Kickout Flashing

More than you’d ever want to know about kickout flashing

Would you like to learn about something interesting? Me too. But today’s blog is about kickout flashing. Maybe another day.

Kickout flashing, AKA diverter flashing, is a special type of flashing that diverts rainwater away from the cladding and into the gutter. When installed properly, they provide excellent protection against the penetration of water into the building envelope.

Water penetration is a bigger deal than it used to be, because houses are built tighter . The increased use of insulation and building wrap makes buildings less breathable and more likely to sustain water damage.  Kickouts prevent rainwater from being absorbed into the wall and is more essential than ever.

Look for kickouts anywhere a roof and wall intersect, where the wall continues past the lower roof-edge and gutter. Without a kickout, large amounts of rain water may miss the gutter, penetrating the building. Water trapped in the building? No good. In fact, water trapped in the building can cause a whole bunch of damage before any outward signs of it’s presence can be known. That means that there could be rotten boards and mold in the walls, and nobody even knows about it.

As a home inspector, I find 3 types of issues regarding kickout problems. The first and most frequent is Kickout flashing not installed. Maybe the builder failed to understand the importance of such an affordable and easily installed device. (Maybe his cousin does mold repair. Probably not, but like my brother Paul says, “Love thy neighbor, cut the cards.” Paul’s the closest thing our family has to a prophet.)

A tie for second most common are Improperly installed and modified by homeowner.

  • The bottom seam of the flashing must be watertight. If it is not, water will leak through the seam and may penetrate the cladding.
  • The angle of the diverter should never be less than 110 degrees.

If, (for some strange reason) you’ve gotten to the bottom of a 400 word essay on kickouts and want to learn more, you need to get out more. But I don’t judge.

Click: Kickout installation tips