Step and Kick out Flashing: Does My Roof Need It?

May 9, 2022

Have you noticed stains appearing on your ceiling? Are there pronounced lines along ceiling sheetrock edges? Or does water drip into your home or from underneath the eaves during a rainstorm?

These could all be signs of damage to your roofing. You may have missing or damaged shingles and/or flashings. It’s helpful to consult a professional roofer if you find or suspect these issues.

Did you know that different parts of the roof need their own style of flashing? Having the right roof flashings installed seals your roof against future water damage.

It’s important to know about the different flashings types and their purpose. This makes you an educated consumer when speaking with the roofing professional. Keep reading this guide to find out about roof flashing.

What Is Roof Flashing?

The purpose of using roof flashing is to create extra moisture protection. It’s often made of thin, rust-resistant metal such as galvanized steel, copper, or aluminum.

There are different thicknesses and grades of flashing that offer varying wind resistance. You may also see plastic, felt, or rubber versions.

Roofers bend the flashing to custom fit it to your roof features. It’s put in places that tend to collect water or let moisture get under the roofing material. If this occurs, your roof can develop significant structural problems.

Make sure your roofer adheres to all local codes for flashing on new roofs. Also, remember that flashing often doesn’t last as long as the overall roof. It’s common to need new flashing at least once during a roof’s lifetime.

Routinely inspect your roof for signs of damage, wear, or missing parts. If you find something that doesn’t seem right, call a professional to check and repair it.

Preventing roof and subsequent internal home damage can save money in the long term. Small repairs cost less than replacing the whole roof, ceilings, walls, and/or flooring.

How Do Roofing Features Impact Flashing Requirements?

How do you know what kinds of roof flashing you need to protect your home? First, different types of roofing features create unique vulnerabilities.

Thus, the type of flashing must meet your individual roof’s needs. Ask the professional which local building codes apply to your home’s roof. Then make sure they install these flashings at the specified locations.

The following describes different styles of flashing and how they’re used to seal roofs.

Step Flashing

Do you have one or more chimneys? If so, step flashing drives water away from where the chimney and roof meet. This also adds protection around skylights and other features such as where a wall meets the roof.

The roofer bends a rectangular piece of flashing to 90 degrees at its center. It’s placed where the chimney, wall, or other item meets the roof.

Many flashing pieces overlap in a scale-like pattern. They’re slipped under each section of shingles as they go up the roof. Roofing cement and galvanized roof nails secure the flashing in place to create the seal.

Step and Continuous Flashing

Often, installers use continuous and step flashing in combination. You’ll commonly see this on dormers, chimney stacks, and other roof protrusions.

The roofer places the continuous type parallel to the edge of the roof. The step flashing is put perpendicular to the “steps” of the shingles.

Step And Kick Out Flashing

After securing all the step flashing, the roofer must create a bridge to the gutter. In fact, Building Code R703.8 addresses, what’s known as, kick-out flashing.

It requires this type of flashing for certain gutter conditions. Roofers must install this if an intersecting wall extends past the gutter’s face.

They bend a piece of flashing and place it at the end of the step flashing on the roof’s edge. Now, water runs down the roof and flows along the step flashing to the kick-out. This directs water away from the cladding and into the gutter.

Kick-out flashing keeps moisture from moving back up under the shingles. This helps prevent water damage to the decking.

Drip Edge Flashing

South Carolina Code Regs. § 8-1224 addresses the drip edge flashing standards. There must be drip edge flashings at all eaves and raked edges on asphalt shingle roofs. The roofer must follow the manufacturer’s requirements.

This type of metal flashing looks like an inverted letter “L”. You’ll see it emerge from under the edge of the shingle and hang down over the edge of the roof.

Its purpose is to prevent water seepage into your fascia, drywall, and decking. This can happen if your gutters get clogged or overfilled causing the water to back up. Water can also get between or circle around the last shingle during a sideways rain.

Over time, moisture damage often leads to rot or mold development. This reduces your roof’s structural stability.

When getting a roof, make sure the contractor’s quote includes drip edge flashings. Some roofers have been known to skip this step to reduce their costs and outbid competitors.

Do You Need an Exterior Home Contractor in South Carolina?

Is it time to repair your roof flashing, shingles, or other damage? Contract Exteriors offers high-quality roofing, siding, decking, window, and door services. Our professionals serve homeowners across the Coastal South Carolina region.

We’re the ONLY Elite Preferred James Hardie Contractor & Timbertech Platinum Pro Contractor located in Myrtle Beach and Charleston. High-quality organizations including Energy Efficient Energy Star Shingles have honored our achievements.

We’re recognized by the CertainTeed Professional Roofer Advisory Council and CertainTeed Select Shinglemaster. The GAF President’s Club and GAF Master Elite Residential Roofing Contractor also presented awards.Contact us for a free estimate today.

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