One of the most vulnerable spots on any roof installation is where vent pipes pass through the roof to the outside of the house.
Are your vent pipes properly protected or is your roof at risk of being damaged?
The Problem With Roof Vents and Other Protrusions
A roof installation works by basically creating one large interlocking layer on top of the house that prevents water from leaking through the joints and spaces.
No matter what kind of material is used, they all work the same way. Laid down correctly by an experienced roof company, the entire installation fits together so it is watertight.
Considering this, anything that protrudes through the roof and installation materials, disrupts that seal and creates an area where the shingles or sheets end, exposing them to the elements.
Vent pipes protruding through the roof require a cut in the roof material big enough for the pipe to fit through. If those cut edges are not properly sealed by a pipe boot or flashing, water will get in and soak the underlayment and decking.
Over time, that type of leak can result in extensive damage like rot that can even affect the structural supports in the roof.
Those openings may also let small animals or insects into the attic.
Are Your Roof Vents Well Sealed?
To make sure the area around your roof vents are properly sealed, it’s important to have your vent flashing or pipe boot periodically inspected, especially after extreme weather.
If you are missing a boot or flashing, look and see if the shingles around the vent are curling, becoming damaged, evidence of obvious leaking, or daylight visible from the inside of your roof. If any of this is seen, it’s time to arrange for repairs.
Sealing Roof Vents Takes Only A Few Steps
Fortunately, sealing a roof vent pipe is a fairly easy repair for roof services to make, requiring only a few steps:
- Remove the Damaged Flashing or Pipe Boot - Any existing pipe flashing or boot and cement must be removed so the pipe and roof are both clean of debris.
- Check the Flange and Shingles - Three levels of shingles around the vent must be peeled back to make sure they and the protective flange, flashing or boot installed on the decking, are in place and properly fitted around the pipe.
- Replace Damaged Flange or Shingles - If either the flange or shingles around the vent are damaged, they should be replaced and cut to fit snugly around the vent after which the shingles are layered back down as usual.
- Re-Seal the Vent - Once the shingles are in place again, new sealant should be applied around the roof's open edges to prevent water from getting through any small space and dripping under the roof installation.
- Install A Protective Pipe Boot - The whole area surrounding the vent pipe should be covered by a metal or rubber pipe boot that is applied on top of the shingles to cover the whole area. When installed correctly, the shingles should lay over the edges of the boot so water rolls over it and cannot leak under.
Make Sure Your Vent Pipes Are Properly Sealed
Damaged or missing flashing, including vent pipe seals and boots, is one of the more common sources of leaks and other damage to a roof installation.
Since sealants can dry up and fail over time, it’s important that you have your roof routinely inspected by an experienced roof company to prevent damage.
Catch issues like unsealed vent pipes before they become a real problem that will require extensive roof repairs!