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.

 

Kick-out Flashing

 

This is a proper vinyl siding kick-out flashing

This is a proper vinyl siding kick-out flashing

This is a proper vinyl siding kick-out flashing

 

 

This is a kick-out flashing

 

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.

 

No kick-out flashing at the stucco siding.

 

No kick-out flashing at stucco siding.

 

No kick-out flashing at the stucco siding

No kick-out flashing at the stucco siding. Visible stucco damage is present from the roof water draining onto the stucco siding.

 

No kick-out flashing at the stucco siding. Visible stucco damage is present from the roof water draining onto or behind the stucco siding.

 

 Proper kick-out flashing at the stucco siding

What is a kick-out flashing, step flashing and counter flashing?

Step flashings, counter flashings and kick-out flashings.

 

No flashings at the deck to structure connection is allowing leakage to occur behind the deck and onto the siding materials and windows below the deck connections.

 

No flashing at the deck to structure connection.

 

No flashings at the balcony to structure connection.

 

No flashing at the deck to structure connection. Active leakage occurs between the deck and structure.

 

This is a window flashing.

 

This is a window flashing. Notice how the side flashings overlap the bottom flashing.

 

This flashing extends under the stucco building papers and over the top of the siding below the stucco.

 

Drainage provision where the faux stone siding meets the foundation.

 

This is a flashing detail that has been installed between the siding and foundation/flatwork. The flashing extends behind the siding building papers and is sealed to the concrete to prevent water migration to the framed walls.