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What Is Kick Out Flashing On A Roof

Do You Need An Exterior Home Contractor In South Carolina

Quick Tips: Roof Series: Kickout Flashing

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Why Do I Need Kick

Water intrusion can happen several different ways, but a missing or improperly installed kick-out flashing is a primary culprit. Occasionally we see signs of water penetration into our homes on the exterior walls in the form of water stains. There may be damage or mold growth from moisture inside the walls with hardly any evidence at the interior. Keep in mind, this is true for all exterior siding, stone, vinyl, wood, stucco, and even concrete block. The longer the problem exists, the more expensive the repairs can be.

A moisture inspection on a stucco home, or any home, includes verifying that kick-out flashings are present and installed correctly. for more information.

How Do Roofing Features Impact Flashing Requirements

How do you know what kinds of roof flashing you need to protect your home? First, different types of roofing features create unique vulnerabilities.

Thus, the type of flashing must meet your individual roofs needs. Ask the professional which local building codes apply to your homes roof. Then make sure they install these flashings at the specified locations.

The following describes different styles of flashing and how theyre used to seal roofs.

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Kickout Flashing Installation Details

Since I never see kickout flashings installed, I want to help educate others and provide the correct information for your contractor/roofer when it comes time to have the detail installed on your home. Below is a compiled list of different types of claddings and specific details to having a kickout flashing installed.

Having a properly installed kickout flashing is vital to the performance of your roof/wall assembly. If your kickout flashing is missing, its very likely causing catastrophic damage just under the surface.

Any wet or dirty trail running down the wall below the point a gutter meets your wall is a visual cue that you have a problemmaybe a very big one.

If you are unsure if any particular point on your home is botched, please feel free to reach out and I will help you any way I can.

One last thing. Click here for an overview of the new roof I had installed. This will give you an idea of how roofing should be done.

What Is Roof Flashing

Properly installed flashing

The purpose of using roof flashing is to create extra moisture protection. Its often made of thin, rust-resistant metal such as galvanized steel, copper, or aluminum.

There are different thicknesses and grades of flashing that offer varying wind resistance. You may also see plastic, felt, or rubber versions.

Roofers bend the flashing to custom fit it to your roof features. Its put in places that tend to collect water or let moisture get under the roofing material. If this occurs, your roof can develop significant structural problems.

Make sure your roofer adheres to all local codes for flashing on new roofs. Also, remember that flashing often doesnt last as long as the overall roof. Its common to need new flashing at least once during a roofs lifetime.

Routinely inspect your roof for signs of damage, wear, or missing parts. If you find something that doesnt seem right, call a professional to check and repair it.

Preventing roof and subsequent internal home damage can save money in the long term. Small repairs cost less than replacing the whole roof, ceilings, walls, and/or flooring.

Recommended Reading: How To Roof Over Shingles

What Is Kickout Flashing And Do I Need It

Kickout flashing, also known as diverter flashing, performs a much-needed function to protect the hidden components of your home’s building envelope. Within the last 20 years this technique has been implemented to prevent hidden damage to the structure of your home. From exterior wall sheathing, wall framing and even wooden foundation elements, the lack of proper flashing can lead to thousands of dollars in damage. Damage that you may not know exists until it is too late.

Kickout flashings have been required by the International Residential Code since 2009. Technically, flashing requirement were first noted by the IRC in 2000, but no direct reference to “Kickout/diverter Flashing” was made at this point. The North Carolina Residential Building Code states “Flashings shall be installed at roof and wall intersections, wherever there is a change in roof slope or direction and around roof openings. A flashing shall be installed to divert the water away from where the eave of a sloped roof intersects a vertical sidewall.” The flashing is required to extend a minimum of 4″ up the sidewall and it should have approximately a 110 degree angle. Too sharp of an angle can trap debris or create an ice dam, leading to water back up and entry.

-Stephen Pait, Owner/Inspector

Types Of Kickout Flashing

Kickout flashing comes from a variety of materials. DryFlekt makes polypropylene flashing. The product comes in many colors, which can help you choose based on your exterior decor preferences.

Standard kickout flashing cuts out of strips of metal.

There are also some kickout flashing plastic products . Premade kickouts sell as an easy-install clip-on under the first shingle at the edge of your roof.

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Inspecting Step And Kick

InterNACHIs Home Inspection Standards of PracticeFigure 1. Missing kick-out flashing causing water stains along a chimney stack

Deluging rains can pour thousands of gallons of water onto a homes roof in a single storm. In multi-level house designs where roofs intersect walls, much of this water is channeled along the wall to a gutter. If sidewall flashing is lacking or inadequate, water runoff can get inside the wall and cause serious damage. In big storm events, rainwater can often overflow the gutter and stream down the walls. Diverters are sometimes fashioned on site in an attempt to direct this water into the gutters. If undersized, these diverters are not very helpful. If not properly integrated with the existing housewrap and cladding, they can do more harm than good by allowing water inside the wall cavities. The result can be significant damage to wall sheathing, framing and insulation, and mold inside the wall cavities. While older wood siding would show evidence of this water intrusion by peeling paint, new wall claddings, such as fiber cement, vinyl siding, and brick veneer, can mask the evidence for years.

Flashing against a vertical sidewall shall be by the step flashing method or continuous L-flashing method.Figure 2. Missing kick-out flashing at a chimney stackSidewall Step and Kick-Out Diverter Flashing Installation with Rigid Foam Insulation SheathingSidewall Step and Kick-Out Diverter Flashing Installation with Wood SheathingFigure 12.

Are Kickout Flashings In The Building Code

Kick Out Install

The IRC added the requirement for kickout flashings starting in 2009. In the code, it is labeled as sidewall flashing but is also referred to as diverter flashing. This means that if your home was built before 2009, there is little to no chance that the roofer installed a proper kickout flashing.

I suppose there is always a slim chance you had a rockstar roofer who was ahead of the curve, but dont hold your breath. The fact is Ive seen ONE house with a proper builder-installed kickout flashing, and that was earlier this year. Contractors are just not installing them, even though they are required. And the building code officials, at least in my area, are not making them.

Here is what the IRC says about kickout flashings through each code cycle. Most states will use this exact wording or something very similar. Be sure and check your states code for any changes that may have been made to this section.

When breaking down this building code, youll see it does not contain the words kickout flashing. Lots of building codes are this way. Construction details will develop a slang term among contractors and inspectors. It doesnt take long before the code just becomes a string of words to those in the field.

The first couple of sentences are all we need to concentrate on right now:

The guys over at Dryflekt make the best kickout flashing available . It is my opinion that this flashing should be used on every roof in the country.

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Installing A Kickout Flashing

Installation of a kickout flashing is not difficultif done during the initial build process.

It is installed with the roofs step flashing and is literally the first step in the process.

However, when something is the first step during new construction, it is the last step when deconstructingwhich means that in order to fix and install a missing kickout flashing, you have to peel back all the layers of a finished wall assembly if your home is already built.

Below is a shot of a new home being built that did not have a kickout flashing installed, so I did a poor job of Photoshopping a Dryflekt kickout flashing in place to help you visualize what things should look like.

Obviously, the flashing would be installed first, so the shingles and WRB would be covering most of it, but my Photoshop skills only go so far.

I found this video from the guys at ProTrade Craft that does an excellent job of showing each step in the kickout flashing installation process. If only we could get our roofers to do this in the real world!

Since there is a bit of overlap between the siding and roof at this point of the house, there is often some confusion as to which contractor is responsible for making sure the kickout flashing is installed.

Its a valid question. All flashings are the job of the roofer. That includes the kickout flashing.

Thanks again, Mike. Keep fighting the good fight. Mike also has a great page you should follow.

Is Kickout Flashing Required

The International Residential Code has required Kickout flashing for years. The IRC manual adds codes for kickout flashing in Section R903, made official in 2009.

The code has been updated from year to year, reestablishing the need for its use. The guidelines consistently state that flashing shall be a minimum of four inches in height and four inches in width. The vertical leg of the flashing is continuous under the siding.

Builders say that, despite being required by code, kick-out flashing sees neglect. Some roofers, builders, and the like have never even heard of it.

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Kickout Flashing Codes Products & Installation Guides

Above: an illustration of some of the best-practices details when installing kick-out flashing,from Hammer & Hand’s manual cited in detail just below.

  • Hammer & Hand Constr, KICKOUT FLASHING BEST PRACTICES Hammer & Hand Construction, 1020 Southeast Harrison Street Portland, OR 97214-4709 232-2447 and 2450 6th Ave. S #100 Seattle, WA 98134 397-0558 USA, Website: – retrieved 2022/05/09, original source:

Above: Kickout flashing installation details from KickoutFlashing – PBZ in Lititz PA, cited below. Note that this illustration shows a “left-hand” or “left slope” roof kickout flashing.

  • Kickout Flashing PBZ, KICKOUT FLASHING INSTALLATION DIAGRAM Kickout Flashing by PBZ, 295 Wood Corner Rd, Lititz, PA 17543 USA, Tel: 717-738-7365 Web: – retrieved 2022/05/09, original source:

Continue reading at DORMER SIDE / ROOF FLASHING or select a topic from the closely-related articles below, or see the complete ARTICLE INDEX.

Or see these

Suggested citation for this web page

DIVERTER KICK-OUT FLASHING at – online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

Or see this


Do It Right The First Time


The photo above shows a correctly detailed kickout on an EIFS stucco exterior. This kickout is particularly important because it terminates directly at a window openinga fairly common occurrence, but one that can be especially devastating: If the kickout is wrong, chances are high that the window flashing is worse, and there is little hope of keeping water out of the wall. Water can quickly find its way to interior finishes, leading to extensive moldproblems that carry enormous liability and a higher price tag. It would be so much easier and less expensive to invest in $15 worth of flashing to begin with.

The details are essentially the same for all cladding types. The process starts with a large, one-piece kickout flashing with a return that is big enough to prevent run-off from overflowing the top. We typically use ones made by DryFlekt. Unlike with a site-made metal kickout, you dont need to worry about making bends, and the flashing wont corrode. The ones from DryFlekt are made of a thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO, which is pretty good at resisting UV degradation and stands up well to a wide range of temperatures, so its unlikely to become brittle and crack. We have put in hundreds of these over the last decade and have never had a problem.

About the Author

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How Do You Bend Kickout Flashing

FineHomebuilding has some suggestions for bending kickout flashing. Builders do this sometimes if they dont have the flashing on hand. The pros also do this if they use materials such as copper flashing and want the kickouts to match. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Start by cutting a piece out of coil stock and making a 90-degree bend.
  • After this first bend, you will mark six inches into the crease.
  • You will then secure the metal streamers and continue by bending flashing upward. You will make a 90-degree fold as if you were wrapping a present.
  • Builders then suggest using a small block of wood to flatten the bends. At this stage, builders will sometimes style the kickout a bit by rounding the cut with a pair of tin snips to make it look more appealing.
  • Use a straightedge to get the bend angles right. You have to get the bend angle right to ensure the kickout diverts the water away from the siding. An incorrect measurement will see water splashing back on the wall, much to your frustration.

Kickout Flashing On Roofsdiverter Flashing Assures Proper Drainage At Roof

  • about building kick-out flashing or diverter flashing installation, inspection, leaks, troubleshooting, repairs

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

What is a kick-out flashing or diverter flashing, why is it used and how is it installed?

Page top photo: this particular diverter flashing installed at the bottom of roof-wall flashing and intended to divert water or kick-out water into the gutter is not installed correctly, and during rain or melting snow it sends water running down the wall at the end of the gutter.

We discuss this installation in more-detail below.

This article series provides details of proper flashing use, materials, installation, inspection & repair on all types of buildings, including roof flashing, wall flashing, window and door flashing, plumbing vents, chimneys etc.

We also provide an ARTICLE INDEX for this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Recommended Reading: How Many Layers Of Shingles Can Be On A Roof

An Alternative To Kick Out Flashing

Unfortunately, home inspectors and contractors use the terms kick-out flashing, diverter flashing and kick-out diverter interchangeably. It is important to realize that kick out flashing and diverters are two separate things. In fact, many home inspectors erroneously write up missing kick out flashing. The photo below shows an excerpt from the vinyl siding institute on how to install a diverter.

The diverter meets code and will stop moisture intrusion into wall. Obviously its not a solution for certain siding like brick, or stucco.

Diverter Flashings Used On Buildings

How To Install Kick Out Flashing

A kickout or diverter flashing is an extra section of metal or vinyl flashing that is installed to direct water away from a potential problem area such as where a lower roof-edge gutter end abuts a building side-wall or where a roof valley’s water flow volume is so great that it over-shoots a gutter.

Kick-out flashing directs rainwater into rain gutters where it can be carried away from the structure. Kick-out flashing, also referred to as diverters, can be fabricated on site using sheet metal but these can be undersized and may have unsealed seams that allow leakage.

Prefabricated kick-out flashings are available as seamless, molded plastic pieces or metal with welded seams.

These materials would be installed by roofers in coordination with house wrap and siding installers. This task should be included in the contract for the appropriate trade depending on the workflow at the specific job site. – BASC, U.S. DOE, cited below.

Step flashings and kick-out diverters are required in the 2009 and 2012 IRC and 2015 and 2018 IRC .

The proper installation of a diverter flashing in this location is to set it in place during the roof installation, using the diverter flashing assembly as the first section of step flashing along the roof-wall intersection.

Some kickout flashing installation instructions put the roof-portion of the flashing below the first shingle course, others such as the instructions below, put the flashing atop the first shingle course.

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Can I Modify Kickouts

It would not be recommended for a homeowner to modify their kickout flashing. Inspectors note that home buyers who fail to understand the importance of kickouts will alter them to enhance home appearance.

The InterNACHI states that the kickouts should not be modified. The association sets the standard at six inches for kickout height and width.

Some manufacturers allow for only four inches, but this is the height and width minimum. Common homeowner modifications to the kickouts shorten them. Never do this. Shortening kickouts reduces the protection they provide your home.

Some homeowners also hate the way that kickout diverters angle. Dont change the tilt of your kickout for cosmetic reasons. It will not work to divert water unless it is at 110 degrees. Anything less and water will splash onto the house and soak up the rot-prone sidewall.


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