Volume 14, Issue 7- September 2013
Dave Molenda understands the importance of flashing. The president of Weather-Tek Design Center Inc. in Brookfield, Wis., has been using it on all his installs for the past four to five years and says it “absolutely reduces callbacks.” Yet, some of the contractors with whom he works still don’t understand its importance—more importantly, they don’t understand that fixing a leakage problem will cost well more than installing flashing would have.
On the upside, though it seems as a whole flashing use is on the rise according to Paul Bratton, technical support specialist, MFM Building Products, flashing supplier.
“I think as time goes on people are getting educated more and more on when a product should be flashed,” he says. “Do all people flash? No, some of the old contractors are set in their ways and don’t like new stuff. But I am seeing that even a lot of those guys are changing.”
What’s causing this shift? “Callbacks,” he says, “and homeowner education.”
I will get a call from a homeowner who goes over the installation process with me because he wants to be sure that the contractors flashed their windows,” says Bratton.
WeatherTek offers a 10-year warranty on the installation. Molenda says his company is able to do becuase it installs due to its supplier’s [Tyvek] instructions.
The key is the installation, not the window, explains Molenda, , though the homeowner often thinks otherwise.
“The way I look at it is if you take a window out of the box and take it in the backyard and spray it with a hose it’s not going to leak,” he says. “That means when there is a leak it is the installation. If you look at 95 out of 100 windows [in the case of water leakage] it’s the installation and not the product. Using flashing will reduce callbacks.” (It will also save the contractor money to fix those problems, see box.)
Bratton agrees that insulation and flashing should be installed between the frame and the rough opening to provide a tight, secure envelope in the home.
“Proper installation practices play a vital role in how effective a door, window or skylight is at resisting air leakage,” he says.
What do companies have to consider when purchasing flashing products? Temperature, including that at the time of installation, has a lot to do with it, says Bratton. That being said, he adds that flashing should be used in all climates.
Again, the installation is key and MFM aims to help its customers by offering instructions on the carton and on the website, including photos and step by step instructions, and even You Tube videos. —Tara Taffera