Kick Out Flashing What's the Big Deal

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We are surprised that on over 75% of homes we inspect, kick out flashing is not installed. With homes being built tighter and unable to breathe (dry out), the higher the risk of sustaining water damage.
Kick Out Flashing - What's the Big Deal
Missing Kick Out Flashing

If you have ever hired a good home inspector, one item that should be in the report, if missing, is Kick Out Flashing.

Most home owners have no idea what it is, or exactly what this small piece of metal does.  Don’t worry it’s not your fault if you don’t know.  Keep reading to learn more!

In this article, we’ll cover everything on:

  1. What Kick Out Flashing is
  2. Where You Can Find them
  3. Three Problems found during home inspections

What is Kick Out Flashing?

Kick out flashing is a special, yet very important piece of flashing that diverts water away from the siding into the gutter.  

Where Can I Find Them?

This type of flashing should be installed where the roof joins an exterior wall.  Typically on a 2 or 3 story home.  

Look for gutters that butt up to the siding.  This is where you should see one.

Kick out flashing

So What's the Big Deal?

The big deal is this – water damage.  A home that is supposed to have kick out flashing and doesn’t will most likely suffer extensive water damage.

During a rain storm or snow melt, water is rushing down the roof and into the gutter.  The water will get in behind the siding, and run down the exterior wall and start to cause damage.  

Eventually the plywood on the exterior wall will start to rot.  Then the studs and eventually the framing.  Now, it’s hard to tell how far the damage will travel but when the damage gets to this point, its very expensive to fix.  We’re talking over ten thousand dollars plus!

During a home inspection we usually find one of the following issues:

1. Kick out Flashing Not Installed

We are surprised that on over 75% of homes we inspect, kick out flashing is not installed.  With homes being built tighter and unable to breathe (dry out), the higher the risk of sustaining water damage.  Kick out flashing prevents rainwater from being absorbed into the wall and is more important than ever.

The following are locations where kick out flashing is critical:

  • anywhere a roof and exterior wall intersect, where the wall continues past the lower roof-edge and gutter. If a kick out flashing is absent in this location, large amounts of water may miss the gutter, penetrate the siding, and become trapped inside the wall; and
  • where gutters terminate at the side of a chimney.

no kick out flashing

2. Kick out Flashing was Improperly Installed

During home inspections, we also see flashing that is installed the wrong way.  This isn’t good either.  Improperly installed kick out flashing also causes expensive repairs.  Here’s a few tips:
  • 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.

3. Kick out Flashing was Modified by Homeowner

And a third issue we see during an inspection is:
  • Homeowners who do not understand the importance of kick outs alter them because they are unsightly. A common way this is done is to shorten their height to less than the standard six inches (although some manufacturers permit four inches), which will greatly reduce their effectiveness. Kick out flashings should be the same height as the side wall flashings.
  • Homeowners may also make kick out flashings less conspicuous by cutting them flush with the wall.  

Proper kick out flashing is very inexpensive compared to the thousands of dollars in damages that can occur if not present and installed properly.  The appearance of the flashing isn’t appealing, but it is very necessary.  

There is one manufacturer that powder coats the aluminum in certain colors to make it blend into the roof structure

kick out flashing

If you have any questions about your home’s kick out flashing please call or send us a text 701-306-0472

Sources and Credits for this Article:

InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors®)

Nick Gromicko, CMI® and Kenton Shepard



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About Me

Ike Paxton, CPI (owner of Paxton Inspection Services) is Certified by the IAC2 and InterNACHI and a licensed North Dakota Home Inspector.

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