If you've got leaky windows creating rot problems in your walls, replacing your old and outdated windows could solve the problem. However, inadequate or improper flashing during the installation of new windows means the moisture problem continues to grow instead of fixing it. Watch out for these four common flashing mistakes to make sure your investment in new materials is worth the cost.

Incompatible Materials

Modified asphalt flashing tape is often used to seal the gaps around windows, but this material is incompatible with both caulk and vinyl siding. The asphalt becomes soft and runny by drawing chemicals out of these common building materials. For more reliable sealing around the window, try butyl-based flashing tape products instead and keep them away from all types of asphalt as well.

Forgotten Casing Bead

Whether your home features attractive vinyl siding or durable stucco on the exterior, the material should never run all the way to the bottom edge of the window. Both of these exterior coverings expand and contract throughout the year. Installing a thin line of flexible caulk, known as the casing bead, prevents the stucco or vinyl siding from cracking due to the pressure and letting water run in around the flashing.

Cold Installation

Many window installers stick with asphalt tape because it's what they're familiar with, but this tape won't stick properly unless it's at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside during application. If it's necessary to put the new windows in during the fall or winter, ask the installation crew to stick with butyl flashing tape instead. This material can stick tightly to the frame of the window despite cold weather and still stays strong when direct sunlight heats up the window.

Dirty Materials

Much like the transparent tape used for wrapping presents, even the best window flashing tape can't adhere well if it's pressed onto wood framing or house wrap covered in a layer of construction dust and dirt. Materials that sit out in the open and get dirty need thorough cleaning before the flashing step begins. Wiping down the materials with a damp rag is usually enough to clean off the grit that causes window flashing to fail prematurely.

Even when a team of professionals is handling the window installation for you, it pays to check up on their flashing work during the process. Catching one or two big mistakes while the siding is still off gives you a chance to prevent leaks and serious moisture issues before they cause serious damage to your walls. For more information about fixing your home windows, contact a pro like Alabama Glass Works Inc.