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The importance of kick-out flashings
When performing our home inspections, one of the important flashing details we look for is a kickout flashing. Kickout flashings, also known as diverter flashings, are a unique type of flashing that divert rainwater away from the cladding and into the spouting system.
Modern house inspection reports show that a high number of houses with missing or incorrectly installed kickout flashings have moisture and water ingress issues at roof to wall junctions. Kickout flashings are particularity important when there is stucco or EIFS installed on the home. In the case of stucco or EIFS, water behind the stucco can cause significant problems such as rotting and mould growth, once water penetrates the cladding it gets trapped.
When the flashings are installed properly, they provide excellent protection against the penetration of water. The need to have kickout flashings has always been there but has only recently become a requirement in New Zealand, before this it was only ever best practice to have them installed.
Water penetration behind the cladding or stucco cladding can sometimes be observed on the exterior walls in the form of water stains. Many times, these water stains take on a tea like colour. There can be significant damage and water intrusion without visible evidence on the exterior of the home.
Kickout flashings are crucial anywhere a roof and exterior wall intersect, where the wall continues past the lower roof-edge and gutter. These are areas of concentrated water accumulation and can cause potentially severe damage to the timber framing and exterior walls. This can sometimes occur without any evidence, left only to be identified by moisture meter testing. If water is able to ingress, rot will begin to occur in the timber framing potentially costing thousands in repair work.
Our house inspectors check for the following problems
– The kickout flashing was never installed. Sometimes builders are not aware that these flashings are required. This is particularly important because new homes are tightly sealed. If water intrusion behind the walls occurs it is very difficult to dry out.
– The required kickout flashings are not installed properly. The bottom seam of the flashing must be watertight. If it is not, water will leak through the seam and may penetrate the area behind the flashing. The bottom of the flashing should be angled in order to divert rain water, snow, and ice to the gutter below it.
The required dimensions of a roof flashing are determined by 3 factors – wind zone, roof pitch and roofing material. Wind zone has the most significant influence on flashing dimensions, especially for a roof in an extra high wind zone. The simple design and easy installation makes these a necessity for any house that requires them, and not just new builds. Kickout or diverter flashings can be retrofitted to your home and are well worth the peace of mind.
For a full inspection of your property including kick-out flashings, give us a call today on 0800 487 884