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Question DetailsAsked on 5/16/2015

Residing with vinyl siding after removing Masonite. Will install Tyvek WRB. Should I pull and reflash windows?

Masonite is in bad shape. Sheathing is 1/2 inch Celotex fiberboard. Probably no existing weather-resistant barrier, so plan to install Tyvek DrainWrap. Highly suspect window flashing will not have been done right - at least not to current Tyvek installation guide standards. House is 23 Years old. So, I want to improve the flashing so that after spending $$ on vinyl siding, I don't have water/rot problems in the future. I don't want a false sense of security. Should I pull, reflash and then reinstall the existing windows? Or do some kind of "work-around"? I don't trust just wrapping existing trim in aluminum coil trim. Or purchase new, vinyl or replacement windows? Have limited budget, but want to do it right. Thanks for your help!

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One thing in your question struck me right off, so I am going to address that first. You talked about "pull, reflash, and reinstall windows" - if the rough opening ice and water shield is what you meant by "reflash" then yes in that order - but if you meant the head drip flashing and the interface or J channel flashing with the siding then that goes on either built-into the window unit, or afterwards.


I would guess (though might be wrong) that there is tarpaper under the masonite.


Since you say the masonite is in bad shape and the flashing is highly suspect, I would say your first priority should be getting the masonite and celotex off and your wall insulation redone if deteriorated, and new sheathing and watershield and siding put on.


To do it "right" one would definitely pull the windows - and I would bet they are deteriorated too so one would normally (though at much higher cost) replace them with newer, more energy efficient units, but of course that means pulling the most exposed one first (before job starts) to see what the condition is, because obviously the new windows would have to be on-site before start of work. Unfortunately, to do it "right" one would try to put the windows in along with the siding job (under one general contractor) or first so the water barrier is done right, with the windows going into place before the vinyl siding so the channels are there for the siding to slide right into.


However, if you can't afford to do the windows now, caulking the rough opening gap and then running the housewrap to AND onto the window frame behind the J- or C-channel so water can't get in around the windows would have to do for now (including proper head drip edge flashing), then in the future when you redo the windows they would have to be custom-built to fit the siding or be wider (trimming the siding), and of course put in new (or reinstall) the channel then. Harder to do that way but doable, but more risk than having windows in first because it is a lot harder to get the water barriers in correctly.


If you had NOT said the siding was in bad shape and you were looking at windows and siding being redone at some time but not both together, I would have said do the windows first and right, then do the siding at a later time - but sounds like you need the siding done now because of deterioration. Now everyone hold hands and join me for a solid cursing session at the manufacturers and building code lobbyists that got fiberboard, hardboard, OSB, particle board, EIFS and similar systems approved for exterior finishes. Of course, there is also the school that curses at shingles as siding and at aluminum and vinyl and thin steel siding - which really narrows the choices.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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