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Old 08-28-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


[ATTACH][ATTACH]Window Leak: Flashing or Window?-window-3.jpg[/ATTACH][/ATTACH]How can I tell if a leak I have is a result of a faulty window or poor flashing/installation?

Water is coming in under Tyvek under window. There is small butt-joint crack under the window where the outer sheetboard meets and I can see water coming in from here inside the house (also opened and removed wet insulation inside home). I just don't understand how water is getting under the tyvek and tyvek tape. No visible rips. tears or holes in tyvek prior to removing smart trim. Oh! As far as I can tell no added flashing on this window aside from fin around it. Checked other homes being built in my area... no flashing... just fins, tyvek and tape around window casing.

Both corners under the window leak when I do a water test with the sprinkler; I can see water coming inside from both corners. Sealed window unit but is there a way water comes into it?

I do have the window company coming here in a week but I want to be ready knowledge-wise so to get this problem resolved asap.

I thank you in advance and appreciate your comments and help in this manner.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:04 PM   #2
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


I see plenty in that picture that looks suspect. I never install windows without flashing at the bottom flange. I always put paper behind the side flanges and OVER the top flange only.

The nailing fins should be continuous at the corners as well. Changes in pressure from the interior to exterior will cause air/water to be drawn in through any gaps in the building envelope. Those corners are prime targets for water infiltration.


Also, that looks like a perforated building wrap. Perforations aid in permeability, for outward drying, but do not perform as well at preventing water migrating behind the wrap as some of the other options.

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Old 08-28-2010, 02:06 PM   #3
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


Just to clarify, that's not Tyvek. Tyvek is a DuPont product, not Dow.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:24 PM   #4
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


Here's a link to a very interesting article.

Note specifically the points made about perforated wraps and seam tapes. Tape should not be used as a flashing detail, it should be assumed that at some point the adhesive will fail.

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021177066.pdf
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


Thanks for the comments. Not in construction so this is all new to me and learning lots. Looks like I will have job ahead of me to fix. Will wait for window contractor to come sheck and then full tilt on the fix-up.

This leaves me wondering what else the previous owner (contractor who built the house) left out!
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:40 PM   #6
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


There are simple details that most installers don't incorporate into a job.

In the article, there is a principal that says, "think like a rain drop". This is good advice, but wind driven rain can run upwards as well as sideways.

Wind will also cause variations in pressure between interior and exterior, creating what amounts to a vacuum in some cases, drawing water through gaps in the building envelope.

Building Science continues to evolve with new data and products available in the marketplace.

Common sense goes a long way when trying to apply building science to an installation.


Ironicly, a good quality felt paper always scores well in testing, over a range of specific criteria. One thing that is specific to felt is it's ability to become more permeable with higher levels of moisture, allowing moisture that finds its way to the wrong side of the wrap to dry to the outside more efficiently. (Hygroexpansive)
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:13 PM   #7
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


"Both corners under the window leak when I do a water test with the sprinkler; I can see water coming inside from both corners. Sealed window unit but is there a way water comes into it?" --------- Yes, they can leak. Your house wrap should be under the window at the bottom sill. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...WrZBbBZoIUXgxw

Did you notice 20% of the survey showed windows leaking? The correct way: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-...x?nterms=63740

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Old 08-29-2010, 09:19 PM   #8
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


I have just finished installing some vinyl windows and have been seeking information on installation and flashing.
I found the info at the link that GBR in WA has provided as the best source. I used it and highly recommend it.

In addition here is a link to a video, using DOW product that may be helpful. Similar to the one from GBR, but a little different.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywjHR...layer_embedded

I think both videos will help you with the "proper approach" and what you should expect by a professional builder.
Good luck.

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Old 08-30-2010, 12:40 PM   #9
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


I just finished replacing all my windows this past year with new construction ones with fins similar to yours. My windows came with self adhering corner gaskets that mount over top of the fins at all 4 corners. I dont see anything like that on yours. Where you have a small hole at the corner where the 2 nailing fins come together, I have a gasket covering that hole. That is the first place I would start.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:13 PM   #10
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


At this location, it is my understanding that flashing and housewrap are secondary bariers, just in case your primary line-of-defense fails. I understand that the siding, trim, and window, if done properly, should not even allow water to penetrate this far. The fact that you have water coming in behind your wrap/tape/gaskets indicate (in my mind, at least) that you have failure at both places.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:15 PM   #11
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


secondary barriers don't mean less important,just means its under the siding,there is no siding install that is totally waterproofits called water management
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:11 PM   #12
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


I view the “secondary barrier” as the primary barrier.

Before I install the first piece of siding the “secondary barrier” alone will keep the structure dry.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:59 PM   #13
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


problem i see here is the reverse lap caused by the paper not under the bottom window flange
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:50 PM   #14
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


Ahhhh, "Great minds...........' Post #7.

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Old 08-30-2010, 11:03 PM   #15
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Window Leak: Flashing or Window?


im just riding your coat tails Gary

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