Follow the water

Its very common to hear the term “follow the money” when it comes to who funds and controls what, and if you want to shut down an organization or country, typically cutting off the flow of money is all it takes.

When it comes to construction, water management is top priority. As with a lot things that are both blessings and curses, water is no exception. Any remodeler knows that water damage and subsequent mitigation is a huge unknown when restoring old spaces. Recently we had the privilege of renovating the front entry of a house built merely 18 years ago by a well known production builder. This particular situation had 4 strikes against it: no continuous weather barrier on the entire house,

only 1 barrier behind the stone facade (code now calls for 2), the facade installed tight against the house without a rainscreen, and no kick-out flashing at the roof/wall intersection.

The damage to the structural sheathing & components was more than obvious as we began to pull the stone facade away. Some sections of facade came away like sheets with merely sawdust remnants of the exterior sheathing attached to the masonry. Without kickout flashing & merely a tar paper WRB, the water was literally finding its way along the rake of the roof adjacent to the house, behind the facade and even funneling behind the paper and getting trapped against the commodity OSB on its way to the basement. As a solution, we replaced the rotted framing components, and not only installed Zip System sheathing, but also a layer of peel-n-stick WRB and rainscreen to separate the masonry from the WRB layer. This should all but guarantee a leak free assembly for years to come.

There are actually 4 control layers to understand in a building envelope, but each of those are subjects in themselves. Standby for future articles on these layers. Thanks for reading! Build tight, ventilate right.