What are Flashings
Over the years I have seen excessive interior and exterior problems due to improperly installed and/or missing flashings. When a roofing system is properly installed, no roof water will drain onto any siding materials. Due to ongoing issues associated with buried, missing and/or improperly installed flashings, I have dedicated a page for the education of flashings. Flashings are building materials that are installed around doors, windows, siding penetrations/connections, roof penetrations, roof intersections and roof to siding connections. Flashings are generally made of metal but plastic, adhesive/peel and stick and paper/fiber woven flashings are common at doors and windows. Flashings are designed to prevent water from penetrating inner building components. Improperly installed and/or missing flashings are the most common causes for leakage, damage and/or deterioration. The building codes require these flashings but are very vague on how these flashings should be installed. It is important to understand how water migrates off of the roof, off of the siding and also through stucco systems. The following pictures should help to identify some of these flashings.
This is a proper vinyl siding kick-out flashing
No kick-out flashing at the stucco siding
No kick-out flashing on metal siding. Once the water gets under the J-channel, the roof water is able to drain behind the siding materials. The step flashings were buried by the siding contractor during the installation of the siding. The step flashings should extend beyond the exterior edge of the siding materials to collect and carry any water migrating under the J-channel to the exterior of the wall. The only way to do this is with a kick-out flashing that is overlapped by the step flashings and building papers (surface mounted kick-out flashings may or may not work but will require ongoing maintenance). The kick-out flashing should extend beyond all of the siding materials below the roof connection to prevent any roof water from draining onto the siding materials. You can see where the corner of the step flashing terminates behind the siding in the picture above.
What is a kick-out flashing, step flashing and counter flashing?
Step flashings, counter flashings and kick-out flashings.