Why must a window integrate to the existing building paper?

Published on: December 09, 2021

Failing to integrate your windows and building paper is an invitation for moisture to get trapped inside your walls and for allowing your home’s heating and cooling to freely escape.

Window integration with existing building paper is essential to window replacement work. Cutting corners in the process or omitting certain elements can mean serious harm to your home.

Your existing building paper creates one large seal for your entire home. It’s underneath your home’s siding, so you can’t replace it during window replacement unless you’re replacing windows and siding at the same time. 

We’ll explain how window flashing works, what you should be asking your window installation contractors, the difference between replacement windows and new construction windows, and much more.

Window Installation

How Window Flashing Works

Window flashing is an essential element of window installation. Failing to flash a window properly can have severe consequences for your home’s structure.

The flashing provides weather protection from wind and rain and helps prevent water damage. Window installation contractors install flashing at the time of window installation. 

Flashing is a thin piece of material that is continuous. You apply this material to a structure at an angle. This helps prevent water from entering your home or getting trapped in your walls. 

The flashing process begins before installing the actual window. It’s a process of preparing the window opening. Then once the window is secured in place and squared with the opening, the second half of window flashing begins. 

Getting flashing right is one reason why window installation is not an ideal do-it-yourself project. Even after watching videos and researching the process, homeowners can end up with windows that are not sealed with their home’s building paper, leaving them susceptible to a host of issues.

What You Should Be Asking Your Window Installation Contractors

Shockingly, licensed window installers do not always follow the strictest guidelines for window installation. They fail to do the necessary work and then homeowners end up with serious challenges and end up with big bills to repair the damage. Here are some questions you should ask potential window installation contractors before hiring them.

1. Can You Tell Me About Your Experience and Certifications?

New window replacement companies might not have adequate experience working with different types of homes. If your home is older, they might encounter surprises once they remove your windows. You want to know that they’ll take the best care of your home no matter what challenges they face.

Paying a bit more for an experienced company is worth it to protect your home’s foundation. Certified installers for various window manufacturers can also provide the skills necessary to work with the windows you would prefer for your home. That way you know your windows have precision installation.

Allow the Professionals to Do It

2. Do You Have Examples of Past Work?

Window installers should have examples of work they’ve completed in the past. You should be able to talk to references of customers who have used the contractor and even go out to see a window installation job. 

It can be even better if you know a friend or family member who used the contractor for new windows a few years back. Recent installations might not have had a chance to show their weaknesses yet. But within a couple of years, your friend or family member will know if the window is improperly installed based on drafts or leaks within the home.

3. Who Will Complete the Window Installation Job?

Some window installation contractors use subcontractors to complete their jobs. Ultimately, the company that sells you the service is still responsible for the work regardless of who completes it. But subcontractors can mean more layers of complication for getting resolutions to issues you face after an installation.

The closer the relationship between the salesperson and the installers, the more guarantee you’ll have that the installers will complete the work in the way that the salesperson says they will. 

4. How Long Will Window Installation Take?

If you’re only replacing one window, the job will likely be done in a day. But if you’re doing whole home window replacement, the project could take longer. You want to know how long you’ll have window contractors on site and what to expect.

Ask questions about the impacts weather can have on the project timeline. Rain is quite common in Washington year-round, so learn about how that could impact your project.

5. How Will You Protect My Home During the Project?

Window installation is a messy job. Without strong precautions, you could end up with damage to your walls, floors and more. Ask the contractor about how they clean up after themselves and who is responsible for wall touch ups. 

Some contractors handle patching walls after a project, while others will leave this work up to the homeowner. Understanding how the cleanup after installation will impact your home is important.

The Difference Between Replacement Windows and New Construction Windows

When installing new windows in your home, you have two options: replacement windows and new construction windows. For the most part, you’ll be installing replacement windows except in very unique circumstances.

  • You should use new construction windows in the following instances.
  • You’re building a new home
  • You’re putting an addition on your home
  • The walls near your windows are severely damaged and need extensive repairs
  • The window is in bad shape, which generally means that the framing is in bad shape as well

You should not have to decide between replacement windows and new construction windows. Your window installation contractor should provide insights and expertise for this to guide you in the right direction. However, it can be helpful to understand the difference before inviting window installation contractors to your home for an estimate.

Window Installation

2FL Patented Rain Jacket Flashing System

When you choose 2FL Windows, Siding and Roofing to complete your window replacement and installation, you also get access to our patented rain jack flashing system. The products we use and the installation method we employ surpass AAMA window pressure tests for hurricane-force wind-driven rain.

Because Washington experiences such extreme rain, this patented installation method can ensure protection for your home or commercial property.

Multi-family building owners especially appreciate our patented flashing system because of the added protection it provides.

To learn more about the Rain Jacket Flashing System or schedule a free consultation, contact us.


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