- water management - 

To expect 340 Fairfax to be healthy, comfortable and durable, we knew we had
to address the potential problems caused by uncontrolled water. Water intrusion
is a major concern for the home building industry and the consequences can be

Studies continue to verify that about 80% of U.S. homes have unacceptable air
quality. Many of these situations involve water damage and mold. Uncontrolled mold is a direct consequence of uncontrolled moisture.

In many cases, mold is growing in a home before the owners move in. And since few people request mold testing before purchasing their home, there is little chance they will know they have a problem. Even if they knew, how many parents or for that matter, how many physicians understand the connection between their child’s allergies or asthma and hidden mold in their home?


Beyond the health consequences of mold, water intrusion can lead to structural rot, cosmetic issues, premature paint failure and poor long-term durability. Water can also contribute to other problems, such as pest infestation and termites.

Incidentally, it might come as a shock to learn that property insurance in NC limits mold coverage to a paltry $5,000. This means NC homeowners are likely responsible for a large chunk of the clean up cost. The information can be found in the NC Department of Insurance booklet entitled A Consumer's Guide to Homeowner’s Insurance.

At 340 Fairfax, these problems are not acceptable. So we developed a well- considered plan to prevent them.

  • We covered the entire roof deck with a layer of synthetic underlayment 10 times stronger than #15 felt paper.

  • The underlayment extends fully into valleys providing a secondary layer of protection under the roof shingles and flashings.

  • Our roof valleys were also covered with copper flashing.

  • We chose a roof shingle with a lifetime warranty.

  • Kick out flashings were added to move water away from intersecting walls or adjoining rooflines.

  • Gutters and downspouts were over-sized to accommodate more water volume. Each downspout is piped away from the foundation.

Kick out flashing:

What happens when you don’t install proper kick out flashings?

Everyone knows roofs leak. But who’s ever heard of a wall leak? The truth is wall leaks are more common than roof leaks. But since a wall leak doesn’t drip on your head, they are rarely detected until serious damage has developed.


Our exterior walls include a drainage system that doesn’t allow water to leak into the walls. Engineers call it a pressure equalized rain screen. It simply means when water gets behind the brick or siding, we’ve designed a drainage system to get it out of the wall quickly.


In a sense, we handle wall leaks by installing more holes in the wall.

Our drainage system was created by wrapping the entire

house is a drainable house wrap called HydroGap.

HydroGap uses spacers to create a 1mm drainage

space where it can drain nearly 100 times more

water than a typical wall.

See how the material drains in this short video.