Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Terminology Tuesday - Flashing (Weatherproofing)

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).

Video Link

As defined in Wikipedia:

"Flashing refers to thin continuous pieces of sheet metal or other impervious material installed to prevent the passage of water into a structure from an angle or joint. Flashing generally operates on the principle that, for water to penetrate a joint, it must work itself upward against the force of gravity or in the case of wind-driven rain, it would have to follow a tortuous path during which the driving force will be dissipated.

Flashing may be exposed or concealed. Exposed flashing is usually of a sheet metal, such as aluminium, copper, painted galvanized steel, stainless steel, zinc alloy, terne metal, lead or lead-coated copper. Metal flashing should be provided with expansion joints on long runs to prevent deformation of the metal sheets. The selected metal should not stain or be stained by adjacent materials or react chemically with them.

Flashing can assume a number of forms:

Roof flashing is placed around discontinuities or objects which protrude from the roof of a building (such as pipes and chimneys, or the edges of other roofs) to deflect water away from seams or joints.

Wall flashing may be embedded in a wall to direct water that has penetrated the wall back outside, or it may be applied in a manner intended to prevent the entry of water into the wall. Wall flashing is typically found at interruptions in the wall, such as windows and points of structural support.

Sill flashing is a concealed flashing that is typically placed under windowsills or door thresholds to prevent water from entering a wall at those points.

Base flashing is found at the base of a wall, and usually incorporates through-wall flashing with weep holes to permit the escape of water. Base flashings may be placed at the building grade or at a point where a roof intersects a wall."

Definition Link

In my experience, the majority of cases where I've had to face "flashing" issues have been with mobile homes that have masonite hardboard siding.

The issue with these types of homes (that I've encountered) is that if it does not have proper "flashing" around the edges of the roof of the home and water is not properly directed away, water tends to trickle down the side of the home causing moisture damage. Over time, extensive moisture damage to the siding will require routine maintenance and will eventually need to be replaced.

(Note: With mobile homes with aluminum type siding, I haven't really faced any type of "flashing" issues and/or moisture issues if properly sealed).

An example where I had to deal with a "flashing" issue was my first deal.

From the front, it looks ok:

Though, with no metal flashing around the edges of the roof when it rained water would trickle down the side of the mobile home causing moisture damage to the siding.

(Note: When the moisture drys up and the sun comes out, the siding tends to crack and result in the pics below).

The solution is to add metal flashing to the edges around the roof so that moisture is drawn away from the siding and the home when it rains. If the masonite hardboard siding is too moist, it will need to be replaced.

On my first deal, I learned about flashing when it came time to evaluate. At first, I was a bit concerned about the moisture problems in the siding and the cracks.

I conferred with a couple fellow investors - some told me it may be a mold issue and to watch out, and others told me it may just be some boards needing to be replaced. Though, none of these investors informed me about a possible "flashing" issue.

I learned about "flashing" when I brought in a couple contractors to look at the home and take bids.

The first contractor (who was highly recommended by a fellow investor), told me the problem was definitely a mold issue and told me I had to re-side the entire house. Otherwise, I could have public health coming at my door. This contractor gave me a bid of 5k to re-side the entire mobile home.

(Note: Going into the deal, I already knew the market. I knew the wholesale value of the home was not more than 5k. Thing is, I had a "gut feeling" it wasn't a mold issue. Honestly, I've seen mold and this just wasn't it. Plus, the sellers (who also had a daughter and small dog) had been living in the home for 10 years with the siding issue for the past 3 years. I figured, if they could live in the home for all this time, then it wasn't likely to be a health issue).

It wasn't until I met with a couple more contractors that I learned of the "flashing issue." I must have met with 6 or 7 contractors, and as I got better at explaining the problem a couple of them pointed out the "flashing issue." So, that's how I learned - through experience.

Now, the "flashing issue" has become something I've picked up and can spot right away when going out to check out mobile homes. With each experience, I find that I learn something new. And, knowing is half the battle.

Happy investing!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!


Julie Broad said...

Seriously!! The world needs to know about your blog because it is so awesome. I love terminology Tuesday. Flashing is something I have heard said but I never REALLY knew what it was.

Great post!!!

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Glad you found this beneficial Julie, I'm happy that you enjoy Terminology Tuesday! I had no idea what flashing was either until this experience.

Dealing with fix up work has always been one of those areas I've lacked in (no major rehabs for me!). But, I've actually learned a lot just by experiences like this one and meeting with contractors to get their opinions - it's really helped.

I used to be really scared of any fix up work involved since I lacked the knowledge. But, now I've learned to ask - even though I don't know the answer, someone else does.

Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the post!

p.s. Glad you continue to enjoy the blog. Since it's beginning to come out of the woodwork (especially by my blogging buddies like you, Shae and Steph), I have a feeling it might not be much of a secret anymore. :)

Kelvin Coleman said...

Every homeowner should be sufficiently informed about weatherproofing. This not only saves them time in solving flashing problems; but also saves them money in the long run.