Are Modern Construction Methods Always the Best?

July 16, 2019
table saw
Photo: Unsplash/ Cetteup

One builder makes the case against giving up time-tested building methods for modern technology, according to The Washington Post.

I’ve been aghast the past few decades at a growing trend in the residential construction industry that is burying tried-and-true construction methods that were developed and used by builders for centuries. I’m talking about the explosion of flashing tape being installed around windows and doors in homes and room additions.

Mother Nature knows how to shed water to keep things dry. Think about how feathers are layered on birds and how fur is layered on any number of animals that need to survive outdoors in cold and rainy climes.

Builders of old used the same method to keep walls dry. They overlapped pieces of asphalt-saturated paper in the same manner. When the paper passed over a door or window, the builders carefully installed a simple metal flashing that extended up the wood wall, was bent to pass over the top of the window or door trim, and then was bent a final time so about a quarter-inch of the metal lapped over the front of the window or door trim.

Many — not all — builders and laborers are using wide flashing tapes that overlap, not underlap, the materials above them. They hope the adhesive doesn’t fail. If it does, water gets behind the tape and it’s game over.

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