3 minutes read

Not Having a Kick – Out Flashing Can Be Messy

As a home inspector I get to see my clients thanks to a moisture intrusion problem in their home – musty smells, wood rot, fungi growth, etc. In many cases, the solution can be simple and having a home inspection performed can help you stop flying off the handle. So without further ado, let’s begin!

Kick-out flashing diverts water

During a rainstorm thousands of gallons of rainwater shed on a roof and one of the most vulnerable areas is where a roof intersects a wall. At this location rainwater has the potential to pool on the roof and this is where the quandary begins, so how do we get out of it? For starters, let’s check to see if you have a diverter flashing installed. If you don’t have one, you need one! The purpose of a kick-out flashing or diverter flashing is to re-direct rainwater back into the gutters. This method keeps rainwater away from coming in direct contact with the exterior walls, or crevices. Can you imagine your newly purchased property damaged thanks to a small missing component? I hope you don’t have to. Moisture deteriorates walls, structural components, insulation, framing and contributes to mold growth. In many situations the symptoms can go unnoticed but knowing how to avoid this pitfall is the best course of action.

Don’t skip corners

The fact that you don’t have a kick-out flashing installed does not necessarily mean that problems will become immediately evident. However, if you know you don’t have them installed, what are you waiting for? A month ago I was hired by a gentleman who owned a property in sizzling Lakeview area in Chicago. The property was worth around $800,000 USD and sure enough it looked great in and out, built with contemporary design and vintage gimmicks. Anyhow, there’s no good way to cut the deck, so let me just say that an entire wall section was heavily damaged with water coming from the roof. I was told that a handful of general contractors came over to look at the issue and the majority agreed that it was an issue with window installation methods but only 2 out of 11 windows were damaged. Some contractors also suggested that it could have been a lack of insulation in the attic which was also another contributing factor but the real problem was a lack of a kick- out flashing. The following video shows you how it should be installed:

In conclusion

Don’t wait until it’s too late to fix an issue you could have avoided. Such a small installation can save you from having to spend your savings. Why take the risk? Remember to take home ownership seriously and always consult with a professional when in doubt. Cutting corners can cut your budget.

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