Mastering Roof Inspections: Flashing, Part 4

by Kenton Shepard and Nick Gromicko, CMI®



The purpose of the series “Mastering Roof Inspections” is to teach home inspectors, as well as insurance and roofing professionals, how to recognize proper and improper conditions while inspecting steep-slope, residential roofs. This series covers roof framing, roofing materials, the attic, and the conditions that affect the roofing materials and components, including wind and hail.


Where a wall extends past a roof eave, sidewall flashing will stop at the edge of the eave, since this is where the sidewall condition ends. At the lower roof edge, sidewall flashing should extend out from the wall at least a couple of inches, and be bent to an angle.

This detail is called “kickout flashing,” and its purpose is to prevent runoff from entering behind the exterior wall covering where the flashing ends.

Kickout flashing is required regardless of the type of roof-covering material or exterior wall covering, with the exception of brick or concrete block.

Large expanses of roof above the kickout flashing will direct large amounts of runoff to the kickout flashing. Most exterior wall-covering product manufacturers don’t give specific size requirements; they just specify that kickout flashing has to be installed.

Courtesy of Mark Thorman

Sometimes, it is easy to spot the missing kickout flashing. This well-watered plant is being watered from inside the wall.


A few manufacturers do specify size, such as the manufacturer of this synthetic stucco. Realistically, you won’t know about size requirements. Just check to make sure that kickout flashing is installed where it should be, and check to make sure that it looks like it will do the job -- that job is preventing moisture intrusion of the wall.

 Pre-formed kickout flashing is available, but kickout is usually made on site using sidewall flashing.

The only type of exterior wall covering that doesn’t need kickout flashing is one at which sidewall flashing does not penetrate the wall, such as brick or concrete block. The photos above show missing kickouts at composite and stucco walls.


Learn how to master a roof inspection from beginning to end by reading the entire InterNACHI series: Mastering Roof Inspections.

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Mastering Roof Inspections
Roofing Underlayment Types
Inspecting Underlayment on Roofs
Fall-Arrest Systems
Roofing (consumer-targeted)
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