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Discussion Starter #1
I just noticed how easy it is for rain water to get behind the vinyl siding where the vinyl siding meets the sideways j-channel on the sides of the windows on the my house. Just out of curiosity, what would be the correct way to build that junction in a way that isn't easy to leak?

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Nashville, TN
 

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Vinyl siding is not meant to be a weatherproofing material. It hangs on the wall loosely and only diverts the water down. Wind will easily blow water up through the overlaps and into the vertical joints/channels. - It is expected and necessary.

That is why a primary moisture barrier is required under it and good flashing is required when a window is installed.

Vinyl is very weak and unstable and must be allowed to move with the changing conditions, so it cannot be sealed to anything more rigid.

Dick
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, I understand what you say concretemasonry, but then that makes me think of another question. After the water gets behind the vinyl siding and runs down the primary moisture barrier behind the vinyl siding, where is it supposed to exit? Just curious; I'd like to understand.
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concrete is right. It's the same with stucco. The building paper is extremely important to shed the water. If you do want to go the extra mile, run some caulk between the j-channel and the window.
 

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J-channel can be sealed with silicone where it meets with a door, window And the special attention should be given to the corners around windows and doors as they are often cut in different ways that leave large gaps that can allow water to easily penetrate behind the siding. This is especially true when replacement windows have been installed as they are often installed without nailing flanges or flashing.
 

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Just another proof that not everyone can install vinyl siding. To answer your question, a piece of L-shaped flashing needs to be installed at the bottom corner of the window. It should be overlapped onto the last full course of siding. When the water does get behind the j-channel and siding, the flashing will catch it and divert it to the outside.

Caulking and silicone only prevent the siding from contracting and expanding naturally, eventually fail, and don't look nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jaros, will you elaborate on "It should be overlapped onto the last full course of siding." ie: After I have attached the top part of the L-shaped flashing under the bottom corner of the window (which will be behind the siding), how do I bring the bottom part of the L-shaped flashing out from behind the siding?
 

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I usually leave the flashing long and cut it after the last full piece of siding is installed. You can then just cut it slightly above the fold where the next piece will interlock, which is slightly below the nailing fin. This way any water getting behind the siding will be redirected back on to the siding. The next piece will cover the flashing but the weep holes will allow it to escape. Those are all the tiny evenly spaced holes in the bottom of the siding.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I see. That makes sense Jaros.
Here's the long version of the story, if you or anyone is interested:

I have recently had a roof added to my deck, turning it into an open-air porch. (The house is two stories with vinyl siding on the back where the deck/porch is). The porch roof was attached to the side of the house with a ledger board. To attach the ledger board, they removed a section of siding, and I think they cut away the foam board too. (There was no wood sheathing/underlayment, just foam board and I think felt paper behind the foam board. As far as I know they left the felt paper, but I'm not positive of that.) A few weeks after the project was done, I learned for the first time that vinyl siding relies on water barrier material behind the vinyl siding to protect the house from rain water. In my case I presume the water barrier was the foam board, and then behind that the felt paper.

They cut away a big rectangular area of the foam board to install the ledger board, so now the water barrier is "breached", and there are second story windows above the ledger board area that will let rain water behind the siding, due to the loose nature of siding. The thing that started me on the path of discovering all this was the fact that when they built the porch roof, they butted the porch roof flashing up against the exterior of the siding instead of putting it behind the siding, and they insisted that was the right way to do it even though I knew it was wrong. (By the way, I screened these guys really well before they did the job, and they seemed really good, so don't think that I just called someone out of the phone book or something.)

So basically there are two issues I have to try to fix. The first is that the flashing should have been put behind the siding. The second is that they should have done something to address the breach in the water barrier caused by the cutting of the foam board.

I'm thinking of trying to get someone to come remove the old piece of porch roof flashing and install one piece of new porch roof flashing that goes behind the siding and also behind the window flanges (the bottom of the windows are close enough to the porch roof to do this, only about 6 inches up from the porch roof), and tape the whole length of the top of the flashing to the foam board (because there is also a little bathroom window up higher that is too high for the flashing to reach to tuck under its flanges, but it will still leak water onto the foam board because it has siding next to it too.) I've seen a little water trickling down the siding under the porch roof during recent rain, so I know something's not right.

What do you think?
Nashville, TN
 

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Not too bad on the analysis. Yes, the piece of flashing should have gone behind the siding and even behind the foam board. Any liquid moisture traveling down the wall should have been picked up and brought back to the outside by the transition from the wall to the top of the roof. You should not see any liquid coming down the wall inside the porch if this was done right even if the windows above were flashed wrong. I like to run a piece of flashing tape over the top of the metal flashing so that anything traveling down the sheathing will have no choice but to run over the top of the metal and on to the roof instead of behind it. A piece of nice custom bent colored steel is the best choice or even a nice piece of copper if the budget allows. Aluminum is not a good choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jaros, a few follow up questions on your reply above.

At the point that the flashing exits out from under the siding, will the siding just stop and loosely lay on top of the flashing (this is my preference), or would the bottom of the siding have to have J-channel, or some other configuration. I think if J-channel were put on the bottom of the siding where the flashing exits, then that would mean that the J-channel would have to be nailed and that would mean nail holes in the flashing.

What kind of flashing tape do you use? I might want to buy some. There is a roofing supply store here in town I think I could go to.

Do you think I should ask whoever I find to come to put the new piece of porch roof flashing behind the foam board like you say above, or is in front of it ok.

Why is aluminum a bad choice for flashing?

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Not too bad on the analysis. Yes, the piece of flashing should have gone behind the siding and even behind the foam board. Any liquid moisture traveling down the wall should have been picked up and brought back to the outside by the transition from the wall to the top of the roof. You should not see any liquid coming down the wall inside the porch if this was done right even if the windows above were flashed wrong. I like to run a piece of flashing tape over the top of the metal flashing so that anything traveling down the sheathing will have no choice but to run over the top of the metal and on to the roof instead of behind it. A piece of nice custom bent colored steel is the best choice or even a nice piece of copper if the budget allows. Aluminum is not a good choice.
Aluminum is not a good choice???????????????

I think you could explain why not.
 

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Aluminum rips too easy, scratches, paint doesn't hold up like it does on steel, ice tends to push through it, it corrodes quickly and usually it doesn't come in the more sturdy guages that steel or copper come in. I also don't care for the expansion rate of aluminum, especially in the thin gauges. IMO, aluminum is used because it's cheap and convenient.

Aluminum flashing almost always needs replacing on reroofs and siding jobs whereas painted steel alloys and copper are generally still in fine shape to be reused.
 

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Aluminum rips too easy, scratches, paint doesn't hold up like it does on steel, ice tends to push through it, it corrodes quickly and usually it doesn't come in the more sturdy guages that steel or copper come in. I also don't care for the expansion rate of aluminum, especially in the thin gauges. IMO, aluminum is used because it's cheap and convenient.

Aluminum flashing almost always needs replacing on reroofs and siding jobs whereas painted steel alloys and copper are generally still in fine shape to be reused.
You must live in a different area than I. I can take you to roofs that I have done with aluminum flashing by me up to 30+ years that is still fine.
Aluminum comes in other thickness than the thin stuff at the big box stores.
I will agree that copper is probably the lifetime flashing, but not steel. By the way, steel is a lot less money than aluminun and as far as corroding, we are talking something that doesn't rust.:eek:
 

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Joshoc, yes, the flashing should just over lap the hem and lay loosely in place. You really should do a google search or look on some vinyl siding manufacturers websites as you will be able to get some good photos of what I am describing.

For flashing tape, there are a few brands of it available usually in 4 inch or 6 inch. I like to run a heat gun and a few staples at the top in a situation like this.

I would run the flashing behind the foam board just to make sure you are picking up all the liquid moisture running down the wall.

Make sure to get a piece bent to match the angle of the wall to the roof. You should be able to special order a nice piece of painted steel (24 gauge) to match your shingles.

Aluminum flashing does hold up 30 years, there's no argument there, unless you've placed it in a place where you have ice buildup. You're still going to get the black mildewy chaulky look after a few years and you'd better be careful not to ding it and put dents in it. I'd like my work to last longer than that. Aluminum cannot be used on chimney flashings. The makeup of the mortar in a chimney corrodes the aluminum. Also, I mentioned increased expansion and contraction. Whenever you place a nail in aluminum you are restricting the movement. That nail hole is just going to get bigger and bigger because the aluminum will tear slightly around that hole. (I don't like the wrinkly look either.) That's fine if you have a peel and stick membrane underneath, but in most situations you won't and you're bound to get some leakage. In some of the more corrosive areas aluminum does rust, or oxidize. If you've ever seen what salt does to door trim wrapped in aluminum in the winter you know what I'm talking about.
 

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Joshoc, yes, the flashing should just over lap the hem and lay loosely in place. You really should do a google search or look on some vinyl siding manufacturers websites as you will be able to get some good photos of what I am describing.

For flashing tape, there are a few brands of it available usually in 4 inch or 6 inch. I like to run a heat gun and a few staples at the top in a situation like this.

I would run the flashing behind the foam board just to make sure you are picking up all the liquid moisture running down the wall.

Make sure to get a piece bent to match the angle of the wall to the roof. You should be able to special order a nice piece of painted steel (24 gauge) to match your shingles.

Aluminum flashing does hold up 30 years, there's no argument there, unless you've placed it in a place where you have ice buildup. You're still going to get the black mildewy chaulky look after a few years and you'd better be careful not to ding it and put dents in it. I'd like my work to last longer than that. Aluminum cannot be used on chimney flashings. The makeup of the mortar in a chimney corrodes the aluminum. Also, I mentioned increased expansion and contraction. Whenever you place a nail in aluminum you are restricting the movement. That nail hole is just going to get bigger and bigger because the aluminum will tear slightly around that hole. (I don't like the wrinkly look either.) That's fine if you have a peel and stick membrane underneath, but in most situations you won't and you're bound to get some leakage. In some of the more corrosive areas aluminum does rust, or oxidize. If you've ever seen what salt does to door trim wrapped in aluminum in the winter you know what I'm talking about.
I think that you are saying again something I will disagree with. First, he is using vinyl siding with aluminum trim. Second he said nothing about chimney flashing. Third, aluminum expands and contracts at approx the same rate as dteel and copper.

Just because you have a problem with aluminun don't pass it on. Your prejustices are showing.:thumbsup:

I use aluminum because it is long lasting and can be bought in a rariety of colors. Personaaly I use .032 al. when flashing. You will find if you did the same, your frashing would last as long as steel and give copper a run for the money. Remwember, steel if not painted corrodes as rust quite quickley. The only downfall to it, is that it is not to be uses in contact with morter.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I feel like I understand now, now I just have to find someone to come do the job. Only one question remains, which is: Rain water must have been getting behind the vinyl siding near these windows ever since the house was built in 2001, long before the issue came to my attention after the porch roof ledger board installation last month. Not to mention the fact that I have other windows with siding next to them on the back of the house, aside from the windows above the ledger, and rain water must be getting behind the siding there too. What was the housebuilder's plan for where this water would drain once it got behind the siding? I mean, I presume that once the water gets behind the siding that it would run down the surface of the foam board to the base of the house, but then what? I looked all along the back of the house today (the back side has the vinyl siding) at the bottoms of the last rows of siding where the siding stops, and the foam board does not go down that far. (I peaked behind the bottom row of siding and all I saw was what I think to be a perimeter joist, one of the joists that runs perpindicular to all the main joists of the house, and attached to the joist was a long horizontal strip of metal that the bottom of the last piece of siding clamps on to) So where does the water go when it gets to the bottom of the foam board? It appears that the foam board terminates at some point above the joist that I saw. I don't see that the water is being guided out in any way at all. Any thoughts?
 

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Tere is a long tutorial from somebody floating around here,,,maybe named tinner or similiar. It explains along with tons of pics this very issue. And explains the PROPER way to flash windows of which 95 percent arent!! Are you sure there is no flashing around al windows?? If not maybe you should put some on somehow. Thats why they sell the unzip tool and hopefully your siding isnt nailed too close to the windows.

In that tutorial it describes cutting drain holes in the bottom of the sidng right where the metal flashing exits on the bottoms.

Why find somebody to do this for you??Makes a great diy project and THEN you KNOW its done correctly
 

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Well, you saw the posts before I mentioned the L-shaped flashing. Not many people know to do this and not many people install this piece of flashing. A lot of contractors never do this and never give thought to what happens to the water that gets behind the siding.
 
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