That’s a Wrap.
There are dozens of ways to dress up a metal column, but few make the job as easy as the Wrap-A-Round. The red oak or paint-grade column cover comes in widths from 12 to 48 inches and lengths from 8 to 10 feet. The maker claims it can be glued to any steel column with construction adhesive. The product can also be used for curved walls, bar fronts, and kitchen islands. Prices start at $37 each. Dean Column, 800/442-3455, www.deancolumn.com.
Make your client’s basement more comfortable and reduce subslab vapor drive with a Delta-FL air-gap membrane. The dimpled plastic sheet installs over the slab, creating a 5/16-inch air space that keeps wood, carpet, and other porous materials from wicking moisture. The membrane also boosts the floor’s temperature, reducing condensation during hot, humid spells. A 5-foot-by-65-foot roll costs about $200. Cosella-D¶rken, 888/433- 5824, www.deltafl.com.
While preparing for a recent basement remodel, I found that virtually every floor-level sheet of drywall I pulled down had at least a little mold on the back. For the new drywall I’ll use GP’s DensArmor Plus — its fiberglass facings won’t support mold growth. The product installs the same way as conventional drywall except it requires a high-build primer-surfacer and either a spray texture or a skim coat of mud to prepare the fiberglass surface for paint. A local home center quoted me a price of $13 a sheet. Georgia-Pacific, 800/284-5347, www.gp.com.
Flashing a window in a masonry or inset opening is no simple task — especially at the corners. You could rely on the dubious protection provided by caulk or folded pieces of peel-and-stick flashing — but you’d be wiser to use Double Buck Window and Door Corner Sill Pan Flashing from Weather Out Flashing. Made with a 11/2-inch step to accommodate a wood buck or inset opening, the pieces have a 1/2-inch-high back dam. A case of 50 corners costs $400; a case of 25 straight sections, $200. Weather Out Flashing, 866/568-0050, www.weatheroutflashing.com.
Most open-valley flashing is made from flat sheets, which is fine for low-pitch roofs. Steeper roofs, however — and those with unequal pitches — are better off with W-shaped valley flashing. ABC Metal Roofing’s version is made from 29-gauge steel; a one-inch rib running down the center prevents water from spilling onto the adjacent roofing material. The flashing comes with 9-inch or 14-inch legs in 10 1/2-foot lengths. American Building Components, 800/877-8709, www.abcmetalroofing.com.
Less expensive than solid copper flashing and easier to form, Cop-R-Shield is a thin copper sheet (either 2 or 3 ounces per square foot) bonded to a waterproof kraft-paper backing. The 3-ounce version also has glass-fiber reinforcement. Unlike aluminum, Cop-R-Shield has no compatibility problems with copper-based wood preservatives. Prices range from 87 cents to $1.07 per square foot, depending on copper thickness. Advanced Building Products, 800/252-2306, www.advancedflashing.com.