Fully Flashed Window and Door Openings

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Description

Windows and doors are an interruption in the wall’s housewrap or insulated sheathing drainage plane and thus are a vulnerable spot for water leakage. Many a homeowner has suffered from water intrusion around doors and windows, often not discovered until considerable damage has been done within the wall. The wall framing around windows and doors must be protected from any water that finds its way behind the siding at these locations and the water must be directed out to prevent damage to the rest of the wall. Properly installed flashing that is integrated with the other elements of the wall can help prevent this. 

Flashing materials may be installed by insulators, framers, or subcontractors or vendors hired specifically to install the windows and doors. This task should be included in the contract for the appropriate trade depending on the workflow at the specific job site.

Other Considerations: When designing the home, walls and doors should be located under overhangs or porches whenever possible; these features protect against rain and snow and also minimize unwanted solar heat gain by blocking out high summer sun.
 

How to flash windows and doors

  1. Cut the housewrap covering the rough opening in the shape of a modified "I."
    • Fold the side and bottom flaps into the window opening and secure.
    • Above the window opening, cut a head flap. Fold it up to expose the sheathing and loosely tape it in place out of the way.

    Cut I in housewrap

    Figure 1 - Cut I in housewrap  Reference

  2. Install back dam and self-adhesive flashing at sill. Tape the corners.

    Install self-adhesive sill flashing

    Figure 2 - Install self-adhesive sill flashing  Reference

    For pan or sill flashing, use formable flashing, a stretchable self-adhered membrane that bends at corners so one continuous piece can be used to cover the bottom and sides of the sill.

    • First install a back dam consisting of a strip of wood or beveled siding nailed along the back (inside) edge of the rough opening (over the flap of housewrap). Sloped pans are required if the sill depth is greater than 6 inches according to ASTM E212207. 
    • Cover this with the membrane. Begin pressing in the middle of the sill and work toward the sides, removing adhesive covering strips as you go. Make sure to press the membrane tightly into the corners to avoid tears later when the window is installed.

    Other options for pan flashing include self-adhered non-elastic membrane, which must be cut and patched at corners, and two-piece rigid manufactured pan flashing, which comes with a built-in back dam that must be protected from breakage during window installation.

    Pan flashing

    Figure 3 - Formable pan flashing and back dam for window  Reference

  3. Caulk the outside edges of the head and side jambs and install the window.
    • Do not caulk across the sill.
    • Install the window plumb, level, and square following manufacturer’s specifications.

    Caulk top and sides of window

    Figure 4 - Caulk top and sides of window  Reference

  4. Install jamb and head flashing.
    • Install self-adhesive jamb flashing extending 4 inches above the top of the head flange and even with the bottom of the sill flashing.
    • Install self-adhesive head flashing extending 1 inch beyond the jamb flashing.
    • Unfold the housewrap and lay over the head flashing. Tape bottom edge of housewrap across the top window flange and tape down corner seams of housewrap.

    Flash sides and top of window

    Figure 5 - Flash sides and top of window  Reference

    Tape down housewrap head flap

    Figure 6 - Tape down housewrap head flap  Reference

  5. On the interior side of the window, seal the gap between the window and the rough opening with backer rod or non-expanding foam and caulk.

    Air seal rough opening from inside

    Figure 7 - Air seal rough opening from inside  Reference

  6. Install trim that has been painted or primed on all sides. Above top trim, install cap flashing that extends past trim. Cover top edge of cap flashing with adhesive membrane strip. Cover top edge of membrane with sheathing tape.

    Install trim and cap flashing

    Figure 8 - Install trim and cap flashing  Reference

How to Flash a Door

  1. Flash door head and jambs as described above for windows or in accordance with door manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. For sill flashing, see door manufacturer’s instructions.
    1. For houses with concrete slab floors, form a seat in the concrete slab to act as a “pan flashing”.

      Concrete slab pan flashing for doors

      Figure 9 - Concrete slab pan flashing for doors  Reference

    2. Install pan flashing that is integrated with the housewrap. ASTM E2112-07 recognizes several flashing materials and methods including single-piece sill pans formed from rigid sheet metal or plastic, multi piece sill pans formed from rigid sheet metal or plastic, flexible membrane, or combinations of rigid corners connected by flexible membrane.

      Sheet metal pan flashing for doors

      Figure 10 - Sheet metal pan flashing for doors  Reference

Ensuring Success

Visually inspect the window and door flashing before siding is installed to ensure that flashing is correctly installed and correctly integrated with sheathing and housewrap to direct water out and down away from wall cavities.

Scope

Window and door openings fully flashed

Water Managed Above Grade Wall Assembly

  1. Install pan flashing at sills.
  2. Install side flashing that extends over the pan flashing.
  3. Install top flashing that extends over the side flashing.

ENERGY STAR Notes:

Apply pan flashing over the rough sill framing, inclusive of the corners of the sill framing; side flashing that extends over pan flashing; and top flashing that extends over side flashing or equivalent details for structural masonry walls.

Training

Right and Wrong Images

Presentations

None Available

CAD Images

None Available

Compliance

ENERGY STAR Version 3, (Rev. 07)

Water Management Checklist, Water-Managed Wall Assembly. Apply pan flashing over the rough sill framing, inclusive of the corners of the sill framing; side flashing that extends over pan flashing; and top flashing that extends over side flashing or equivalent details for structural masonry walls.

DOE Challenge Home

Exhibit 1: Mandatory Requirements. Certified under ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes Version 3.

FMA/AAMA 100-07

FMA/AAMA 100-07. Standard Practice for the Installation of Windows with Flanges or Mounting Fins in Wood Frame Construction. Available from AAMA’s online store from the link above. The standard covers the installation of windows in new construction using a membrane/drainage system and the installation process for windows from pre- to post-installation and windows that use a mounting flange or fin attached and sealed to the window perimeter frame and designed as an installation fastening appendage. Minimum requirements for window installation based on current best practices are also provided.

ASTM E-2112-07

ASTM E-2112-07. Standard Practice for Installation of Exterior Windows, Doors and Skylights. The standard covers fenestration product installation from pre-installation through post-installation procedures in new and existing construction.

2009 IRC

Section R703.8 Flashing. Approved corrosion-resistant flashing to be applied shingle-fashion to prevent water from entering into wall cavities or from penetrating into building structural framing components. Self-adhered flashing must comply with AAMA 711. Flashing at exterior window and door openings must extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish or to the water-resistive barrier.

2012 IRC

Section R703.8 Flashing. Approved corrosion-resistant flashing to be applied shingle-fashion to prevent water from entering into wall cavities or from penetrating into building structural framing components. Self-adhered flashing must comply with AAMA 711. Flashing at exterior window and door openings must extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish or to the water-resistive barrier. Flashing must be installed in accordance with one or more of the following:

  • In accordance with fenestration manufacturer’s installation and flashing instructions or in accordance with the flashing manufacturer’s instructions. Where instructions or details aren’t provided, pan flashing is to be installed at the sill of exterior window and door openings and must be sealed or sloped to direct water to the surface of the exterior wall finish or water-resistive barrier. Openings using pan flashing must also incorporate flashing or protection at the head and sides.
  • Per the flashing design or method of a registered design professional.
  • Under other approved methods.*

*Due to copyright restrictions, exact code text is not provided.  For specific code text, refer to the applicable code.

More Info.

Case Studies

  1. Author(s): PNNL
    Organization(s): PNNL
    Publication Date: April 2012

    Case study about a home builder that has refined its home designs to achieve HERS scores of 49 to 56 on 40 to 70 homes per year.

References and Resources*

  1. Author(s): Baechler, Gilbride, Hefty, Cole, Love
    Organization(s): PNNL, ORNL
    Publication Date: February 2011

    Guide describing measures that builders in the cold and very cold climates can take to build homes that have whole-house energy savings of 40% over the Building America benchmark with no added overall costs for consumers.

  2. Author(s): EPA
    Organization(s): EPA
    Publication Date: June 2013

    Standard document containing the rater checklists and national program requirements for ENERGY STAR Certified Homes, Version 3 (Rev. 7).

  3. Author(s): BSC
    Organization(s): BSC
    Publication Date: May 2009

    Information sheet with details on pan flashing for exterior walls.

  4. Author(s): EPA
    Organization(s): EPA
    Publication Date: February 2011

    Guide describing details that serve as a visual reference for each of the line items in the Water Management System Builder Checklist.

Last Updated: 08/15/2013

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