John always has the best post titles and I am , frankly , quite jealous. With him out this morning helping the guys install the roof ( what! whoot! whoot!!) I come up with " drying in the windows"?! I can do better than that right? How about
Raindrops keep fallin on my windowsill? no.... that's just not true. or
Who ya gonna call? MoldBusters!
Never the less, our windows are in and I took some pictures of the proper way to wrap them to keep moisture from getting in, while still allowing inside moisture to get out. This is evidently the biggest thing we do here in Washington, fight water. Now your house produces moisture, when you cook, shower, wash dishes, water your plants, breathe, etc, but this moisture needs to escape or it becomes trapped in the walls and produces mold. This was the major problem with Tyvec. It did a really great job keeping out moisture, but it sealed the houses too much and created a lot of problems. We have met some old time builders who tell us about 30 year old houses rotten to the core, sealed up tight with Tyvec.
Anyway, we are using felt paper and that does seem to be the standard for all thinking builders. The paper for the siding is 60 minute paper and it refers to the amount of time the paper can be fully submerged in water before water begins to seep through.
So to start you wrap the insides of your rough opening with the felt paper. You staple down the two sides, leaving the bottom flap loose. Do not wrap the top. Install the window, making sure it is level and plumb and then nail it in place through the flanges. Every carpenter we have met has said not to nail in through the top and many windows do not even have a top flange.
Using window tape, tape the top flange to the plywood wall.
You next step is the wrap the plywood up to the window. You will want to do this as you side so that your paper isn't just hanging out for weeks in the weather. It doesn't hurt the paper, but it may bubble causing undue heartache when siding. On the bottom, you are going to want to lift up that flap you left loose and paper under it. Then staple your flap down on top of it. On the sides, go right over the window wrapping and go all the way to the edge of the flanges. It should look like this. The idea is that you are constantly shingling your materials. In the case that water makes it's way in, it can't just keep running down and into any creases or seems. You layer the material like shingles.
Now is the time to cover above the window with felt paper, being sure to paper over the tape that binds the window to the plywood.
The next step is to tape all of the paper to the windows using the window tape.
As an extra precaution, as you side and you get to the window edge, run a bead of silicon caulk so that you bind the flange, the tape, and the siding material.
If you go through these steps you will have created an environment that won't allow any moisture to seep through, but you also will not collect moisture from the inside. The window breathes!
Maybe that should have been the title.