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  1. #1
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    Default Why leave the window flashing off?

    It doesn't take much brain power to understand the need for window flashing, and it takes very little effort, skill or money to install it during the normal process of building a new home.

    I booked an inspection for this upcoming week on a new house that is not too far from where I live. A little detour in my normal evening walk and I go right by this new house. The window install catches my eye from the street, and since the house is empty I decide to do a little stealth pre inspection. I generally carry a tiny camera in my pocket, so I take the below pics.

    How can the municipal code inspector sign off on the C of O when I can see what I interpret as a problem from the street. The IRC, The Virginia Building Code, The Hardie Plank Installation Manual and I assume the window manufacturer all call for flashing at the tops of widows.

    I know we can't see what moisture barriers and or flexible adhesive flashings the installers might have installed under the siding, but what am I missing here ? Can anyone construct, and educate me, on a reasonable scenario that the windows in the below pics are installed even close to what is generally agreed to be acceptable. The caulking at the top of the one window I took a pic of even has voids in it.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    You are asking a question for which there isn't enough space on the internet to provide an answer. 'Why are people stupid, lazy or both?'
    You also seem to be assuming the Muni inspector actually got out of his car and looked at the building. Ever hear of the traditional 'drive-by' inspection?
    Hammer the place mercilessly and protect your client. Not much else we can do. Unless you want to rat out the developer and Muni inspector AFTER your client decides not to buy the place.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    It doesn't take much brain power to understand the need for window flashing, and it takes very little effort, skill or money to install it during the normal process of building a new home.

    I booked an inspection for this upcoming week on a new house that is not too far from where I live. A little detour in my normal evening walk and I go right by this new house. The window install catches my eye from the street, and since the house is empty I decide to do a little stealth pre inspection. I generally carry a tiny camera in my pocket, so I take the below pics.

    How can the municipal code inspector sign off on the C of O when I can see what I interpret as a problem from the street. The IRC, The Virginia Building Code, The Hardie Plank Installation Manual and I assume the window manufacturer all call for flashing at the tops of widows.

    I know we can't see what moisture barriers and or flexible adhesive flashings the installers might have installed under the siding, but what am I missing here ? Can anyone construct, and educate me, on a reasonable scenario that the windows in the below pics are installed even close to what is generally agreed to be acceptable. The caulking at the top of the one window I took a pic of even has voids in it.

    Those windows more than likely have a large flange around them and some I have seen act effectively as a flashing. As long as the wrap or stick on was lapped properly under the siding and also lapped over the siding directly under the window I have see many installations with absolutely no water getting in around the window onto the sheathing or into the wall cavity and framing. That is of course if there is full sheathing and wrap on the home under the siding.

    I pulled apart the siding around a few windows on a home in Florida specifically because some one pointed it out to the home owner. I found nothing at all. I have remodeled homes that had bee put together this way and found no water infiltration. Of course all were sealed extremely well under that siding.

    Not saying it was right. I just found no concerns once pulled apart. Of course that is not saying I have never pulled siding off where there were no concerns. As long as it was done properly under the siding and sealed very well and lapped over the siding directly under the window....no problems.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    The problem is that some manufacturers of flanged windows do not recommend/require/supply a head flashing ("drip cap") in that application, and in that case you have to fall back on the more general flashing requirements in the IRC when recommending their installation - which may not be a fight you can win for your client.

    Absent a specific manufacturer's recommendation/requirement, I start by directing clients here for an example of the practice of "better" installers:

    http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021197054.pdf

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 10-17-2010 at 06:17 PM.
    Michael Thomas
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    The problem is that some manufacturers of flanged windows do not recommend/require/supply a head flashing ("drip cap") in that application, and in that case you have to fall back on the more general flashing requirements in the IRC when recommending their installation - which may not be a fight you can win for your client.

    Absent a specific manufacturer's recommendation/requirement, I start by directing clients here for an example of the practice of "better" installers:

    http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021197054.pdf
    That is a good one and also I suggest everyone sign up at the APA site to download the PDF titled walls as it has good illustrations of flashing the windows.
    http://www.apawood.org/level_c.cfm?c...TOKEN=36642363


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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Your not missing anything Robert, They need drip cap as per code on the window head. They use typical windows like this with hardcoat stucco and slide backer rod into the intergrated throat, what a mess that is in 2 to 3 years. For repairs we friction fit AZEK in the perimeter throat and then casing bead gapped away for the soft joint.

    Here is the flashing link

    http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/USTB_...-J-Channel.pdf

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Robert
    This is simple. The windows are improperly installed, and should be installed according to the manufactures. Both the window and siding. There are installation instructions available. Do not worry about the Code Enforcement nor the Contractor. They will not be in court to defend you. If you are worried about the Contractor or Code Enforcement put an installation guide in your report. They can be gotten off the internet. As for the remodeler do not go there. We can not see behind that siding and do not care what is happening at this time. Its what is go to happen in the future. There is a reason that the manufacture puts out an installation guide.
    Bruce


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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    How can the municipal code inspector sign off on the C of O when I can see what I interpret as a problem from the street. The IRC, The Virginia Building Code, The Hardie Plank Installation Manual and I assume the window manufacturer all call for flashing at the tops of widows.
    Speaking of the Hardie Plank installation manual, it looks like that butt joint might be caulked in the first picture. The installation instructions read:

    INSTALLATION:
    JOINT TREATMENT†
    (Required for ColorPlus® Finish, Recommended for Primed product) James Hardie does not recommend the use of caulk at field butt joints. Install factory finished edges together at butt joints.
    Furthermore they illustrate the use of a WRB behind the butt joint. I suspect this is going to be a fun inspection for you.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    I always report this as missing cap flashing on doors and windows. At least its a pretty easy fix if your buyers want to push the issue. (removal of siding is easy - compared to stucco)

    I find 75% of the new homes around here do not have cap flashing installed.

    Why they don't install it? Who knows? Ignorance or laziness?


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Also, If a flashing is installed below the lower edge of any James Hardi product, there is a 1/4" holdback requirement. A lot of builders and homeowners find this unsightly, which is another "reason" such flashing is omitted. And, of course, if present it is often caulked during construction or maintenance.

    When the holdback it's missing/obstructed, I pair this with a picture of an omitted/obstructed flashing:



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    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 10-18-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    As for a Hardi requirement for "Z" flashing itself above windows and doors, I've been able to find this requirement in the installation instructions for vertical HardiPanel siding and battens, but not for the horizontal siding or trim products. So AFAIK, for the latter installations the best you can do is reference the more general IRC flashing requirements - as Joseph noted there is a reference to "Z" flashing over horizontal breaks such as windows and doors in the "J" channel tech note per the "Hardi Installation Instructions", but if there is no requirement in the instructions for this flashing with the horizontal and trim products, that's not much help.

    Please note that I agree the flashing ought to be there.

    And if it's in the installation instructions for the horizontal and trim products, I'd appreciate a link.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 10-18-2010 at 09:32 AM.
    Michael Thomas
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Past experience has shown that the problems in the future will be at the bottom of the window.

    The window is a vinyl new construction with nailing flange. The flange will protect water penetration from the top and sides but will allow water to infiltrate behind the siding at the bottom of the window.

    Usually mechanic will bed siding into caulk to seal. Though not the best method. Better utilizes a flashing under the bottom of the nailing flange and behind the board just below the window to exrend to the course prior to the one meeting the lower edge of window.
    Better is a self adhesive membrane flashing used to seal around the window as the siding is being installed that laps behind the board of the course just below the window

    This method may not be visible to you. Need to look under bottom edge of board for the flashing.

    Visible flashing makes it easier to verify, though these windows are not designed for it.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Thanks for all the replies and links to my rant. The piss poor performance by the municipal inspectors is something I'm increasingly less and less tolerant of.
    __________________________________________________ _____________

    Michael.....here's the text from page 15 of Hardie Planks Best Practices Installation Guide for Siding and Trim Products. Not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for.

    When using James Hardie siding, trim, and weather barrier products, make sure that roof flashing, water table flashing, window and door flashing, and flashing for other building envelope penetrations are properly installed and lapped so that moisture drains down and to the exterior. Note: The successful installation of flashing requires thorough planning before installation of roofing or siding. Scheduling and sequencing are important factors as well as having the correct flashings available on site at the correct time. James Hardie does not recommend the use of mill finished, raw aluminum flashing or any other product that may bleed or adversely react with cement products. Painted or coated aluminum flashings are recommended.


    IBC Code Reference: “1405.3 Flashing. Flashing shall be installed in such a manner so as to prevent moisture from entering the wall or to redirect it to the exterior. Flashing shall be installed at the perimeters of exterior door and window assemblies, penetrations and terminations of exterior wall assemblies, exterior wall intersections with roofs, chimneys, porches, decks, balconies and similar projections and at built-in gutters and similar locations where moisture could enter the wall. Flashing with projecting flanges shall be installed on both sides and the ends of copings, under sills and continuously above projecting trim.”



  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Michael...I haven't seen that illustration in my travels through the Hardie Plank literature, but I have seen the image. I assume you created that particular illustration yourself. What program did you use ? Adobe Photoshop or something similar ?


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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Michael...I haven't seen that illustration in my travels through the Hardie Plank literature, but I have seen the image. I assume you created that particular illustration yourself. What program did you use ? Adobe Photoshop or something similar ?
    It's figure 7 on this document: http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/insta...eplank-hz5.pdf


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Yep...I've seen the image there in Figure 7...but I think Michael has added the additional text above and below that image to make a more to the point illustration for home inspection reports.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Michael.....here's the text from page 15 of Hardie Planks Best Practices Installation Guide for Siding and Trim Products. Not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for.

    When using James Hardie siding, trim, and weather barrier products, make sure that roof flashing, water table flashing, window and door flashing, and flashing for other building envelope penetrations are properly installed and lapped so that moisture drains down and to the exterior. Note: The successful installation of flashing requires thorough planning before installation of roofing or siding. Scheduling and sequencing are important factors as well as having the correct flashings available on site at the correct time. James Hardie does not recommend the use of mill finished, raw aluminum flashing or any other product that may bleed or adversely react with cement products. Painted or coated aluminum flashings are recommended.


    IBC Code Reference: “1405.3 Flashing. Flashing shall be installed in such a manner so as to prevent moisture from entering the wall or to redirect it to the exterior. Flashing shall be installed at the perimeters of exterior door and window assemblies, penetrations and terminations of exterior wall assemblies, exterior wall intersections with roofs, chimneys, porches, decks, balconies and similar projections and at built-in gutters and similar locations where moisture could enter the wall. Flashing with projecting flanges shall be installed on both sides and the ends of copings, under sills and continuously above projecting trim.”

    That's about as close as it gets in the Hardi documentation for horizontal and trim products: flashing shall be "properly installed and lapped so that moisture drains down and to the exterior", but the requirement for the flashing itself is not explicitly stated as it is for the Hardipanel products and battens, so we are back to the less specific code requirements to establish that the flashings themselves are required.

    Don't get me wrong: I write up "missing" flashings every time I encounter them, I just wish Hardi would document the flashings themselves as required when installing their horizontal and trim products; I like to think of myself as performing "evidence based" inspection and reporting, and I like my "evidence" for requirements to be as unambiguous as possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post

    Same problem as above: as I read that, Hardi requires a holdback where there is a flashing, but does not explicitly require the flashing itself...


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Michael...I haven't seen that illustration in my travels through the Hardie Plank literature, but I have seen the image. I assume you created that particular illustration yourself. What program did you use ? Adobe Photoshop or something similar ?

    It was captured from the Hardi documentation (as sourced at the bottom of the illustration) with the Win 7 "Snipping Tool" and formatted in Photoshop Elements - that's the standard format I use when presenting such information in my reports. Anyone comfortable that the source attribution meets "fair-use" (c) requirements is welcome to use any of these I post here.




    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Past experience has shown that the problems in the future will be at the bottom of the window...The flange will protect water penetration from the top and sides but will allow water to infiltrate behind the siding at the bottom of the window.

    This is another illustration of the limitations of the Hardi documentation: lower corner flashings are required by Hardi (for example in the "J" channel tech note), but if you feel there should be a full pan flashing there (as illustrated in the Fine Homebuilding article) you need to look to the window manufacturer's installation instructions and hope they require it (the Hardi instructions require the installation meet both sets of requirements).

    This is a particular concern of mine as the majority of my income is from water intrusion inspections and consulting as opposed to general home inspections, and I like be be able to make the strongest possible case for my clients when they seek to have such problems corrected, while developers and builders are often trying to evade responsibility to fix problems I find.

    In this case, it's very desirable to be able to point to a specific, documented requirement for a given installation detail, rather than to try to convince everyone a requirement can or should be infered from references to some other document or code requierment.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Thanks Michael....that's what I thought on both accounts....no explicit smoking gun text by Hardie Plank and you created that illustration.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Robert Foster, Michael Thomas (and all):

    The "Smoking Gun" exists ("precise document to point to") from James Hardie!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Thanks Michael....that's what I thought on both accounts....no explicit smoking gun text by Hardie Plank and you created that illustration.
    Michael Thomas did not create the illustration, it was snipped from HardiePlank Installation Instructions (Fig. 6).

    There is both text and illustrations which serve as your required "Smoking Gun" published by James Hardie.

    It is a two-page Technical Bulletin. A clickable direct link, a partial quote, and the entire document (pdf) itself is attached, all are further below.

    Although the references to local building codes, penetration flashings, etc. are referenced in general in the instructions, James Hardie has produced numerous "technical Bulletins" which suppliment both the Installation Requirements and the Best Practice Guide.

    The instant original topic, photos, and discussion seems to be centered on the defective installation of HardiePlank and Windows with Integrated "J" Channel (and in the case where there is no in-between alternate accessory or trim; or window manufacturer's accessory or trim extensions)and the missing flashings and the desire to have something precise from James Hardie requiring for example "Z" flashing above the windows shown in the photos.

    As the discussion has developed, I have read several are seeking something clear and definative from James Hardie that would indicate precise language, etc. regarding language from James Hardie specifically requiring (using the word "MUST") flashing ...

    So, here you go!!!

    This is a direct link to the Technical Bulletin "Installing James Hardie Products Around Windows with Integrated "J" Channel" (clickable link follows):

    http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/USTB_...-J-Channel.pdf

    Note especially number 3 quoted below:

    1. All windows must be installed per manufacturer's installation instructions and must incorporate all necessary flashings.

    2. At the bottom sides of the window, a flashing must be installed that will redirect any water that runs down the inside of the "J" channel out and away so that it does not run down the wall assembly and behind the siding below the window.
    • a. This can be done by inserting a flashing that runs the entire length of the window (option 1) or by cutting the weather resistive barrier towards the bottom of the window and inserting a smaller flashing and taping with seam tape to reseal the weather resistive barrier (option 2).
    • b. This flashing would then be lapped over the last plank at the bottom of the window, similar to a joint flashing, to direct water down and out to the front of the cladding.
    3. A "z" flashing must be installed and integrated into the weather resistive barrier at the top of the window. The "z" flashing will allow water to be drained away from the window and wall, opposed to being captured in the "J" at the top of the window. (Refer to James Hardie Installation Instructions for further "z" flashing details).

    4. Seal all field cut non factory ends with an exterior grade paint, primer, or sealer.
    • a. Insert ends of plank into the "J" channel of the window.
    • b. Do not caulk into the "J" channel.
    I have additionally attached the two page pdf document. I believe you will further find the two "figures" on page 2 to be what you additonally desire.

    "Smoking Gun" herewith provided.

    Hoping that helps, and serves meet your instant and future requirements.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-18-2010 at 12:52 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Robert Foster, and all:

    Also, regarding "additional ammunition" for that "Smoking Gun", perhaps I should also point out and quote the black box warning at the bottom of page 1 of the Technical Bulletin document (AKA USTB 2:Version 1.0):

    IMPORTANT: Failure to install and finish this product in accordance with applicable building codes and James Hardie written application instructions may affect system performance, violate local building codes, void the product-only warranty and lead to personal injury.
    Back to the JamesHardie HardiePlank Installation Instructions which has already been referred to in this discussion by others, earlier: a few select quotes.

    First the WARNING at the top of the document:


    IMPORTANT: FAILURE TO INSTALL AND FINISH THIS PRODUCT IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE BUILDING CODES AND JAMES HARDIE'S WRITTEN APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS MAY LEAD TO PERSONAL INJURY, AFFECT SYSTEM PERFORMANCE, VIOLATE LOCAL BUILDING CODES, AND VOID THE PRODUCT ONLY WARRANTY.


    Next a few selected "bullet points" under "GENERAL REQUIREMENTS"


    • A Weather-resistive barrier is required in accordance with local building code requirements. The weather resistive barrier must be appropriately installed with penetration and junction flashings in accordance with local building code requirements. James Hardie will assume no responsibility for water infiltration.
    • Maintain a 1/4" clearance between James Hardie products and horizontal flashing (Fig. 6).
    • Do not install James Hardie products, such that they may remain in contact with standing water.



    Finally a tid-bit under INSTALLATION (Michael Thomas has already supplied Fig. 6):

    Install factory finished edges together at butt joints.
    For other joining options, refer to local building code or NER 405.

    Again, Hope the "Smoking Gun" and additional "ammo" work for you.




  22. #22
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    H.G.

    Well... not quite a smoking gun:

    The "J" channel tech note requires a "Z" flashing, and we are referred to the "James Hardie Installation Instructions for further "z" flashing details", and can find them for HardiPanel vertical siding and battens on the first page of the HardiPanel installation instructions at

    http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/insta...epanel-hz5.pdf

    However AFAIK there is no "Z" flashing detail specified as such anywhere in the Hardi documentation for HardiPlank or HardiTrim products.

    "Of course" we both "know" that the detail is the same as for the HardiPanel products and battens, and also the same as the flashing detail illustrated in the 1/4" holdback detail in the HardiPlank instructions.

    But it's still not the same thing as being able to point to a "required "Z" flashing detail" in the HardiPlank and HardiTrim instructions - unfortunately I've not been able to find this detail explicitly present as such in their documentation, as it is for the HardiPanel products.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 10-18-2010 at 01:32 PM.
    Michael Thomas
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    I do believe those are vinyl windows with a nailing flange on all four sides. The casings were added and trimmed with aluminum coil for appearance sake only, which also confuses the issue. There might not be anything wrong with the installation. James Hardie still has not made up their own mind on how to install their product, hence all the field changes, and their warranty reads like most manufacturer's warranty, give you one in the large print and take it away in the fine print.
    If you do not think the window is creating a water tight opening, hit it with a water hose and watch how the water is handled. Lots of time we want to jump on that band wagon and declare things wrong which is a CYA mentality.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Michael,

    The Technical Bulletin I posted pertains to ALL Hardie products. It requires Z-flashing for integrated J-channel windows (as shown in the OP photographs).

    It IS the smoking Gun.

    It states specifically that it (the Technical Document) ENHANCES the product instructons and the "best practices" guide.

    Please download and review the document I quoted, linked to, and Posted.

    James Hardie has several Technical Bulletins and Application Specific Instructions.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    H.G.,

    You "get it".

    And I get it.

    The issue is that, real world, it's easier for other people (and especially people who don't want to get it, because it costs them money if they do get it) to "get it" if it is all there in one place, as it is in the HardiPanel instructions, but is not in the Hardiplank and HardiTrim instructions.

    Also, there are a certain number of people (some of them clients, sellers, builders, developers...and even (gasp) inspectors) who are just not smart enough - or whose "minds just don't work that way" - and who will NEVER "get it"...

    .... unless it's all in one, nice, neat diagram.

    And it's for those people that I wish Hardi had put the explicit "z" flashing diagram and instructions that are in the HardiPanel instructions in the HardiPlank and HardiTrim instructions as well.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    And it's for those people that I wish Hardi had put the explicit "z" flashing diagram and instructions that are in the HardiPanel instructions in the HardiPlank and HardiTrim instructions as well.


    Speaking to a builder the other day who said Retailers of JH siding have been directed to include copies of this Bulletin with all siding sales...

    lets hope so...

    We know why you fly: because the bus is too expensive and the railroad has a dress code...
    www.atozinspector.com

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    I do believe those are vinyl windows with a nailing flange on all four sides. The casings were added and trimmed with aluminum coil for appearance sake only, which also confuses the issue. There might not be anything wrong with the installation. James Hardie still has not made up their own mind on how to install their product, hence all the field changes, and their warranty reads like most manufacturer's warranty, give you one in the large print and take it away in the fine print.
    If you do not think the window is creating a water tight opening, hit it with a water hose and watch how the water is handled. Lots of time we want to jump on that band wagon and declare things wrong which is a CYA mentality.
    To me, these window appear to have an integral brickmoulding that acts as a J channel. The casings are actually part of the window, not added afterwards. They are really designed for vynl siding to fit in the channel. IF the building wrap is installed properly (over the top of the nail flange) and butyl tape is used properly, the nail flange actually becomes the drip cap. Adding another drip cap is useless. Again this is assuming the install under the siding is correct. I agree Philip, don't call something wrong unless you know for sure...

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Michael,

    The Technical Bulletin I posted pertains to ALL Hardie products. It requires Z-flashing for integrated J-channel windows (as shown in the OP photographs).

    It IS the smoking Gun.

    It states specifically that it (the Technical Document) ENHANCES the product instructons and the "best practices" guide.

    Please download and review the document I quoted, linked to, and Posted.

    James Hardie has several Technical Bulletins and Application Specific Instructions.
    Now with that said.

    Does it really matter what James Hardi says about the flashing at the top. There are windows with the flashing built in and as A couple above have stated.......the picture we see may be just right and nothing wrong with it. After all isn't it the window install and instructions that really counts. James hardis diagrams are just that. James hardi diagrams. As far as it goes the only consideration for hardi plank would be the joints and the rest of the water proofing for ITS materials. Or if the window manufacturer says it must have flashing at the top

    Now for any of us to just not write up that it may be wrong and it just has some tiny flange on the window and no stick on......I guess we could possibly eat it....but we no nothing of what is behind any siding unless we were there for the install.


  29. #29

    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    I would stop by and ask the contractor to advise you on how he flashed these windows, tell him you are intersted in this brand of window and the installation procedure.

    Might be O.K.?????


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Now with that said.

    Does it really matter what James Hardi says about the flashing at the top. There are windows with the flashing built in and as A couple above have stated.......the picture we see may be just right and nothing wrong with it. After all isn't it the window install and instructions that really counts. James hardis diagrams are just that. James hardi diagrams. As far as it goes the only consideration for hardi plank would be the joints and the rest of the water proofing for ITS materials. Or if the window manufacturer says it must have flashing at the top

    Now for any of us to just not write up that it may be wrong and it just has some tiny flange on the window and no stick on......I guess we could possibly eat it....but we no nothing of what is behind any siding unless we were there for the install.
    I agree totally... and what are we trying to determine, what is wrong?? The window installation or the siding. Just because Hardi wants their siding installed a certain way doesn't make the window installation incorrect.

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  31. #31
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Door Guy View Post
    IF the building wrap is installed properly (over the top of the nail flange) and butyl tape is used properly, the nail flange actually becomes the drip cap.

    Again this is assuming the install under the siding is correct.

    FWIW, in my area the city and county now require a house wrap inspection, the main purpose of this inspection is to check the window installation.
    James Hardi is only one of the manufactures of fiber cement siding, so I would use caution in calling it wrong.

    Also, HG, I was not aware of the technical bulletin you posted, thanks.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    They are other than flat window profiles.

    If you look at the second picture, and instead of focusing at the window above, look at and blow up the window top underneath closer to grade.

    One shouldn't have to debate the obvious profile, apparently some feel now we have to. The same profile is used for snap in trim from manufacturer, it is an integrated "J" it is well proud of any nailing flange should they be present, and the window frame. Hardie "partners" (at least two) provide "accessories" just for this situation.

    I agree with Michael and MIke, it would be nicer to have all merged into a single, clear and concise Installation Instruction document, with singular en-toto revisions. Its complicated by design, as is the decision to not brand accessories. Keeps potential qualifing class at a low percentage, and basically ensures an "out" (defective installation) odds-wise for any potential product warranty claim (point to an alledged contributory defect in installation, no need to come through on the product only, moisture issue disclaimed warranty). When corporate litigation attorneys get involved in business decisions and circle the wagons, they construct virutal mazes and obsticle courses for the consumer, installer, etc. to make make the path difficult to navigate - if not impossible to complete a completely defect free installation according to the obscure documentation, on over-changing documents, document numbers, and each with everchanging dates - none of which are cohesive or coordinated. Thus creating a shield or immunity for claims for the company (or at least an impossilble threshold of cost vs. benefit for a class action - guaranteeing massive expenses with a high probability factor that the majority of the class will have defects in installation so as to eliminate, maintaining a high overhead; thus discouraging pursuit of the class claim/class action, and minimizing the potential "loss" to the company).

    Mike,

    I doubt that will happen, since Hardie Plank is retailed now at Lowes - to the DIYer. The Teeny Tiny footnotes and vague installation instructions (four pages) has been dumbed down and is devoid of details or references to even the existance of Technical Bulletins. I believe this is by design as indicated above.

    Chris,

    You're welcome.

    There are several such application specific documents on the J.H. site.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-18-2010 at 08:52 PM.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Robert,

    Are the windows caulked to the siding at the top of the window?

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    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
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  34. #34
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Robert,

    Are the windows caulked to the siding at the top of the window?
    The one I snapped a quick picture of while out on my evening walk is....I inspect the house this morning and will get to have a better look all around.

    I browsed the installation instructions from four other manufacturers of Fiber Cement Siding and like Hardie Plank, they all call for no caulking and the 1/4" gap between horizontal siding and horizontal flashing.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Da' plot thickens...

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    IRC:
    Section R-106, Construction Documents...
    R106.1.2 Manufacturer’s installation instructions.
    Manufacturer’s installation instructions, as required by this code, shall be available on the job site at the time of inspection.

    Definition:
    MANUFACTURER’S INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS.
    Printed instructions included with equipment as part of the conditions of listing and labeling.

    James Hardie Products Installation Guide:
    ..."All windows must be installed per manufacturers installation instructions and must incorporate all necessary flashings."...
    ..."A "z" flashing must be installed and integrated into the weather resistive barrier at the top of the window."...

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    I inspected the house this morning. The windows are M&W Classic Vinyl Series with an integral siding pocket. The windows are caulked along the top to the siding on one side of the house, as in my original pictures, and are not caulked on the other 3 sides of the house. There is no Z flashing above any windows or doors. The Fiber Cement siding is manufactured by James Hardie.


    The Ply Gem website , which is the company that owns M&W, is under remodeling and does not have any installation instructions available so I called the company and spoke with engineering about the flashing requirements. I was told by the engineer..."we do not require any Z flashing along the tops of any of our vinyl windows, but siding manufacturers may require it".


    I was sent a 2 page general installation PDF which I've attached. This is according to the engineer the most detailed installation literature they provide for the Classic Vinyl Series windows, and is identical to the window sticker placed on every window prior to leaving the factory. It says the usual about following local building codes plus reiterates what the engineer told me about deferring to siding manufacturers.


    Follow the siding manufacturer’s requirements for sealing between the siding and window frames.


    The Hardie Plank Technical Bulletin posted by Joseph above states without a doubt that Hardie Plank wants Z flashing installed at the tops of windows with integral siding pockets.


    A “z” flashing must be installed and integrated into the weather resistive barrier at the top of the window. The “z” flashing will allow water to be drained away from the window and wall, opposed to being captured in the “J” at the top of the window.


    IMO when M&W windows with an integral siding pocket are installed on a house clad with Hardie Plank siding you can comfortably write up that the windows require flashing along the top and have sufficient supporting literature at your disposal.


    Forget about the literature though. When did it ever start making sense to knowingly allow water behind the siding in one location (at the window header) and count on it safely exiting out from behind the siding at another location (at the bottom of the window). If all the high tech house wraps, tapes and flexible flashings are installed correctly and they actually stay adhered for anywhere near the decades or centuries long service life we hope our houses have, what happens after a couple of coats of paint clog the siding overlaps below the bottom of the window...where's that water go then?










  38. #38
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Way to go Robert. Doing the hardcore homework to slap that contractor into place. Nice job.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  39. #39
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    So as not to confuse, those are M&W windows and not Marvin Windows. I believe Jen-Weld brought them a few years ago. I do not believe there is a integral slot on the top to accept siding but has a molded into the frame nailing flange. The casings are added for appearance sake and trimmed in aluminum coil, as the window comes with a very narrow 'casing'. You can not tell by the picture but the builder is trying to achieve a wood window look. It is a new house, and before I get into a pissing contest with the builder I will look at the plans and see what the architect calls for. I was a project manager on a job once when an issue of a firewall came up and the Fire Chief did not think it was correct. The engineer pointed to his seal at the bottom of the plans. The wall stayed.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Philip, pointing to the engineer's seal on the plans may work where you are but it doesn't necessarily cut it around here. If the Muni inspector calls it out, the engineer or arch has to provide proof that it is compliant in regards to what the inspector is calling out.
    It is very common around here for plans to be approved by the permit dept but then be called out as non-compliant by the field inspector. We have a 'self-certification' program here for Arch's/SE's. Essentially they draw up the plans, state that they are compliant and it expedites the permit process. Sometimes, once the paper gets translated into actual construction, it isn't compliant (if it even was in the first place). Also not looking for a pissing contest, just a point of information.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    I'm so embarassed, I completely missed the post from Joseph Ernhart (spelling?).

    I got so caught up in reading the ensuing posts with Michael and Robert, I must have scrolled past it multiple times and never caught it, until I saw mention of a post from a Joseph in Robert Foster's most recent post that I hadn't recalled seeing. Scrolled back up and it was there plain as day up near the beginning of the discussion. Went to post a reply about my embarassment, scrolled down below the typing box to check the spelling of his name, and it wasn't/isn't.


  42. #42
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Marcus, I did not mean to imply that the architect or the SE is always right, but before you challenge them your ducks had better be swimming in the right direction. And do builders sometimes not follow the plans, you bettca. Products are installed wrong all the time. I once looked at a vinyl gutter cover that had diagrams on the panel showing the right way and the wrong way to install the product. They were the exact same picture, only one had the wrong designation. Once I called on a house where the red vinyl siding had molted and was now gray and pink. The homeowner told me that the factory rep (Certainteed) showed up and denied the claim because it was "installed wrong."


  43. #43
    Joao Vieira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    All humans makes mistakes, engineers, architects or not.

    I find many and I always try a phone call clarify. Sometimes still during construction was just a copy and paste from another project and it's easy to fix. Sometimes it's not.

    Be polite. Imagine your reaction when someone comes yelling at you because you forgot something on your report.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Hmm - doesn't the IRC say flashing over wood surfaces that protrude past the surface? Wood is the escape word. I've seen cases where wood cased windows directly under fair sized soffit weren't flashed I guess because it was considered protected. Not right but often done. The code needs to say anything that passes through the exterior surface. Builders will fight it though.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    No mention of the word wood in the code section I have pasted in my CYA for exterior wall flashings.

    1405.3 Flashing. Flashing shall be installed in such a manner as to prevent moisture from entering the wall or to redirect it to the exterior. Flashing shall be installed at the perimeters of exterior door and window assemblies, penetrations and terminations of exterior wall assemblies, exterior wall intersections with roofs, chimneys, porches, decks, balconies and similar projections and at built-in gutters and similar locations where moisture could enter the wall. Flashing with projection flanges shall be installed on both sides and the ends of copings, under sills and continuously above projecting trim.




  46. #46
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    No mention of the word wood in the code section I have pasted in my CYA for exterior wall flashings.

    1405.3 Flashing. Flashing shall be installed in such a manner as to prevent moisture from entering the wall or to redirect it to the exterior. Flashing shall be installed at the perimeters of exterior door and window assemblies, penetrations and terminations of exterior wall assemblies, exterior wall intersections with roofs, chimneys, porches, decks, balconies and similar projections and at built-in gutters and similar locations where moisture could enter the wall. Flashing with projection flanges shall be installed on both sides and the ends of copings, under sills and continuously above projecting trim.
    Thanks Robert. IBC 1405.3 is R703.8 in the 2006 IRC and was not removed or modified in the VUSBC. I have no recall of exactly where I saw the wood part perhaps it was actually from a manufacturers info somewhere. Apparently most builders and a lot of code inspectors consider J-Channel and caulk weather stripping. I actually have a blurb about that.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  47. #47
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why leave the window flashing off?

    I love the add below for



    Well, it was there. You can still click on the picture.


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