Don’t Omit Through-Wall Flashings
The main cause of moisture problems in the brick homes I investigate is the lack of proper through-wall flashings (see slideshow). For example, one common source of leaks is the counterflashing installed where a sloped shingle roof abuts a brick wall. The metal is usually 4 or 5 inches high, follows the shingles in a straight line parallel with the roof, and may have an occasional fastener through its face into a mortar joint.
The sketch above, made by the author during a site visit, explains to the client the difference between a kerfed-in and a through-wall flashing.
Typically, the suspect flashing is turned in about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch along the top and simply let into a kerf cut in the mortar or brick with a masonry blade. But the biggest warning signs are the nails and the copious amounts of caulk along the top edge. Even when I find the metal installed in stair-step fashion down a brick wall, it’s still most likely a saw-cut job, where the counterflashing was installed after the brick had been laid.