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Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Posted by jessrae (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 15, 12 at 23:09

I spent several hours tonight at our construction site trying to dry all the water off my newly installed windows!

The framing of the house is complete and the windows went in on Wed, but we still do not have shingles. It rained all day and the rain came right through drenching my new Integrity windows. Literally there were puddles sitting on the window sills and I could see that it was also very wet underneath the windows and on the sides of them.

The inside of the windows are wood and they've been factory painted. I'm very concerned about how all this water will affect the windows. Should I be? The supervisor on our job said they'd be fine and he'd be over tomorrow to "dry them out". But will a day sitting in water warp them? Has the paint been damaged? Should the roof have been finished before the windows ever went it? Is it as bad as I think it is? HELP!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Bass ackwards to do this in this order.

Roof should have at least been "dried in"!

At least if they are going to do it, then they should have provided a protective covering, such as plastic or something.

Not sure what climate you are in, but this could haunt you down the road..


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

"Drying-in" is the point during construction when the house is fully sheathed and the windows installed so the interior is protected from rain. The proper construction sequence is to install the wall and roof sheathing and cover the roof with roofing underlayment (if that is done properly, the shingles can wait until later). Then the windows are installed.

If the house has been properly "dried-in" where is the water coming from?


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Most window companies warranties state the roof must be on before windows are installed and this definitely makes sense to me as well. With sheathing applied and house wrap there should be a shell that is most l sealed so again as Reno asked where is the water coming from? If your builder did not follow the most basic of building principals what else is he doing or not doing?


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

BIG problem. And the problem of the windows might not be the worst problem. It sounds like the builder is the biggest problem here. Why wasn't at least tar paper on the roof? Does the builder understand about proper window installation and proper flashing? If he can't get the most basic order of operations correct, then I greatly fear for the quality of this build.

You're going to have to educate yourself here to be sure he does things right. Personally, I'd start looking at that contract for how to fire him and find someone else. But a lot depends on how the paperwork and financing for this build were done. Is he actually working for you on property that you own? Or is this a spec home that he's providing the financing for the build and will turn it over to you when it's complete?


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Certainly out of order. But even without underlayment or shingles in place, it's hard to imagine that much water coming in on all the windows.

Even though I'm prone to it, don't panic at this point. If you got to the windows in time, they may dry out fine.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Post some photos of the house. there may be other issues you need to address ASAP.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Oh my goodness! Now I'm even more worried. Thank you all for your responses. The house was not dried in. There is no sheathing on the roof, just wood. We are in Minnesota, so I'm guessing they weren't expecting the rain, but still. I went over today to check on things again and the rain that fell last night is now ice on the window sills and everywhere else.

Now I'm definitely worried about the builder - what else is he doing wrong?? We own the land and he is doing a custom build for us. Up until this point, I had been pleased, but now I'm very scared. This is our first time building and neither my husband nor I know much about the process. But even I figured something wasn't right with the windows in before the roof was water proofed. With the heavy rain, I did notice one window has a problem - I'm not sure if it happened at the factory or during install, but the water was coming in from the upper corners between the glass and frame. Thanks for the heads up on the window warranty too. I'm going to try to find our warranty (hopefully it's online).

Ugh! Here's some photos before it rained, but I'll stop by tomorrow to take some more. If there's something in particular that I should be looking for, please let me know!


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Here's another photo of the exterior


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

And here's a couple of the interior (yes! we had snow in the house, then rain and now ice!)


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Another picture of the inside


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Can you get a closeup of a window? Doesn't look like it's flashed correctly to keep out water. I realize how ironic that sounds with the amount of rain and ice you currently have in the home, but it's a really important that keeps water out of the house when there IS a roof.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

GreenDesigns - I'll take some closeups of the windows tomorrow and get them posted ASAP. I am also concerned that they may not be installed correctly. What a headache! We have 35+ windows in the house and I definitely want them installed correctly or we'll be in a world of trouble down the road.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

There may not be any head flashing at the top or pan flashing at the bottom. But it's impossible to tell. For instance, at the top, the flashing may be under the housewrap, a standard detail, though it would best also be sealed with builder's tape.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tyvek Flashing Install

This post was edited by worthy on Sun, Dec 16, 12 at 20:49


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Worthy - You may be right. Is it possible that they just haven't gotten around to the head flashing yet? Or is that usually done at the same time that the windows go in?

I left our builder another message and also sent a message to a different builder. I think I need an unbiased opinion from another builder before moving forward with our current one. This entire thing makes me sick. We've already paid him a huge chunk of money so I'm not sure what to do.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

I can't tell much from those photos. Again, at the tops of some windows, there does appear to be tape over slit housewrap, maybe indicating there's head flashing, at others there is none.

The Tyvek looks nicely done; I assume there is a transparent or white Tyvek building tape where it's overlapping. Poorly done housewrap is a typical sign of inexperience.

The opinion of another builder is not unbiassed. And not necessarily expert. I would get my back up, to put it mildly, if a client told me builder X says I'm a doofus.

If you have concerns, seek out a qualified building professional. Are there no building inspectors with jurisdiction having authority over building?

This post was edited by worthy on Sun, Dec 16, 12 at 21:25


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Worthy - Thanks. I didn't think of a home inspector. That's a good idea. I'll take some better photos tomorrow. Now I know what to look for. Thanks for the link!


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

What is on your roof is called sheathing. It is structural but has a lot of open joints. What the builder forgot to install before the windows were installed is the "underlayment" which would have kept water out until the shingles were installed. Underlayment can be black asphalt impregnated felt/paper, a synthetic membrane or Grace Ice & Water Shield (or equivalent).

If you hire an independent inspector, remember that he/she would be working directly for you as a consultant. Therefore, because the inspector has no authority over the project he/she should not talk directly to the builder or the subs unless you are present and the agenda has been set beforehand preferably in writing. Avoid casual discussions. You should always be on site when the inspector is there.

Photograph everything as close up as possible and ask the inspector to do so too.

Print out the Marvin Integrity installation instructions (see link below). That is the standard the builder should be obligated to follow.

Here is a link that might be useful: click on


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

I stopped by the house today and took some more detailed photos. I'll post them below. From what I saw on that Andersen Windows video, I think they may be correctly installed. But I'm not expert. So if you see something that looks odd, please let me know.

I think the roofing company has been blowing off our project - the roof we supposed to be done last week and today still no roofers. Although I'm sure its an iceskating rink up there so maybe that's why they didn't show today.

Today they started installed the foam insulation that goes on the foundation. I asked the installers if it could get wet since our roof wasn't water proof yet and they said it should be fine, although I'm not sure that they really knew. Here's a photo of the basement insulation. Does anyone know if it's okay if this stuff gets wet?


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Exterior window...


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Close up of bottom of window


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Close up of top of window


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

View of the top lip of the window


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Inside corner - Is this the window pan??


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Inside - along the side of the window


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Another inside corner...


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

A different window


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

A third window...


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

The insulation board you show is Thermax sheathing (a glass-fiber-reinforced polyisocyanurate foam core laminated between aluminum foil facers) that is used above ground over the wood framing then covered with siding. It may be able to be exposed to water but it is too easily crushed to be used below grade.

The appropriate insulation for below grade is rigid polystyrene foam board although dense rigid fiberglass can be used.

What does the printing on the tape around the windows say?


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Close up of top of window


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

One last photo of our non-weather proofed roof!


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

I'm certainly no expert, but wanted to chime in that our windows were put in before our roof, or rather around the same time. Sounds like that was not the way to do things. Maybe they covered the inside of the windows with plastic? I can't remember as it was 3 years ago.

Here is a picture:

Photobucket

You can see that there is still snow on the ground and not all the windows and doors are in yet and they are installing the roof. Our windows so far seem to be fine.

We did not get rain before the roof went on but we had alot of snow inside like you do and I don't think they let things dry out adequately before they drywalled. Once you are fully enclosed and your hvac is on, I would look into what is appropiate amount of time to allow the subfloor and studs to dry out. We had a lot of drywall screw pop as a result. Hopefully, some of the professionals will chime in and give you more concrete parameters as far as what is appropiate dry out time.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Renovator 8 - some of the tape around the window says "Dupont flashing system". But some windows have tape that says "TAMKO"

For the Thermax sheathing, it is being installed inside the basement over the poured concrete walls for insulation. Then they'll be using the typical pink insulation rolls above where the wood frame starts. This photo shows the inside of the basement with the sheathing over the poured concrete foundation. Is this the proper use for it?


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

PPS7 - Thanks for bringing up a very good point. We have a lovely sheet of ice all over the subfloor right now so it will definitely need time to dry properly.

On another note, I spoke with our local Marvin windows rep about our situation and I was shocked when he told me that he wasn't at all concerned. Our windows were factory painted and he said because of that, he didn't think we'd have any problems with them as long as they weren't repeatedly rained on. Every one I speak with around here (our project supervisor, the lumber guy who sold us the windows and now the Marvin Rep), make me feel like I'm blowing things out of proportion. I just hope they are right!!


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Now I can see!

The builder used both Dupont and Tamko window and door flashing and followed the manufacturer's installation instructions.


Metal Drip Cap provides extra protection
for the vulnerable head jamb

Source: Fine Homebuilding

He could have done an even better job by using metal drip caps. (But that wouldn't be expected; I've never used them either.) It would have been a good idea to use shims under the bottom flange to provide a better route for water leaking through the windows. See video I posted above. But this is getting really picky.

To finish off the windows, he should be using low expansion foam between the house framing and the windows as in the picture below from Fine Homebuilding.

That must have been quite a driving rainstorm!

This post was edited by worthy on Mon, Dec 17, 12 at 18:08


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

For what its worth from Iowa, they look good to me jessrae.

I am guessing that the way they are installed, that any rain you got, came from the unprotected roof, or some melting from the snow that was on the tops of the walls .

Worthy,, The only way a metal headcap would be an improvement, in my opinion, was if it was custom bent, and 3 or 4 inches tall behind the peel and stick... but then again, thats what the peel and stick is for.. I wouldnt/dont use them either..

I sent you an email this morning, explaining that its possible that the siding sub was ready before the roofing sub..

Time to get the roof at least blacked in.. though..


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

The foil coated polyisocyanurate (Thermax) is a premium product that doesn't require you to add further thermal barriers. If you are finishing the basement, there are more economical alternatives.

No matter how big the builder is, it's impossible to have everything run in just the right order. So sometimes a little rain may fall where it shouldn't.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Thanks everyone! I'm starting to feel much better about this whole thing. Supposedly the roofers will be over tomorrow, but I'll believe that when I see it!!


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

The metal cap flashing should go on top of any horizontal head trim.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Hi Rollie - Yes! I got your e-mail. Hopefully you got my response. Thanks so much for all your very helpful advice. You are exactly right, the snow we got last week put the roofing sub behind schedule, but the people who installed the windows were there and ready to go.

Hopefully today is the day that they'll start working on the roof. We shall see!

Thanks again everyone for your help! It's been a stressful couple days.


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RE: Windows installed - lots of rain and no shingles!

Since I just ordered 26 Marvin Integritys for my 1926 restoration on Tuesday, I wanted to confirm whether or not the additional head cap was mandatory.

Here is what I sent to Marvin.

Im doing a complete restoration on my 1928 Craftsman style home in Iowa. I am using Marvin Integrity double hungs, with a 4/1 glass//muntin pattern, as thats what my old double hungs are now.

My question involves the installation instruction for these clad windows. I am following the installation instructions listed on your website, and I am stuck at the top of the window. Is there an additional metal drip cap needed on top of the integral mounting flange on top. If it is needed, how high should it extend up above the integral nailing fin, if any.

The picture on page 9 of the installation instructions, shows an additional (non supplied) head flashing, but it also appears to be a wood window outside, in that picture..

Please advise.

Heres what I got back from Marvin..


Hello Rollie,

The instructions suggest you use another drip cap along with the one built into the nailing fin. It is optional but a lot of installers choose to do this. If you want to do this you can install yours directly above the one on the nailing fin. As far as the photo on page 9, this is an error. That should show a fiberglass exterior. I can�t believe we haven�t noticed this and nobody has said anything about it until now. I have informed our technical publications department so they can correct it.

Thank you for your email. Please let me know if you have any other questions during the installation.

Happy Holidays!

Like I said in my previous post, if you were going to use an additional/optional head flashing, I suggest the flashing leg to be to be 4-6 inches above the window. It would make little sense to use a lumberyard "brickmold" standard flashing. IMO..



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