Leak-Proof Flashing

We live at the shore between the bay and ocean. At times, the winds are horrendous and can drive into the windows at an angle. The problem is at our sliding glass door and inside, where we have a leak affecting the ceiling of our gable roof where the inside wall of the sliding glass door meets the ceiling. We tried adjusting the gutters by pitching them, and still have a leak. I was told a leak can start anywhere…Can you help?
Carole C.

It sounds like the problem may be with the flashing (or lack thereof) around your sliding-glass door. Flashing is a protective sealing membrane designed to protect a wall at its most vulnerable points, namely where window and door openings exist.

In your case, I recommend installing a "self adhered" product such as Grace Vycor Plus Flashing, which is designed to work in severe weather climates such as the coastal area where you live. It's compatible with wood, plywood, concrete and masonry, and fully adheres to the substrate to prevent water from passing through. This works in conjunction with Grace VYCORners which are prefabricated flashing corners made to work with the flashing product for protection against leaks, and make the overall installation faster and easier.  NOte that both of these products are flexible enough to make sure these odd-shaped joints are well covered.

Note that if the leak you described has already worked its way under any adjacent exterior siding, you'll likely have to remove and reapply that siding as well, in order to install the new material, but the extra effort will be well worth it the next time coastal winds blow rain your way.

Tom Kraeutler is the host of The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show and the Home Improvement Editor for AOL. For more tips, sign up for Tom's free e-newsletter here. Tom's latest book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure, is available in bookstores everywhere and online.

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