Most people likely agree that there is a correct way and an incorrect way to build a house. Unfortunately, sometimes the WRONG way of doing something ends up becoming the "norm" or even an industry standard... and this is why bad things happen to good people... such as, for example, mold (or "mould" as some Canadians and the UK would have it).
Indoor mold is a result of water leakage, excessive humidity or condensation problems and ALL mold (whether viable or nonviable) is a health risk to those frequently exposed. SO... while we may adopt a smug "told-you-so" attitude when it comes to purely aesthetic details gone awry with our competitors' houses, we take health concerns very seriously and don't want anyone to have to deal with these sorts of problems.
1. THE WRONG WAY
We took this photo of haphazardly stapled building paper in a window frame this weekend in a SW neighbourhood (it happens to be just across the street from one of the homes we are currently building). If you click on the picture (or on the pictures in the gallery at the bottom), you will also notice that the strip of wood at the base of the window frame is already soaked and pooling water.
Sadly, this is not unique. You will find this on most new-home construction sites in Calgary whether they are entry-level track homes or multi-million-dollar custom builds. The main problem here is that the potential for water leakage is high (especially with this slushy on-again-off-again Spring we have been having). This unsuspecting homeowner could face rotting window frames, excessive condensation and over time, a serious mold problem.
2. THE ROCKY POINT WAY
This is how WE do it. We consulted with a building envelope engineer several years ago to be sure we fully understood how to do it RIGHT.
Notice how our water-proof peel-and-stick membrane wraps around the interior and exterior of the window and leaves no room for moisture to find its way in? Also notice that the wood strips in our pictures are green. This is because they are specially treated to repel moisture.
At this point you are probably asking, why is THIS not the industry standard? The answer is predictable: time and money. (Not to mention that these types of problems don't happen overnight and therefore, it's less likely to become a problem the builder will have to face personally.)
Yes, you will pay slightly more and it will take a day longer than the other way... but ask anyone who has had leaky windows and I think they will convince you that this is not the more expensive, time-consuming option.
If you are concerned about mold in your home and want to find out more about the health risks, what to look for or what to do... visit : Alberta Health Services Environmental Health