The Importance of Kickout Flashings

The Importance of Kickout Flashings

Hello! It’s hard to believe that October is already here.

This month, we wanted to cover one of the most commonly noted items in our inspection reports… kickout flashings. Questions regarding kickout flashings have come up a few times this month and we thought it would make a great topic to share with you. Read on to get a quick overview of everything you need to know about these small but critical components of a roofing system.

What is a Flashing?

  • Roof flashings protect some of the most vulnerable areas of a home including any joints, penetrations, and transition points (think vents, chimneys, skylights, or where roofs terminate at a wall).
  • They are usually made from a thin piece of metal, often aluminum, but can be steel, copper, or even plastic.
  • Flashings essentially prevent water from working its way under the roofing system.

What is a Kickout Flashing?

  • A kickout flashing is a piece of material that diverts rainwater away from a wall (siding/cladding) and into a gutter.
  • The term “kickout” is used as it redirects or kicks water away from the wall and into the gutter.
  • They are also commonly referred to as a diverter flashing in the construction field.

Not every home needs a kickout flashing. They are only required when the edge of a roof terminates into a wall.

Although we are not code inspectors, we like to see them on homes because they greatly reduce the risk of moisture intrusion and damage to the sheathing.

Why Are Kickout Flashings Needed?

  • No siding or exterior cladding is 100% waterproof and can be susceptible to moisture intrusion at certain points.
  • Without a properly installed kickout flashing, water eventually makes its way into a small gap between the gutter and siding or exterior cladding.
  • Over time, the water penetrates the siding and begins to deteriorate the sheathing and framing for the wall (see image).

Why Are Kickout Flashings Rare?

Relatively New: Kickout flashings became required by the building code (IRC) in 2009, which is why it is rare to see them installed on older homes. Although they have been required for over a decade, it is not something that has been passed down through the construction and roofing trades and is still uncommon to see in newer homes.

Overlapping Stages of the Construction Process: Although the concept and piece of material for the flashing is simple, installing one properly overlaps different stages of the construction process including roofing and siding. The General Contractor must have their crew members on the same page.

Aesthetics: This may be the worst reason of the three, but some people simply don’t like seeing them on their home!


Roof flashings do not get the attention or credit they deserve and are arguably more important than the type of shingle selected. When installed properly, they protect the home from water damage and create an effective roofing system. When they are not installed or installed improperly, they provide an opening for water damage and future problems.

If your home or a client’s home needs a kickout flashing, it is best to reach out to a trustworthy roofer who can help. The cost is not astronomical and could save you thousands down the road.

We hope you found this note insightful. As always, feel free to reach out with questions or with any topics that you would like us to cover in the future. Also, we want to thank Carlson Exteriors and PBZ for allowing us to use their images and diagrams!

Your Erie Inspection Team


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