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three-rules-flashing-masonryAs times change, the masonry industry has three basic rules that will always remain the same.

The masonry industry is a proud group, building the most durable structures using time-honored techniques that have spanned generations. Discipline and mentoring are the keys to learning the rules that make up our complex trade. As with all things, masonry has rules that will and will not change over time. Here are three important rules to note, one of which involves flashing.

Rule No. 1 – Pay. Masons get paid for what they lay on the wall, not for effort.

Rule No. 2 – Costs. The cost of the original installation is derived by the amount you originally bid for your crew to do the installation correctly minus your profit.

The cost of demolition: When you have a callback on a masonry job, chances are good you will have to disassemble or demolish the damaged part of the masonry structure to prepare it for repair. This can be a time-consuming task, especially if materials that are applied by other contractors are involved, such as windows, electrical or plumbing pipes, landscaping and other types of siding. You may have to work around their schedules, which can make it hard to schedule the repair efficiently.

Demolition time can cause lost business for your crew, who is working to tear down an old job, rather than work on a paying job. With today’s labor shortage, your crew is probably spread pretty thinly. If you have to give up a new job because your crew is tied up on a repair on an older job, that costs you double – once for the cost of the labor on the repair, and again for the money you didn’t get because you couldn’t do the new job.

Also keep in mind that the cost of the labor and materials to do the repair might include also scaffold and equipment rental.

Rule No. 3 – Flashing matters. A wall without flashing completed properly has a 95 percent chance of leaking as opposed to a wall that is flashed correctly, which has almost no chance of leaking.

As a mason contractor, you know all of this, so let’s discuss some of the new rule changes.

Sealants and flashing technology have improved over time. Products designed to improve the workmanship and quality over what has been available in the past are now available for both residential and commercial mason contractors.

With many recent innovations, new flashing fabrics, membranes and composites have been created to give the masonry and roofing contractors better options to serve their building owners.

Prior to the sealants that have evolved into what we see used today, bituminous mastics commonly were used to lap flashings, patch around dowels and seal penetrations that passed through the wall. Bituminous mastics, when used now, should be checked for compatibility with today’s flashings. When determining the compatibility between products, simply call the manufacturer and ask. Once your question is answered, request a letter stating the approval or disapproval of the product.

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