What I'm Seeing Now


Kick Out Flashing - Always Best Practices

Some roofers recently went through our neighborhood telling everyone they had hail damage on their houses and that this "company" would make the case for them with their insurance company and they would only pay a deductible for their roof.

It worked.  A lot of people had their roofs replaced.  I won't go into all the negative ramifications of companies that do stuff like that, or the people who fall for it.

But I knew I did not have any hail damage.  But my roof is 14 years old.

So I had a good friend and roofer, Steve Gotschi, look at it.  I have known Steve for about 15 years and have referred him all that time without anything but good feedback.  Trusting people enough to refer them to clients makes my personal referral list very, very short.  Steve I trust.  He looked at the roof, suggested some tune ups*, and I had him come out.

I was interested in two things in particular - two sky lights, which looked okay to me but I wanted another pair of eyes to look at them, and two areas where my builder did not put up any "KICK OUT" FLASHING.  In one of those spots some water was getting into my house, said my trusty thermal camera.  What this flashing does it help divert, or prevent, water at the bottom of the roof from getting into the end cut of siding behind or beside the gutter.

Steve had never heard the words "kick out flashing!"  Interesting!  That is the only term I hear used by home inspectors!  So I sent him a diagram and he emailed back saying I wanted "diverter flashing."

So, is it a sub sandwich or is it a hoagie!?

You can see how instead of kick out flashing my builder put caulking over the gutter to "keep the water out."

This is not

Best Practice

Not by any measure.

You can clearly see how water was getting behind the gutter, and also behind the siding as some was getting inside.

What to do?  Install a kick out!

Can you see it?

He gently cut the siding and inserted a small, bent piece of step flashing, cut to fit.

It goes under the siding up one course of shingle.

It is "glued" in with roof tar.

And the side, and siding, is protected from leakage with an elastomeric caulking.

Elastomerics are the caulks that say 40 year, 50 year guarantee.

They have the ability to expand and contract with serious heat/cold changes.  It is an excellent caulking, not terribly expensive, and the best practice for this application.

It has rained heavily twice since.  My thermal camera says no water penetration!  So I am satisfied.


My recommendation:    A roof tune up never hurts!  Not expensive, Steve says this tune up probably extends the life of the roof 3-5 beyond what I might have otherwise gotten.  I'll take that!

* What did my roof "tune up" include?  Replacing a section of shingles disturbed and partially blown off during the hurricane, which conveniently happened just before Steve's visit, replacing the three cracking plumbing penetration sleeves, tacking down better and capping the ridge vents, putting back a slightly loose gutter end, examining the roof generally and putting in my two kick outs!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 53 commentsJay Markanich • October 28 2011 05:30AM


Jay: Being a Philly girl, it is definitely a hoagie! Whether kickout or diverter, this is a great post. I  now have two new vocabulary words to explain this issue. Two words instead of about fifty. Have a great day!

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) over 8 years ago

That's so funny Anne.  That happened to me!  I grew up in Kensington MD, near DC.  I went to college at Western MD College, in northern MD, just south of Gettysburg.  At lunch my first day the cafeteria lady said we were having hoagies.  I asked her what it was!  I had never heard the word!  She said, "A hoagie!  You know, a cold cut sandwich!"  Allways calling them subs, I said, "It's a sub sandwich!"  And she disagreed!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay-thanks for detailing in the pictures, very helpful, also the tip about elastomertic caulking.



Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com) over 8 years ago

Hope you don't have a lot of damage before it gets repaired

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 8 years ago

All of which just goes to show that there are few "generalists in housing construction".  The specialists, whether roofers, plumbers, electricians, structural specialists, are the place for EXPERT evaluations.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay,

Every time there is a storm, "Fly by nighters" come out of the wood work.

Stay with a local roofer. This way if there is ever an issue later they are still there to help.

Very good explanation in your post.

Have a great day and an awesome weekend in VA.

Best, Clint McKie 

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 8 years ago

Wow, creative markeing for those roofers. Glad you found a trustworthy expert who found a smart and sensible way to repair.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 8 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Wow! You are getting to be the feature King! The Gods or Goddessess must really like you...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) over 8 years ago

Good post Jay...called a few roofers for estimates on a dormer leak repair last week.  One guy got up there and gave me the "hail damage" story.  "Why just fix the dormer when your insurance company can pay for an entire new roof" he asked. His quote for the repair was approximately double what other roofers estimated.

I won't be referring that guy to my clients.


Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) over 8 years ago

Great posting, Jay,

I haven't seen you in a while. Hopefully it won't be too much longer.

I have a roof with a mystery leak that I have had 4 different contractors look at, including a well-known roofer, and many differerent repairs, including kick-out flashing, resealing roof vent, siding modification, siding vent replacement, and wrapping two windows.

Once or twice a year, when it rains hard and the wind blows hard from the right direction (rare combination) the attic over my main level bath leaks in such a way that water drips out of the vent fan into the toilet (convenient location, eh!).

It happens so rarely that it is impossible to reproduce and many claimed repairs simply were believed until the next rare incident!


Jim Gilbert

Posted by Jim Gilbert, The Gold Homes Team (Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway) over 8 years ago

Jay, I have never seen "kick out" or "diverter" flashing before... but it makes sense, and will prevent water damage... thanks for the education.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Jay, they aren't subs or hoagies. Ask anyone from Mass. Everyone knows they are grinders. LOL Looks like your builder didn't know what kick out or diverter flashing was. When in doubt caulk.


Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 8 years ago

Jay I am so impressed, kick out flashing is very important and not practiced enough. It is actually part of the new EnergyStar version 3 program.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 8 years ago


These are referred to as diverter flashings in our area. Great topic for many homeowners.


Posted by Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain (Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain) over 8 years ago

Amazing the solutions an expert has over the band-aid fixes of the generalist.  Nice explanation...and it is a sub!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

I agree with you on the tune up.  We have two skylights which always seem to have issues with the flashing.  My husband checks on them periodically to make sure everything is in place.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 8 years ago

This made me realize that if you squeeze these sub-contractors too hard, they can literally cut corners which catches up with you...in the end

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 8 years ago

Jay - amazing how builder will cut corners on their product. I am not surprised though. Great that you have a reliable source.

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) over 8 years ago

Funny you should be talking about kick out flashing today. I made that recommendation to my client yesterday.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 8 years ago

Jay-This is a great subject. We get tune ups for motor vehicles but I had never thought of a tune up for a roof. Better performance and extends the life of the roof-sign me up. Thanks.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 8 years ago

As a home inspector myself kick out flashing was the term I had heard here in Kansas as well. And, in North Central Kansas anyway, a hoagie is a sandwich, usually bologna/cheese, that is served on a hamburger bun. A sub is served on the standard elongated, sub shaped bun. Just in case you were dying to know that. :)

Posted by Terry Stithem (Rural American Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

A diagram you say? Is that like a treasure map?

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 8 years ago

Great tips.  I don't know anything about maintaining a roof!  Learn something new everyday...

Posted by Jennifer Chiongbian, Real Estate Broker - NYC (Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses) over 8 years ago

Appreciate the detailed description and use of layman and technical terms in this post. It's always nice to pick up some new information that I can use when working with clients and since roofs come up so often in inspections - particularly in a damp place like Seattle, this is also quite topical.

Posted by Reba Haas, Team Reba, CDPE (Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Eastside www.TeamReba.com) over 8 years ago

I hate when companies try to take advantage of homeowners. Great find though! Sounds like steve is a real solid man.

Posted by Ben Blonder, Buyers, Sellers, Investors! (Broker/Owner, Keller Williams) over 8 years ago

Around here, it's rare to see a roof that old, because we are the 'hail capital of the nation' and most roofs get replaced with hail damage insurance claims. But I try to warn people - don't use the door knockers. Hire a local company with a long-term rep. 

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 8 years ago

Jay, I think the confusion comes from "kick-out flashing" being the common name for it and "diverter flashing" is another less common term for it---may be a regional thing.  All the codes says is that the bottom step flashing must "turn out" in a manner that prevents water from running behind the siding.  Your roofing replacement scam sounds a little like the plumbers running around telling people with copper drainage plumbing that they need to upgrade to plastic drains :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

We had this little scam come through our community years ago for long enough to do some really shoddy work and leave. Its a darn shame people have to be so crooked and dishonest! 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) over 8 years ago

More great information from a guy who really knows his stuff.

Thanks, Jay.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) over 8 years ago

Jay, We use Kick out flashing as a term here also. I even have a few builders and roofers who use that term. But diverter works well too.

We have the roofers running around here after a wind storm replacing roofs and doing as poor of job as the original. Guaranteed work I guess.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Glad it was helpful Adrian.  We try, we really do!

James - done did get repaired!  That's what the blog is about!

Lenn - except when the "roofers" tell you there was "serious" hail damage!  And there wasn't...  These scams really bother me.

Thanks Clint.  They came by my house three times and didn't seem to get my message that I wasn't interested and there was NO hail damage.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Debbie - they come through once a year or so.  I expect they hit every neighborhood.  And I have known Steve for around 15 years, and he's the only guy I would call for anything regarding my roof.

Thanks Michael.  I didn't know that until about 2pm when I checked in.  Had a real busy day!

Howard and Susan - they can be so shortsighted they kill their own business opportunities, like from you!

Jim - sometimes that's the way.  My roof leaked during the recent storms and had never leaked before in that spot.  It's wind and direction, as you say.  Call me anytime!


Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Chris - this is about as good a job as can be done post facto.  Done originally it would appear a bit different.

Michael - I have never heard that word before!  It's odd how so many different words can be born for the same thing!  And my school was about 50 miles from home and that area used hoagie, a word I had never before heard!  Rare!  And builders use caulk for everything!

David - anything that diverts water properly is Best Practice.  And it only took me 14 years to get around to installing it!

It is what it is Steve!  So long as the words are understood!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

It is a sub to me too Gary!  But, I don't care what they call it, so long as it's good!  You are right, and thanks!

Christine - has he tried duct tape?  It comes in different colors now...     ;>)

Richie - these siding guys made other mistakes, which made it hard to do other things when necessary.

I'm glad I do too Mike.  And yes, the builders will cut corners anytime they can!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

I know Robert.  I got the vibe and took advantage of my photo in response.  And thanks!  Heck, I see a lack of kick out every day practically!

Wayne - 14 years is about time for a roof tune up!  Kind of like the 7th inning stretch!

Terry - good to know on the word.  And you have the sandwich thing covered both ways!  I like the barbeque out there too...  you do call it barbeque, right?

No Jim.  It expands and contracts when you breath.

I think.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

That's the way it should be Jennifer!  And glad you did today!

Reba - you can use water diversion in any way you can out there!  My son lives in Maple Valley.

Ben - he is a good guy and a good contractor.  The best combination.

Joetta - wow, that is a lot of roofing!  I bet insurance rates reflect that, in a big way!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Charlie - things change builder to builder.  I could recommend kick outs on virtually every inspection!  You get those copper guys out there too?

Rosalie - for all I know, it's the same company!

Glad you liked it John.  And thanks!

Guaranteed for one year, right Don?  And it's interesting that a bona fide, long-time roofer did not know the term!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay, thank you for your good information.  My roof is about 11 years old, so I had a roofer look at said there was some damage, get the ins. company to look at it.  The ins. company came out and said just a little damage, and wrote  a check on the spot.  WE were really not happy with ins, guy, so had another roofer, one we really trust, and he found all kinds of damage.  UGH... now he and ins appraiser will be up on our roof again.  We will see how it turns out.  Roofer sent 71 pictures of damage, and the insurance guy thinks we are nuts. 

Posted by Joan Valverde, GRI,CDPE,CNE,MRP,SRES Colo Sprgs, Blk Forest, Monu (HomeSmart Realty) over 8 years ago

Great information Jay!  I know very little about roofs so I really appeciate the insight!

Posted by Lisa Dunham, Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate over 8 years ago

You can not underestimate the value of flashing. You don't know its value until it is missing or done incorrectly Jay.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 8 years ago

Joan - maybe he thought that by writing the check he could be done with what may have been worth more?

Lisa - well, climb up there and look around!  Send me some photos and I'll tell you what you are looking at.  Actually, glad you learned something and please stop by any time!

But you really can send me photos of your roof any time...     ;>)

Tom - so often on new construction I find where it is missing, not glued to brick, no counter flash ... well, it goes on!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Since I never go up there, I have no idea what anything looks like but you always provide so much good information on WHY a fantastic home inspector is needed. I have one that I rely on but if you ever move down here, LET ME KNOW...........having TWO great inspectors would be awesome!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago

Love this suggestion and will look into it...sounds like a great product!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 8 years ago


     Very difficult to tell by the picture, but it looks like the siding was actually cut around the end of the gutter, as if the sided wall was added on after the section of the building with the guttering.  Either way, the flashing does not appear to be the right type nor to have been done correctly to begin with.

Posted by John J. Woods, Going where no man has gone before - wouldn't you? (Big Dog Press, LLC) over 8 years ago

I don't know that we ever will Barbara-Jo, but is the water really clear?

Ginny - if you mean the caulk, it is!  The flashing is just a piece of step flashing.

John - there was no flashing.  That is the piece the roofer added for me.  He did cut into the siding to fit it up behind and over the previous shingle.  You can see how water used to drip behind, and also some got inside the house.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Good afternoon Jay. Took me a few minutes to see the step flashing but I see where it would come in handy. I still want to pick up one of those thermal image camera.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 8 years ago

Randy - my last four inspections were with the camera.  I just came from one where I diagnosed a problem in 5 minutes, where a roofer, siding guy and window guy have trying to figure it out for nearly a year.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Yes - insurance rates do reflect it in a big way. In fact, in the year or so after a big storm some insurance companies pull out of the state, and the big companies are always threatening to stop insuring roofs. I live in a smallish town, and I remember a news story after a big hail storm announcing that the City had issued 20,000 permits for new roofs 'so far'. And considering many still don't bother with permits, that's a lot!

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 8 years ago

For sure Joetta.  Insurance rates are based on very specific actuarial tables and statistics.  Once those statistics are blown out, they have no choice but to change, or pull out.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

You're definitely right with your terminology, Jay.  Here in Minnesota, we actually define "Kick-Out" flashing in the building code.

KICK-OUT FLASHING. Flashing used to divert water where the lower portion of a sloped roof stops within the plane of an intersecting wall cladding.


Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 8 years ago

Well, Reubs, the terminology isn't as important as the divertificationfyingoutkicking.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Had one last summer or maybe the summer before where the missing flashing, over 12 years, had ruined the wall and floor framing underneath.

By the time it was fixed, $18,000 was in the contractors pocket.

Pull siding in three places, replace studs, sill plates, rim joists, sub floors and fix the other moisture damage.

All for the lack of three little pieces of metal installed in the right place.

Posted by Erby Crofutt, The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY (B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com)) over 8 years ago

That's how it works Erby.  All the time.  Franklin said it best, a stitch in time, saves nine!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

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