Contributed by Roy F. Schauffele
I opened up my business in Texas on July 4, 1987 and have been in continuous operation since then. When I came to Texas about 65 to 70% of the leak issues I dealt with were roof related, now the vast majority of building envelope leaks that I handle are related to the walls and windows. There are a variety of reasons for these problems:
We all need to realize that today’s walls are being designed for a 40+ year life span and we must adjust our thinking accordingly. Product warranties could be a good indicator of how long the product is anticipated to last. We must also realize that the total installed cost of a flashing system should be taken into serious consideration, and not just the cost of materials. The Brick Institute Association (BIA) has excellent Tech Notes 7 & 7A (Click for link) on this topic at www.gobrick.com/Technical-Notes. This is one of the reference resources I use.
Please remember that for through wall flashing to work properly, the flashing material/assembly must extend beyond the face of the mortar.
Today’s cavity walls are a chemical soup of ingredients:
Many a time in our industry, the myth becomes reality. Here are a couple of the most egregious myths and the manufacturer’s position:
As a wrap up to this article, through wall and window flashings cost about 0.15% of a project’s cost and comprise way too many of today’s leak complaints. All decisions should be based on physical properties (like puncture resistance, number of lap joints, chart below), methods of proper installation, chemical compatibility, with a good look at the product warranties which could be indicative of anticipated wall-life expectancy.
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