Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

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kendrid
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Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#1 Post by kendrid » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:37 pm

I had a local window installer that has been around for a while install 20 windows in our home. They were recommended and well reviewed but that does not mean that they know what they are doing.

We have aluminum siding and they wrapped the windows with aluminum.

Does this look correct? They cut out the old windows and the new ones fit with about a 1/4" or less gap on each side which was filled with insulation.
After install I've been reading and I can't tell if these are actually flashed/have a drip cap or not. I wasn't around during capping so I didn't see what is behind the top cap.
Please excuse the dirty siding - we have hail 'marks' that easily wash off but I haven't gotten around to it. I need to clean it so the storm chasers stop offering me 'free' siding.

It has been a couple of days since installation so tomorrow I am going to take a garden hose to each window and test for leaks. I plan on soaking the siding to see if any water gets behind it and if I see any issues.

Thanks!
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Windows on Washington
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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:49 am

Kendrid,

It is tough to say for certain without knowing what window was there previously and what the trim details dictated.

Aluminum siding is a trick beast sometimes and it is impossible to manipulate it and get a j-channel behind it once removed.

I would prefer to see a drip cap across the top but that is not uncommon and the siding is by no means water tight.

Hopefully they sealed behind the capping well.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#3 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:31 am

The way that the top rail protrudes may allude to them capping over an existing drip cap. You have to talk to them and ask.
Still I would prefer to see a two piece approach if there was an existing drip cap that allows for a beter drain plane.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#4 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:59 am

+1 to the other posts. Running the head trim up underneath a drip cap is always ideal, however you may not have had one. On occasion the existing drip cap is in very poor shape, and the client does not want it left exposed under any circumstances. In that case, we'll cap over it at their request, but only after they sign off on the fact that they acknowledge that the caulking must be maintained , and even then there is an off-chance that if water gets behind the siding higher up on the wall, it could pose an issue. Closed cell foam around the opening will provide some protection if water did get back there...We NEVER go over it (drip cap) on vinyl siding.
So to answer your question, it could have been done wrong, or it could be the best he could do given the circumstances. Just ask. :D .... You will definitely want to check up on that caulking across the top seasonally.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#5 Post by kendrid » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:13 am

Thanks for the responses. I will ask them but I want to know what I should be asking first. :) Before going with this company I spoke to three old customers and all were happy. But I have aluminum siding and as some of you have mentioned it can be more difficult.

The window that was there before was an incredibly cheap vinyl builders window. I took a lot of photos back when the house was built and this one seems to show how they were installed.
Image

I do not think they went over an existing cap as it does not look like there was one. It looks like the nailing fin went over the house wrap and that was it. The new installers mentioned it was more of a pain to do because we didn't have J channel.

I do know that when they wrapped the windows they did the top of each window last. They had to come back the next day to finish them and I unfortunately didn't take any photos or really look at what they had done internally.

Does the photo of the old window tell you anything?

Thanks!

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#6 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:11 am

It says that there was likely no drip cap originally... Regarding the white trim around the new windows: Did they cut the aluminum back to do that?... Or did they down-size the window?
A drip cap probably could have been added either way (slipped up behind the building paper). Did they use all of the best practices on your install? I'd say probably not, but what they did is generally considered to be acceptable. To be honest, there is no way to know what they did for sure without seeing it done, but most likely those returns just go straight in and the trim is caulked to the aluminum. Just be vigilant on that caulk because it may be the only thing keeping water out.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#7 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:12 am

Do the new windows have a nailing fin like the originals?... My previous comments are based on the premise that they do not.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#8 Post by kendrid » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:18 am

The cut out around the old nailing fin. The new windows did not have nailing fins - they were set into the hole, leveled screwed into place. The area they cut out from the old window is where the new capping was installed.
but most likely those returns just go straight in and the trim is caulked to the aluminum.
My concern after reading a little is that if water gets behind the siding did they handle that? I did see part of one window done and it appeared that the wrapping went deep into the cavity. I don't know if that was sealed against the house or tucked up under. I will ask of course but as stated before I wanted to get some opinions here.

Thanks

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#9 Post by Window4U (IL) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:20 am

kendrid wrote:The cut out around the old nailing fin. The new windows did not have nailing fins - they were set into the hole, leveled screwed into place. The area they cut out from the old window is where the new capping was installed.
If that is the way they were installed, with the siding being cut back, then yes, at a mininum they should have installed a drip cap up under the building paper at the top edge. The wrapping should then have been tucked up under the drip cap.
Not to pick, but their wrapping skilled are not the greatest either. Why do the tops stick out further than the sides? Not very aesthetically pleasing.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#10 Post by kendrid » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:27 am

Window4U (IL) wrote: If that is the way they were installed, with the siding being cut back, then yes, at a mininum they should have installed a drip cap up under the building paper at the top edge. The wrapping should then have been tucked up under the drip cap.
Not to pick, but their wrapping skilled are not the greatest either. Why do the tops stick out further than the sides? Not very aesthetically pleasing.
Can you tell if there is a drip cap from those photos or is it something you can only tell during installation? I called my sales guy and the installer is going to call me back later today. I am going to ask if there is a drip cap and if not how could water possibly be stopped from getting into the window from behind the siding.

Thanks

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#11 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:08 am

There is no visible drip cap. It is possible but not likely that they bent a flange on their trim which tucked in behind the siding. If water gets behind the siding it will enter the opening if that is the case. If it was me, I'd have installed a window with fin since they were already cutting the siding back

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#12 Post by Window4U (IL) » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:58 pm

A drip cap will have this general appearance from the ground. It will usually hang over the front edge of the top casing from 1/4" to 3/4". The top does not get caulked so that water can escape if it gets behind the siding.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#13 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:02 am

HomeSealed wrote:There is no visible drip cap. It is possible but not likely that they bent a flange on their trim which tucked in behind the siding. If water gets behind the siding it will enter the opening if that is the case. If it was me, I'd have installed a window with fin since they were already cutting the siding back
+1

If the window is finned, you are fine.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#14 Post by kendrid » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:27 am

Windows on Washington wrote: If the window is finned, you are fine.
If you mean a nailing fin there was not one on the new windows, they were replacement. Now that I see the installation and what you guys are saying having a nailing fin would have made a lot more sense.

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Re: Proper capping/wrapping/flashing?

#15 Post by kendrid » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:33 am

An update: I spoke to the installer and he said there was a drip cap but they had to go over it with the wrapping because of our aluminum siding. He said it has a channel to run out of. He also stated that the inside of the wrapping is all caulked also, not just the outside along the siding.

He did say that it is not what he prefers but with our siding it is all he could do. With vinyl he would not have capped over the drip cap and would have done it differently. He said if we ever have our siding redone the drip caps should be redone to flow outside.

Does this sound legit?

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