Why Kick-Out Flashing Is Crucial to Preventing Water Damage

kick-out flashing

One of the most important, yet under-used ways to prevent water damage to a home’s roof and interior is kick-out flashing. It’s an absolutely necessary part of a complete roofing install or repair project.

Not sure what kick-out flashing is. Here’s a short primer on kick-out flashing, what it does. the water damage it prevents, where it should be used and even how to install it.

So, let’s begin with the basics of what kick-out flashing actually is.

What is Kick-Out Flashing?

Also called diverter flashing, kick-out flashing is a particular kind of flashing which diverts water into a roof gutter. It gives a home or building owner the necessary protection from rainwater making it’s way into the building envelope.

Preventing Water Damage With Kick-Out Flashing

Kick-out flashing is not only good for the roof and rain gutter system, but it prevents water damage to all kinds of parts of a building and beyond. Some of the things that could get water damaged without this flashing are:

  • Roof
  • Siding
  • Interior ceiling and walls
  • Pavement
  • Sidewalk
  • Landscaping
  • Concrete/Stucco Walls

Some of these areas could even develop harmful mold if the water damage is left unchecked. Things like the roof, siding, and interior could easily suffer from mold growth if they get wet from rainwater that could be easily diverted away from it. And mold can be very dangerous if left unaddressed.

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Even landscaping can become damaged without kick-out flashing. During heavy rains, water that is not properly diverted into gutters can run off of the roof, damaging the landscaping and pooling around the ground surrounding the home. This can also eventually lead to water damage on the first floor and basement of the home.

Where To Use Kick-Out Flashing

Kick-out flashing should be used at any place where an exterior wall and roof meet, in which the wall goes past the gutter and roof-edge. A trusted gutter company will usually be well informed of where to look for these spots where kick-out flashing is required.

Provided the home has a chimney, this type of flashing is also required to be installed where gutters end at the side of the chimney.

If there is no kick-out flashing in these spots, excessive pools of water could get past the gutter and get into the siding. Once this happens, the water will get trapped inside the wall and cause water damage and mold damage that could be irreversible, affecting the value of the home and potentially impacting the respiratory health of the homeowner and their family.

Who Install Kick-out Flashing

Keep in mind that a gutter contractor like Storm Master can complete a full gutter install, but this does not include the installation of kick-out flashing. That is normally the responsibility of the roofer. A well done roofing job is typically not complete without the installation of kick-out flashing in the areas where it’s needed.

Otherwise, the home or property will eventually suffer water damage.

How to Install Kick-Out Flashing

If you are a contractor or roofer, installing kick-out flashing is easier than you think. If you are a homeowner, you may still be able to complete this job, but it is best done in the hands of a professional. It is very important that it is a job that is done correctly!

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to install kick-out flashing:

Step 1

First, apply some waterproofing where the bottom of the roof meets the exterior wall. This waterproofed area must cover the wall at least four inches in every direction from its framing. Don’t forget the spot below the fascia as well.

Be sure to blend the waterproofing into the housewrap that already exists using the correct overlaps. If needed, make the changeover to house-wrap using flashing tape on the bottom of your waterproofing. This can be sealed to your housewrap later on.

Step 2

For this step, put in some peel-and-stick waterproofing along your eaves and fold over its bottom two inches onto your fascia.

Once you install the metal drip edge, place some more of that peel-and-stick waterproofing to cover up the whole joint where the wall meets the roof. Then, extend this waterproofing about eight inches up the wall and onto the roof.

Step 3

This is where you start getting the kick-out flashing ready to go. Install roofing felt over the roof and run it up your wall at least high enough to where the head of your step flashing will be.

Now put in a starting strip of roofing and place your kick-out flashing where the initial piece of your step flashing is. Ensure that it hangs over the eaves enough to where water will be directed away from the wall and roof, and safely into the gutter.

Step 4

Weave your step flashing in place, alternating as needed to make sure that every piece of the step flashing lies over the lower one by a minimum of two inches. Most step flashing tops will line up with your shingle’s tops.

This overlap is very important. So, make sure you complete this step correctly. You also want to ensure that your step flashing does not come out from under your shingles.

Step 5

Once your step flashing and roofing is finished for the whole length of the wall-to-roof connections, insert one more strip of that waterproofing (the peel-and-stick kind) on top of your step flashing.

Cut a small slit in for your kick-out flashing and leave a two-inch space between the waterproofing and your roofing.

Step 6

Finally, install the housewrap on your wall going from the bottom to the top. Apply flashing tape on the bottom part of your wall area that’s been waterproofed to make sure drainage continues smoothly.

Be sure to overlap the lower courses of housewrap under the upper ones and make a slit for your kick-out flashing.

The Wrap-Up

Kick-out flashing is extremely important to modern homes and could impact the value of the home and the health of it’s residents. Without kick-out flashing, the gutters will not realize their full potential and eventually lead to roof damage, home damage, property damage, and more – even the possible need for gutter repair.

When completing a new roofing project, be sure to always take a moment to fully inspect the roof for areas that may require kick-out flashing and install it properly, ensuring proper water flow from the roof to the gutters.

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