Chris' Corner: Proper flashing will prevent water damage

Proper flashing will prevent water damage

Charles Buell, a Home Inspector working in the Seattle, WA area, recently shared this information on preventing water damage by ensuring that proper flashing is attached to exterior trim.  The damage caused by water increases in a climate like ours, where winter freezing increases the damage.  Inspect your home, or a home you are considering purchasing to see if there are any potential areas of concern, and address these areas as soon as possible.

Are you contemplating buying and/or selling a home in Tottenham or Beeton?  Call me, Chris Smith, @ 1.866.936.3500 for information and assistance in achieving your real estate goals.

If you want to leave a comment for Charles, please click on his link below:

When exterior trim becomes a water collection device---sooner or later---bad things are going to happen.  
roof support posts
While it is VERY common to see wood trim components assembled of multiple pieces in such a way that when they are painted and caulked, the installer figures the assembly will shed water adequately.  In some climates and in some locations in adverse climates these installations can be fairly forgiving. I find it completely baffling that anyone constructing the trim details pictured below, could ever think this assembly was going to be OK long term.
Improper trim details
This installation is more of a water collection device than a water shedding installation.

In the rainy Pacific NW these assemblies generally do not fair very well and sooner or later---whether due to lack of maintenance or simply because water has a knack for finding its way into places we do not want it.

It is generally considered "best practice" to have all horizontal surfaces flashed with metal and properly counter-flashed by the vertical surfaces that sit on top of it.

The highlighted areas in the next picture are the horizontal surfaces that should be properly flashed with metal and these metal flashings should then be counter-flashed by the vertical surfaces that sit on them.
Horizontal surfaces should be flashed
Such an installation can last indefinitely and will keep water from getting where we don't want it.

This is a good kind of flasher to be.

Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector

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Comment balloon 0 commentsChris Smith • November 27 2011 12:40AM