Q: I heard that water intrusion causes more problems here than in other regions, especially around windows. What can I watch for as our house is being built to keep from having problems?

A: Whether it’s here in Clark County, WA or other parts, water damage around windows due to water intrusion is a well-known warranty call-back item for many builders and an often complained-about subject by new home buyers.

The first thing to watch during construction is for the flashing that is being installed. Properly installed flashing that includes a weather resistant barrier, prevents the possibility of water intrusion. Ask your builder if your home will include flexible flashing which has become well-regarded in high performance new homes. Flexible flashing has set a new industry standard for keeping moisture from getting into windows as well as doors. The performance of the exterior walls can be increased in selecting flexible flashing.

A builder that understands water intrusion should be familiar with home moisture control systems for all exterior walls. This is a great question to ask your builder so you know whether your new home will include a system to keep moisture out for the life of the home. Regardless of the climate where the home is being built and independent of building codes, flashing attached with adhesives or with mechanics; should be selected for high performance standards. High performance flashing products come rated and tested for the number of constant rain hours as well as the vapor permeability that happens when the maximum hours of precipitation happen.

When you don’t have to worry about water intrusion, you might be able to include more natural light to illuminate your indoor space and utilize the light as an alternative to electric lighting. You’ll reduce energy costs and maintain better visual comfort by using optimized daylight.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!