The Importance and Proper Use of Window Tape

Because it is evident to me that most damage to homes and buildings come from water damage, I’ve decided to write an entire series on protecting windows from leaking. From my conversations with tons of home-owners over the years, I’ve begun to recognize that many of them have NEVER heard of window tape and window flashing. Unfortunately, a large chunk of the repair work we perform each year is directly related to leaking windows.

EVERY SINGLE WINDOW on your home needs window tape. This is unlike the Z-flashing described in my last blog which is only needed in specific scenarios. Window tape keeps more than rain out. It keeps unwanted moisture, air-flow, and even small critters out of your home!

Moisture—in the form of condensation—can be just as damaging over time as rain water, and unwanted air-flow can mean the difference of keeping your house efficiently cooled or warmed. We all want our heating and cooling systems to be efficient because it directly saves [or cost] us money $$$. Window tape is an integral part of heating, cooling, sealing, and insulating our homes.

…and one more thing, window tape keeps water from getting blown through to the inside of your home if you ever decide to pressure wash!!!

Link to Window Tape at Lowes.

The Good News…

The good news is that window tape is very easy to install. One thing I should point out here is that sealant and fasteners are also very important when installing a window. A quality sealant and exterior grade ring-shanked nails, or even better—screws should be used in every window installation.

Before the window is secured to the wall, you should cut the house wrap over the top of the window to create a water shed result. Then you simply cut the window tape to the proper length and install in the following order. THE ORDER IS VERY IMPORTANT for the correct water shed. You are essentially creating flashing for the window.

1) Measure the width of the window tape and multiply it by two, then Add the width of the window to it. This will give you the length of your top and bottom piece of tape. Cut two pieces this length, and set one piece aside to be used later for the top of the window. Install one piece on the bottom of the window covering the window fin with adequate tape to get a good seal both on the wall and the window fin. The center of the window tape should be aligned with the center of the window. This enables the tape to extend pass the edges of the window and to be covered by the tape that you will install on the sides of the window.

2) Measure the width of the window tape and multiply it by two, then Add the length of the window to it. Follow the same process as number 1. This time you will be installing down the sides of the window making sure you get a tight seal to the window fin and the wall. Also, make sure to cover each edge of the bottom piece of tape (that you previously installed) with a good seal for proper water shed.

3) Now, following the same process install the top piece beneath the flap of the house wrap you previously cut—but over the window fin and the side pieces of window tape.

4) Close the flap of the house wrap over the window tape and seal the cut edges with tape for a tight seal.

Finally, make sure any fasteners you use are EXTERIOR grade. For a quality sealant in this type of application I recommend GEOCEL Proflex. I don’t receive any compensation to recommend these products. I recommend them because I use them and know that they work. Proflex is praised for its value as a roofing sealant, but this product works great in many applications. I buy it by the case.

Here is a link to Proflex.

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Thank you,

James Wells
HRR | Home Repairs and Remodels
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