick wall:

100_3812_small.jpg

100_5791_small.jpg

I read about IRC 703.8 and UBC 1402.2/1405.3 in other posts here. Would the construction of our brick/siding pass that code?

Thanks for any advice... Jay

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Hi,

Well, at least your brick is sloped to drain; the other fellow's isn't. Seriously, there should be a cavity behind the brick to allow drainage anyway. The only reason that you want flashing there is to provide a capillary break between the brickwork and that horizontal wood trim. There should be a little flashed gap of about 1/8-inch to 3/16-inch between the bottom of the trim and the brickwork and the flashing should slope out and down onto the sloped soldier row. So, without the flashing, you've got the possibility of some moisture moving from the brickwork into the woodwork when it rains (if the woodwork wasn't properly primed and painted) and there's a possibility that some wind-driven water will be blown into that little gap under the bottom of the trim at the inner top edge of the bricks.

As for the neighbor's house, the guy who installed that horizontal trim on the other guy's house has his head tucked up his bottom. Hi put the horizontal bandboard tight to the flashing and the flashing tight to the brick, and used flashing that has a pre-formed lip, which caused it to bend upward. Now it drains toward the trim instead of away.

Gotta wonder what kind of dildo for brains did that work.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike,

Thanks for the reply. Would I be ok if they caulk the joint between the siding band and the brick? That's the recommendation.

Given the water barrier behind the brick wall and the weep holes, everyone is telling me that you can't keep water from getting behind the brick anyway and it would be ok even without the caulk.

Thanks,

Jay

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Thanks for the reply. Would I be ok if they caulk the joint between the siding band and the brick? That's the recommendation.

No.

It needs to be flashed. It's important.

In the picture with the brick sample..I think it was the third one; don't you think it'd look better if the vertical trim extended all the way to the brick rather than to the top of the horizontal trim ( water table)?

I know you're excited about your new house but that is one funky looking detail. Since they have to peel off the water table, get them to fix that at the same time.

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Chad,

Thanks for the reply. Actually pictures #1 and #2 are my house without the flashing between the brick and the hardi trim band. Pictures #3 and #4 are of another house that has the flashing between the brick and the hardi trim band. Every house I can find that has a 1/2 brick wall with hardi siding above has flashing between the brick and the hardi trim band. Pictures #3 and #4 are examples of that.

My builder and his siding sub are telling me that the flashing isn't important between the brick and the hardi siding band because water will get behind the brick wall either way and it's designed to handle it. However, they conceded that if I wanted to, they would caulk that joint.

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Thought....

The brick veneer base should have flashing, weeps, and wicks to drain any water out of the wall. If they're there (doubtful, can't see any), they'd be covered by the earth, and unable to drain.

IOW, any water that gets in the wall would be retained in the wall, doing what water does (all bad).

What all this means to the homeowner is the flashing detail becomes even more critically important. Someone's gotta come up w/a better detail.

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Kurt,

When they built the brick wall they put a ton of weep tubes from top to bottom but the builder did back-fill with dirt. I asked him if the weep-tubes would allow termites to get in behind the brick and he said that he never thought about it before but that's the way all the brick houses are built.

I know they put a moisture barrier behind the brick wall as well.

-- Jay

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What Kurt says makes sense, and I see the same thing.

Not to get too picky or anything, but there is supposed to be an uncaulked gap between that flashing and fiber cement siding above the belly band/ water table as well. The installation details can be found on- line at Certainteed's website, or Hardi- Plank's website depending on the manufacturer of the siding.

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The weep holes are supposed to be installed directly above through wall flashing. You can't just drill the holes through the brick. The flashing acts as a ledge and forces water to drain out of the weep holes. The weep holes are directly above the flashing. The finished grade level should have been installed beneath the weep holes. Installation details can be found at the BIA.org website, I think it was tech note 7, but I'll have to look it up. Check the links below for installation details/ diagrams

http://bia.org/html/frmset_thnt.htm

http://bia.org/html/frmset_thnt.htm

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I went through some photos and found one that might give more info re: brick weep holes in this house.

They had to replace the doors in this section and they ripped off some brick to accomplish. It looks like tar paper is used for flashing inside the wall and I circled a weep hole that can be seen just above slab level. There are a ton of these around the house so hopefully this part was done correctly. BTW, all weep holes are little clear plastic tubes.

The house was built with a poured footer all the way around and a 2 ft wall on this side. Then they poured a slab over the footer.

brick_weep_hole.jpg

Thanks for the assistance,

Jay

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The (usual) reason for the weeps being covered is the simple error of not siting the house at sufficient elevation to have the weeps above finish grade. A common error.

I didn't realize this house was a slab. There might be weeps that I can't see in the photos. If so, my thought is misplaced.

You just want to be sure that the weeps are exposed. Hopefully, the interior details are correct to provide drainage.

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Kurt,

So if the drainage is ok in the brick wall with weeps and all, am I ok? I'm being told that you can't keep water from getting behind the brick wall anyway and the drainage will handle it. That and the drip edge on top of the siding band are reasons why we don't need flashing between brick and band.

I'm meeting with the siding guy tomorrow and I just need to know if I should insist on the flashing or if the caulk or no action is ok.

If I insist then it'll be me against the builder, site super, and siding contractor. I'd like to sound like I know what I'm talking about :)

Thanks again,

Jay

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One other observation made by Brandon in another conversation he and I are having........

Is the black material in the photo (left of the door opening) the through wall flashing? If it is, it looks like it is lapped over the housewrap. That means water entering the wall runs down behind the flashing and into the interior.

The idea that water runs downhill and that lap details have to be OVER each other as one works up a wall are ideas that escape a surprising number of contractors.

Not trying to start an avalanche here, but there's things to consider that the contractor doesn't seem to be cognizant of.

To answer your question though.....

If the drainage in the wall is OK, yes, you'll also be OK. While many folks refuse to believe this, you can look at this stuff and know if it's OK or not. Just imagine water getting behind the brick, and visualize where it would go. If you're seeing areas it can flow into, then it will. If you're seeing details that direct and divert the water to the exterior in a logical gravitational path, then the water will go to the exterior. It isn't rocket surgery. Water runs downhill in the path of least resistance.

Don't get too hung up on code language (it's arcane), silly contractors ideas about flashings (most don't have a clue and will say anything to appear knowledgeable), or anything else. Look for holes and gaps, and figure out what happens when the water gets in them (because it will).

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I frequently see missing flashing between siding transitions. I also often see flashing caulked up. I report both since it is not best practice and makes no sense to ignore any opportunity to reduce water infiltration and allow water drainage. The contractors are the same here with their brainless reasoning.

In the attached from last Friday the flashing had poor overlap and allowed water entry underneath. People seem to forget about what a good wind driven rain can do.

Image Insert:

200831184127_wrong.jpg

77.89 KB

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Hi,

Jay, you keep referring to that as a Hardi trim band. I couldn't tell from the photo that the piece of trim was fiber-cement. If it is, the answer is simple - there must be flashing because Hardie requires a capillary break between their product and concrete or brickwork.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Thank you all for your assistance.

This morning I met with the contractors and builder. In the end, they agreed to pull off the siding band and install the flashing but there was a lot of talk about how things might get torn up during the process and I balked.

We installed vinyl windows in this house and the siding band butts up against them. I already found out how fragile those windows can be when the brick guys banged a few up. My fear is that when they pull that band off they'll crack a few of the vinyl windows with hairline cracks and I'll have an even bigger problem down the road. Not to mention that this project is cost plus and I might get stuck with paying for some of that.

The top row of bricks is slanted down and away from the siding and we have a drip edge above the band. What we finally decided to do was have the brick guys come out and fill any gaps in the top of the brick wall (near the siding) with mortar and after it dries, we'll caulk over it. I'm sure it will be fine. Unfortunately it will become a maintenance issue more than it would have. If any water does get down there then the flashing and weep holes inside the brick wall will hopefully manage.

At this point I think that's the most prudent course of action.

Thanks again,

Jay

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I just received a reply from James Hardie. I'll post here in case this issue is helpful for others...

From: Mark Van Dorselaer [mailto:Mark.Dorselaer@Jameshardie.com]

Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 1:55 PM

To: Jay Reeder

Subject: RE: Question re: Hardie Siding installation in Georgia

Jay,

Butting to mortar or masonry - Best Practice Recomendation

James Hardie® siding and trim products should not be butted directly against mortar or masonry, including stone and brick. In these situations, a flashing should be installed to isolate the trim or siding from the mortar or masonry.

Thank You

Mark Van DorselaerJames Hardie Building Products

800-942-7343

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  • 3 weeks later...
Originally posted by jayreeder

I went through some photos and found one that might give more info re: brick weep holes in this house.

They had to replace the doors in this section and they ripped off some brick to accomplish. It looks like tar paper is used for flashing inside the wall and I circled a weep hole that can be seen just above slab level. There are a ton of these around the house so hopefully this part was done correctly. BTW, all weep holes are little clear plastic tubes.

The house was built with a poured footer all the way around and a 2 ft wall on this side. Then they poured a slab over the footer.

brick_weep_hole.jpg

Thanks for the assistance,

Jay

Jay you need the hire a home inspector immediately to make multiple inspections and an attorney to review your contract soon after!!! You need a team. You got a bad feeling and your probably right!!! [:-banghea

Keep taking pictures even if you think every thing is done correctly.

Someone else may see it differently. Don't wait to to see if every thing turns out ok. While your under construction you have more leverage to make the builder follow the codes.

[:-magnify One thought of the buried weep holes is if they incorrectly installed the weep holes and through the wall flashing at a brick shelf (if this house has one).

It is hard to believe they would back fill over the sill on purpose. And from the picture it's hard to tell if there is flashing at the floor under the threshold [:-weepn] The lower black material looks like through the wall flashing and just above looks like reversed lapped felt paper to the house wrap. With the offset of the brick above your bound to take on plenty of water but you may not realize it until it's to late since your on a slab.

Jay you will regret not having one of these fine inspectors at every step and don't count on your local building inspector to catch problems and they may not even be inspecting this stuff your concerned about or even know what they are looking at [:-bigeyes

Your way ahead of most people that are building homes. Keep researching. This site offers great info. and links.

Good Luck

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