Exterior Cladding, Eaves Trough and Downspout Inspection
25 May 2012

Exterior Cladding, Eaves Trough and Downspout Inspection

John Fuglestveit

The final piece for the building envelope is the exterior cladding, eaves trough and downspouts that are installed by our exterior cladding contractors. At Cedarglen Homes, we provide the customer with a wide variety of exterior finishes that are durable and easy to maintain, such as stucco, vinyl exterior cladding, fibre cement exterior cladding and cultured stone cladding. These elements provide the final appearance to your new home and they help your home perform more effectively and efficiently. The exterior cladding acts as the first line of defense to the exterior elements and operates as a drainage plane allowing all of the exterior elements to drain down and away from the home.

In this week’s discussion we will only cover the vinyl siding installation, as it is our most common exterior finish. At Cedarglen, we have a long-standing relationship with our contractors who follow a precise standard specification process when it comes to the exterior cladding details. Even though the exterior is inspected at the pre-possession inspection by The City of Calgary inspectors, Cedarglen Homes goes above and beyond that with our own formal inspection of the exterior cladding components. While inspecting the exterior cladding components, the main principle to keep in mind is how water will flow once it comes in contact with the home. Cedarglen is always looking for a shingle lap fashion in all the exterior cladding and flashing detail around the perimeter of the house. Similar to last week, shingle lap fashion means that all exterior material is lapped so that the bottom exterior detail is always under the top exterior detail to ensure that all water is directed out rather than in.

The exterior cladding crews start their job with the battens which are installed around windows and doors to match the architectural details shown on your house plan. These are installed backed with a weather resistant membrane with enough overlap to facilitate our shingle lap process and the necessary flashing to direct the water outward. Then the siding crews will start installing the exterior finish of the home. Cedarglen’s standard practice is to first install a weather resistant membrane in a shingle lap fashion around the exterior of the home starting on the foundation wall. The building paper will have a minimum of 4” of lap on horizontal joints and 8” of lap on any vertical joints. The crews will be making sure that this paper is installed underneath the paper previously left by framers at the top of the walls and around all windows as per last week’s posting. Also they will be tying in the same fashion into any of the weather resistant membrane that has been installed previously by other trades on any exterior penetrations in the home. The last part of the exterior finish is installation of the exterior cladding as per your customer selections. This is also installed in single lap fashion again starting on the foundation wall. As exterior cladding is installed the exterior cladding crews are diligent in addressing all areas needing caulking and flashing. Flashing is installed at any horizontal separation, any change in material cladding and at any horizontal offset where the lower material protrudes past the material above it. This is installed to ensure that the elements are directed out and away from the building. Caulking is used as a second line of defense for any penetration areas.

Finally, the aluminum facia and soffit is installed and per new fire code regulation the soffit is unvented at the side yards and vented at the front and rear of the house. Then eaves trough and downspouts are installed at the roof edge. All eaves trough are installed with a positive slope towards the downspouts and downspouts are directed outwards to drain the water away from the building.

At Cedarglen, our Site Supervisors will perform an inspection after exterior cladding is complete to ensure that all proper details and installation procedures are followed. This will provide you as our customer, with the assurance of a home with the proper building envelope.