Does Your Roof Need Kickout Flashing?

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Flashing is a material that roofers use over joints in the roof and wall construction that prevents water from seeping in and causing damage. The flashing material is usually aluminum or galvanized steel, and depending on the roof’s style, you probably have it around your chimney and pipes, around skylights or dormer windows, and in the valleys of the roof.

What is Kickout Flashing?

A roof with kickout flashing.

Kickout flashing, or diverter flashing, is a special type of flashing that diverts rainwater to keep it from the cladding and makes sure it gets into the gutter. It is a simple little L-shaped piece of metal, and it is critical for anywhere a roof and exterior wall intersect and the wall continues past the lower roof-edge and gutter. You also need kickout flashing where gutters terminate at the side of a chimney.

What Happens Without Kickout Flashing?

If you don’t have kickout flashing in those locations, large amounts of water can miss the gutter, penetrate your siding, and get trapped inside the wall. Missing kickout flashing can result in major water accumulation and cause severe damage to the exterior walls. Over time, it will rot the sheathing and framing, and it can also wreak havoc on insulation and drywall.

Adding Kickout Flashing

Kickout flashing around a chimney.

Kickout flashing is probably not the first thing you think of when you are getting a new roof installed or getting your current one repaired, but it is something you need to consider. This small thing can play a huge role in your roof’s ability to resist deterioration.

If you don’t have kickout flashing, you can actually install it yourself. You can buy prefabricated kickout flashing online or in your local home improvement store for less than $20.

Step 1 - Bend Flashing

Bend the kickout flashing so that water will run away from the wall. Ideally, the water will run into a gutter.

Step 2 - Install Flashing

Take the bent flashing and align it with shingles on the roof. You will then have to run caulk and place the back of the flashing over the caulk. You can attach it with a nail to vertical walls.

Step 3 - Test

To make sure your installation was successful, pour water down the flashing. This will let you know if the flashing is bent at the correct angle to prevent water from overflowing.

Kickout flashing is essential to direct rainwater away from cladding and make sure it hits the gutters. If your roof is missing kickout flashing, or if it wasn’t properly installed, it is something that can easily be fixed to avoid future water damage to your home.