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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,566

    Default Brick Ledge Flashing

    I'm trying to determine what type of flashing to use on the brick ledge of a house I'm building. It's a one story brick veneer home built on a monolithic slab with no basement. There is a 5 1/2" brick ledge that sits 1 1/2" below the main slab and at least 6" above grade. See attached drawing (PDF file).

    In our area, the most common "flashing" for this detail is to staple 18" wide 4-mil poly about a foot up the wall sheathing (under the WRB) and drape the remainder across the brick ledge. To be honest, I've always suspected the poly would deteriorate over time but have never seen any other method.

    We're getting ready to brick and I've been reading up on different standards from the Brick Industry Association (www.gobrick.com). They specify using a metal flashing for this detail. I then Googled the subject and discovered where some folks advocate using heavy peel-n-seal tape with primer for brick ledge flashing under the WRB. http://www.protectowrap.com/document...or_Barrier.pdf

    I've since spoken with my sheet metal fabricator, brick supplier, mason, waterproofing company, etc. and they all say they've never heard of anyone in our area using anything but the 4-mil poly.

    What do you use for brick ledge flashing in your area?

    Please help as I really want to get all the details right and build a high quality house.

    Thanks!
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Joe Adams
    Deep Creek Builders, Inc.
    Houston, Texas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    NOLA
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    4,113

    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    Yeah, it is a challenge to get trades to do things differently.

    Hopefully you can stick to your guns.
    Protecto Wrap is a good choice as is Mortar NET

    It adds to the cost however it also helps to keep water out of the building.
    You do want to keep water out don't you:)?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    Oh my, the detail even mentions Mortar Net

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Houston & Washington Texas
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    12,123

    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    Joe

    Yeah, the poly is pretty standard around here, but like you I have my doubts about it holding up long term. I have been dropping my brick ledges more than the standard 1-1/2" for a while now, not only does it mitigate the water issue I think it looks better to see less concrete.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    Let there be no doubt, I want to keep the water out!

    I've specified Mortar Net's 2" dovetail product and plan on using their Weep Vents material as well. I like the idea of dropping the brick ledge further but it's too late for that this time.

    I had figured that if anyone in Houston used something besides Poly it would be Allan. Sounds like I may be the local pioneer or lunatic depending on one's perspective.

    Is anyone anywhere doing anything differently for brick ledge flashing in residential construction?
    Last edited by Joe Adams; 07-20-2009 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Typo
    Joe Adams
    Deep Creek Builders, Inc.
    Houston, Texas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    2,444

    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    Man, you guys do some weird stuff in TX. 4 mil poly is a contractor's trash bag in thickness. I doubt it even hold up to the construction process. then you build a 100 year material on top of it. Makes no sense at all.

    That said, if you drop and weep the brick at least a full course down from top of slab, then your flashing IS the concrete, and all you need to do is run your WRB long.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Martinez, California
    Posts
    14,881

    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    NW:

    I've got to admit that with all the buildings I've built with brick veneers I've never put a "through wall" flashing over a concrete brick ledge, sitting on the footing of a "T Foundation" up until 1973, and sitting on a ledge cast into the grade beam on a pier and grade-beam foundation thereafter. If the brick is sitting on concrete and it has the mortar clear in every third joint who needs flashing? The concrete isn't going to rot, I've replaced windows in homes I built this way 30 to 40 years ago and there are no problems as long as owners' landscapers didn't pile dirt up over the brick, and the flashing wouldn't have done any good there anyway.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  8. #8
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    NOLA
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    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    I think there should be a capillary break (not housewrap) it will not take the extra exposure to water) at the bottom of the brick pile at the weeps so moisture will not capillate (S. Colbert) into the slab.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2004
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    Houston & Washington Texas
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    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    Quote Originally Posted by NW Architect View Post
    Man, you guys do some weird stuff in TX. 4 mil poly is a contractor's trash bag in thickness. I doubt it even hold up to the construction process. then you build a 100 year material on top of it. Makes no sense at all.

    That said, if you drop and weep the brick at least a full course down from top of slab, then your flashing IS the concrete, and all you need to do is run your WRB long.
    I agree on both points, the poly is pretty weak, that's why I drop my brickledges minimum 3", preferably 6". Although, the portion of the poly behind the sheathing, on top of the studs, probably helps a bit to keep moisture/vapor out. I think. But if water ever backed up and rose above the 1-1/2" drop, no way the poly keeps the water out of the house.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2004
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    Houston & Washington Texas
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    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    And of course the poly does not turn down over the slab. I think a continuous flashing made from copper would be the only way to really flash a brickledge.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Rumson, NJ
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    I occasionally run into peel and stick rubber flashings used on commercial construction around here. It is certainly far more rugged than the trash bag "flashing." Used with primer, it's probably a "forever" material. Can't say I've ever seen it on residential, though. In fact, 90% of our residential still doesn't have ANY flashing, so trash bag flashing would be a step up.

    I agree with Bill that I'd like to see the flashing as a capillary break, even on the dropped concrete brick ledge.
    All complex problems have a simple solution. That solution is invariably wrong.

    Peter Engle, PE
    Almost Home, Inc.
    www.almosthome.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    leavenworth kansas
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    we use bituthene or epdm at least 12" up the wall behind tyvek and under the bottom course of bricks. convincing the home owner to keep wicks open can be a problem. they want to cover up the foundation so nothing but brick is exposed. bituthene is fairly inexpensive compared to sheathing and wall framing replacement

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    So, what I do is:

    1. Set the brick ledge 2 courses below top of slab (so the slab edge doesn't show)
    2. Set the first two courses in a full bed of mortar, including filling the void behind the brick
    3. Put in a through-wall flashing, 80 mil peel and stick or stainless steel or copper or EPDM, at what winds up being the top of slab elevation
    4. WRB over the top of the flashing
    5. Brick veneer course with weeps on top of the flashing
    6. The rest of the brick veneer

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    I'm often asked to fab copper for this detail.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Central New Jersey
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    789

    Default Re: Brick Ledge Flashing

    Want it to last a long time, go with copper or stainless steel and keep the weeps open. Make sure you install end dams and seal the seams.

    If you are spending the kind of money to put on brick, then do it correctly

    I concur with NW Architects methods

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