Expanding Your Focus: Preventing Water Damage, Not Just Repairing It
Selling a home can be a challenge – one that’s magnified dramatically if the structure faces the damaging effects of mold and rot. In an upscale Doylestown, Penn., neighborhood, improper sill flashing and reverse through-flashing on window openings were contributing to severe moisture management issues in a series of stucco homes.
AI Restoration, a local construction and repair firm specializing in stucco, tested for water damage in a number of homes in the community. Analysis showed extensive damage and the firm recommended adding a drainable housewrap and self-adhered flashing to help filter the water out of the building envelope. As a universal water management system for siding installations, properly installed drainable housewraps with flashing are proven to effectively manage moisture and increase the life of structures following remediation.
Proper installation would also be critical in certain areas throughout the homes, such as underneath the edges of windows and around doors, where moisture is most likely to creep in.
“Realistically, when a moisture management system is re-installed, water should be able to drain between the housewrap and the façade without penetrating the building envelope and causing damage,” said Bryan Darby, operations manager at AI Restoration. “Dissimilar services are the root cause of these problems in many of the homes we work on. While windows may not necessarily be leaking, the water that gets between the window frame and the stucco can be extremely difficult to remove without the proper drainage solution.”
Remediation of one of the houses required the professionals to remove approximately 3,700 square feet of stucco covering the sides and back of the home. The area included a large walkout basement that showed elevated moisture readings along the back wall.
Before installing the specified moisture management system, the restoration company needed to replace a significant amount of sheathing, framing and band board throughout this home. This was a weeks-long process in which the remediation team oversaw staging the home with scaffolding, pulling and resetting doors and windows, extensive rot repair, proper flashing installation, roofing work and more.
As the next step, the service team provided recommendations for installation and worked to ensure best practices were implemented throughout the installation on this home. That process was repeated in every home worked on in the community.
Homes were wrapped with the selected drainable housewrap (Benjamin Obdyke’s HydroGap®), which is proven to remove bulk water up to 100 times faster than a typical housewrap.
Incorporating a drainage space between the sheathing and cladding material allows water to quickly escape the building envelope. This advantage is critical for combatting wind-driven rain and other extreme weather conditions common in the Northeast U.S. Additionally, selecting a housewrap with low profile drainage space eliminated the need for design changes in the wall assembly.
Self-adhered flashing called HydroFlash® was also used to create a tight seal over sheets of the drainable housewrap, protecting against moisture and air intrusions. Considering the reverse lapping of the prior, failed installation, properly applying the new flashing was a major upgrade that eliminated the potential for leakage around windows, doors and other penetrations.
After the moisture management system was installed, the warrantied stucco board needed approximately six weeks to cure. The combination of products and on-site support services were key to accelerating completion and reducing labor costs for these projects.
As experienced providers of solutions to these common moisture issues, both companies recognize that moisture gets into buildings, and that a system must be established to drain the water before it can damage structural components. The primary function of a water-resistive barrier is to resist the infiltration of water into a building assembly, and with the proper installation, can greatly help to extend the life of the building. Over the course of more than 17 years, the companies have transformed thousands of homes using the highest quality moisture management systems on the market.
Protecting Life’s Big Investments
Current homeowners in the community will be able to focus on selling their home without worrying about the effects of water damage, while future homebuyers will have peace-of-mind that their investment will be properly protected from water intrusion for years to come.
“We’re in business to provide our customers with the optimum solutions for moisture management,” said Darby. “We pride ourselves on using the best products on the market, and we’ve been able to do that time after time with systems and support from our roof and wall partners.”