By: Gena Hoyt, Co Founder of Big Dog Construction
In early 2021, we wanted to create a way on social media to educate people about better building practices. We were tired of fixing rotten walls and other building issues due to the previous person(s) not knowing the right way to construct the wall assembly. It became an on-going joke that Aron was a “Rot- Hunter” when he constantly would open up buildings and find nothing but rotten wood everywhere. It become apparent that perhaps the industry and construction community needed some education on the subject. Aron has always had a love for flashings and we decided to create a day on Instagram where we would invite our construction community to help show the good, bad and the ugly of flashings, or lack there of! We spent a couple of weeks brainstorming to create a logo for the day and then decided we would have t-shirts done up to send to those friends so they could wear it on that day. We originally called it “National Flashing Awareness Day” however Mike Guertin saw fit to rename it “International Flashing Awareness Day”. Although we still lovingly refer to it as “Flash Me Day” as well, Aron likes to think of it as a ”fake holiday that I made up!”
Gena Hoyt and Aron Jones
At the time, we had a woman who worked for us on the island who also had a hobby of screen-printing clothing and so we asked her to print the shirts. That first year we sent out 30 shirts to our friends and asked them to post on IG on August 26. They posted all kinds of great videos and pictures of flashing details and flashing fails. We were nervous about how the “Flash Me” logo and saying it would be interpreted by people, however the construction community embraced it and we received a lot of great feedback from people.
In 2022, we decided to do it again and to keep the date of August 26 every year. We reached out to our friends at SIGA North America and asked them to help us print more t-shirts and reach more people. We also had a really good friend who had just started his screen-printing business, Knightingale Design (IG: @knightingaledesign), agree to help us. With their support we were able to send out 75 shirts and the IG posts about #internationalflashingawarnessday grew exponentially. We recorded a podcast episode with Mike Knoche of The Contracting Handbook Podcast, co-hosted by Garrett Davis (IG: @thelifeofbub). The podcast included voice clips from several people in our community who described flashing fails they had seen, their favorite flashing detail, and more.
2023 has brought us even more partners who want to help spread the word about flashing details and the products available to help keep the exterior of our buildings more resilient. SIGA returned again and we also enlisted the help of Benjamin Obdyke. Sashco is a blessing to also have as a partner, they have taken on the packing and distribution of all the shirts this year in the US. OffSiteDirt is helping us continually, posting media support and getting the word out everywhere. This year, thanks to the support of these great companies, Knightingale Designs printed 150 shirts to be sent out all over Canada and the US. For us to be able to have doubled the outreach in only one year could not have been possible without all of our partners!
The work that goes into Flash Me day each year has taken a lot of planning and coordination. From creating a list of people to receive shirts, getting them printed, packing them with stickers and instructions and then mailing them out; this is truly a year long endeavor and labour of love for us. August 26th is a busy day for us, keeping tabs on IG and what everyone is posting, trying to keep up with sharing the posts/reels/stories is truly an event for the entire day.
We are in the beginning stages of creating a YouTube channel where we plan to begin uploading the IG videos so people can find them easily in the future. We also have dreams of a Flashing website that can be a resource to anyone who needs to know about flashings and how to properly use and install them on a building. Flash Me Day might be a “made-up” holiday, but it is truly something we are committed to moving forward.
Include the hashtag #internationalflashingawarenessday in your post and/or story on August 26, 2023. We cannot wait to see your videos and celebrate this important mission.