Flashing: Its Not Just Something Ray Stevens Sang About

Ethel may not have looked, but good home inspectors do.

Flashing is intended to keep water out of the structure of your home and will undoubtedly be the subject of many future articles on this website.

All too often, homes are built without flashing in needed areas. Flashing is intended to make the exterior building envelope weather-tight to protect the interior from weather. Anywhere water can enter the structure should have flashing.

Lack of flashing above window trim, door trim, any projecting wood trim, wall and roof intersections (and so on) can and will lead to moisture problems later. Wood rot and mold are the most common results of missing flashing. Many home owners try to compensate for the lack of flashing by using caulk and exterior sealants, but unless those are maintained on a regular basis, will fail sooner or later. Often, those sealants even fail in spite of proper maintenance.

Flashing can be inexpensive to install while a house is being constructed, but is much more costly to install at a later date, depending on the location. Damage caused by the lack of flashing can be extensive and much more expensive than the flashing repairs themselves. If you’re building a new home, take the time to talk with your builder to make sure flashings are installed in all the appropriate locations. Some of those locations are shown in the photos below.

jrr-013.jpg cr-007.jpg
ksh-008.jpg sh-014.jpg

As I said, lack of proper flashing on the exterior of a home is a common problem in the Kansas City area, and will be the subject of many articles in the future.

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