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05-11-2015, 10:14 AM #1
I hope you can answer a worrisome question. My home is 6 years old and a recent inspection tells me that there is no flashing on the arched windows. Could it be that it is there and we just cant see it? How can I tell? The flat horizontal windows all have flashing. I cant imagine the building inspector would pass a window with no flashing. My next door neighbor has the same thing. Houses were built at the same time.
Thanks for your help.
05-11-2015, 10:41 AM #2
I quite often see head flashing over flat windows and missing over curved. This does not necessarily mean that the window(s) has a problem. Just because you don't see flashing it does not mean the window is not protected. Depending upon the construction of the windows, it may be flashed with tape; sealing the window to the moisture barrier. And it is also possible that the flashing that is present is not correctly fabricated/installed.
I don't believe you came here to get educated on flashing, moisture barriers, drainage, etc. and I also don't think you care if there is flashing or not, as much as you care if the flashing or lack of flashing is having an adverse effect or causing damage to your home.
It is not uncommon for something to be done "wrong" and not fail, just as it is not uncommon for something to be done "right" and yet fail.
The best advice I can give you is to have your home inspected by someone that specializes in Building Envelope inspections.
Finally, I would like to add that you should beware when making repairs. Many simply deal with the symptoms and don't address the cause. Unfortunately, quite often the failure persists and the damage recurs.
Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 05-11-2015 at 06:03 PM.
05-11-2015, 11:21 AM #3
I am going to make some assumptions and do some guessing here. Windows and doors require flashing at the perimeter of the opening under the siding/trim (generally at the flange) and then also over the exposed top of the horizontal trim.
The old standard was a brown paper flashing with a thin sandwiched layer of asphalt. Currently, most builders around here use a peel & stick type flashing. These materials are hidden under the siding and trim and cannot be verified without removing siding and trim, which the inspector probably did not do.
I expect (you would need to verify with the inspector) that the report refers to a metal flashing over the exposed top of the horizontal trim. These are generally metal; however, I believe there are some PVC flashings available as well. Installing this over an arched window requires an arched flashing to match the trim. These may be purchased from home centers and lumberyards, but are probably not available for all sizes. If that is the case, a sheet metal contractor can custom fabricate one.
05-12-2015, 01:17 PM #4
Thanks for your comments. I am actually writing because my house is on the market and the buyers home inspection brought up this subject. I cant believe that the house could be built by proffessionals and inspected by the building officials and not have flashing over the arched portions of the window on my house and the one next door. How can I tell if the type of flashing you mentioned was actually installed? Help!
05-12-2015, 01:21 PM #5
05-12-2015, 01:31 PM #6
05-13-2015, 07:54 AM #7
For some reason, the pics did not come through.
If the inspector is commenting about the metal flashing over the top of the arched trim, then I am assuming it is not there. There is really no way to determine if the peel & stick or paper flashing under the siding is there. If the window does not leak, it is probably flashed behind the siding. I believe you indicated that the rectangular windows do have the metal flashing. The only thing I can suggest at this point is to contact the home inspector and get him to clarify, in writing, exactly what he means.
Is this holding up escrow?
05-13-2015, 09:15 AM #8
There is metal flashing over the flat parts but not the arched parts. See the larger window picture.IMG_0344.JPGIMG_0345 (1).JPGIMG_0343.JPGIMG_0346.JPG
We have the appraiser out in a few days. But the buyer has gotten quotes to do this work and is sending an addendum to our contract. I feel like this work may not be needed and they are going to tear my house apart and cost me a lot of money. Surely there must be something we can do. This is a nice house and we have taken very good care of it. We are not trying to cover anything up because there is nothing to cover up. Help.
05-13-2015, 10:41 AM #9
To me, that inspector has it wrong ... not that it affects the outcome in a positive way of what needs to be done ...
From the IRC (I couldn't get to the Oregon codes as those pages did not load, maybe something with the server or whatever): (bold and underlining are mine)
- R703.8 Flashing.
- - Approved corrosion-resistant flashing shall be applied shingle-fashion in a manner to prevent entry of water into the wall cavity or penetration of water to the building structural framing components. Self-adhered membranes used as flashing shall comply with AAMA 711. The flashing shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish. Approved corrosion-resistant flashings shall be installed at all of the following locations:
- - - 1. Exterior window and door openings. Flashing at exterior window and door openings shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish or to the water-resistive barrier for subsequent drainage. Flashing at exterior window and door openings shall be installed in accordance with one or more of the following:
- - - - 1.1. The fenestration manufacturer’s installation and flashing instructions, or for applications not addressed in the fenestration manufacturer’s instructions, in accordance with the flashing manufacturer’s instructions. Where flashing instructions or details are not provided, pan flashing shall be installed at the sill of exterior window and door openings. Pan flashing shall be sealed or sloped in such a manner as to direct water to the surface of the exterior wall finish or to the water-resistive barrier for subsequent drainage. Openings using pan flashing shall also incorporate flashing or protection at the head and sides.
- - - - 1.2. In accordance with the flashing design or method of a registered design professional.
- - - - 1.3. In accordance with other approved methods.
- - - 2. At the intersection of chimneys or other masonry construction with frame or stucco walls, with projecting lips on both sides under stucco copings.
- - - 3. Under and at the ends of masonry, wood or metal copings and sills.
- - - 4. Continuously above all projecting wood trim.
- - - 5. Where exterior porches, decks or stairs attach to a wall or floor assembly of wood-frame construction.
- - - 6. At wall and roof intersections.
- - - 7. At built-in gutters.
Seldom, in most of the areas I have been, does the flashing around and over windows and doors show as the flashing is installed to the water-resistive barrier for subsequent drainage.
HOWEVER ... and this is seldom called out by code inspectors, seldom done by contractors, and seldom called out by home inspectors, but --- it is a requirement: see item 4. above.
THAT is what I see is missing.
Regarding the metal flashing which the inspector called out as being "missing" ... I would tell that inspector to "prove it" (at the inspector's cost if the inspector is wrong, of course) because those windows may very well be properly flashed.
05-13-2015, 11:11 AM #10
For those who recall the recent discussion about this very thing - not flashing, but reporting items which are not visible as "missing" ...
This thread is a great example of why it is necessary to be careful of our wording in our reports, especially when reporting something you typically see but do not see as being "missing" instead of being "not visible" or "not able to determine as it was not visible", or wording to that effect.
Does that inspector know for sure that the flashing is "missing", or is it possible that the windows are actually properly flashed?
None of us here know, and the inspector may not know either, or, the inspector may have been able to see something which lead them to determine that the flashing is "missing" versus "possibly missing".
I keep saying that wording is critical in our reports - that we need to make sure we word things as we really meant to say them.
05-13-2015, 11:52 AM #11
The first photo shows staining bottom right of frame at sill area. That to me indicates missing flashing.
Secondly the arched windows under the porch, I would not worry about flashing. Those windows are well protected by the overhang.
The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.
05-13-2015, 01:48 PM #12
05-13-2015, 04:20 PM #13
05-13-2015, 05:49 PM #14
05-13-2015, 10:05 PM #15
[QUOTE=Elaine Villeneuve;257499]It is below the weep hole. What is your opinion?
The weep hole is there to allow water to drain out of the channel in the frame.
05-14-2015, 07:15 AM #16
I think Jerry was headed in the right direction but stopped a little short. Capping is a type of flashing but not all flashing is capping.
What Elaine and others are focusing on is the lack of a visible drip cap above the 3/4" trim of the arched window which can be refereed to as flashing, yet it is not the window's flashing.
So for this installation(arched) you could say that "There is no visible drip capping protecting the top of the arch trim. " Saying that there is no flashing is incorrect unless you have x-ray vision. But then it boils down to terminology.
The Window's flashing is what you will not see (can not see). I am confident that the windows are flashed. Was it done correctly? You can not know unless you remove the siding and see exactly how the window was installed.
My first guess is that the windows are vinyl with a nailing flange which is the flashing when taped over to seal the nails. Sealing the sheathing at the window opening. The trim being added over that is what is observable. On the practical side, installing a curved drip cap over the arch section is a bit of a hassle due to trying to make a curved 90degree corner edge over the face. Aluminum stock carried on the job requires that you cut relief slots to allow it to bend. Which most people do not like how it looks. Thus the reason you do not see if often. There are vinyl curved(flexible) caps on the market but that requires additional money into the job or out of the installers pocket.
A cap could be added over the arched trim that would protect the trim edge.
For those still interested:
Q&A: Flashing an Arched Window - JLC Online
B.H. DAVIS COMPANY -- Flexible Vinyl Style Drip Cap Flashing
05-14-2015, 09:30 AM #17
There are vinyl curved(flexible) caps on the market but that requires additional money into the job or out of the installers pocket.
added with edit: Yes, they are flexible enough - I looked at the link after posting
Last edited by Jerry Peck; 05-14-2015 at 09:39 AM. Reason: added part "added with edit ... "
05-14-2015, 09:59 PM #18
Another option would be to have a home inspector (or other qualified person) take a few moisture readings on the insides of exterior walls, adjacent to both the arched windows and those having visible flashing. Any significant differences in readings would indicate which windows are taking in water, most likely from missing flashing. If all readings are close to the same value, then it's a moot point.
Last edited by BridgeMan; 05-14-2015 at 10:05 PM.
05-15-2015, 06:22 AM #19
A slight twist on the discussion.
Lets say that all of the windows had a drip cap on the top of the window trim, correctly done or not.. Then this discussion on flashing would not have taken place. Yet, you still have no idea if the windows were flashed to the sheathing surface under the trim and siding. New construction, if they caulked up everything, would take several years before problems might start to be observed.