Getting rid of the leaks around your roof vent pipes does not mean getting rid of the vent pipes altogether. When you are frustrated because you keep getting those nasty water stains in your ceiling and you know there is a considerable damage being done to the structure of your home before you even see the stains, you may be inclined to rip your vent pipes out forever.
Do not be quite so hasty! Those pipes are there for a reason – not just as an anchor point for your roof top holiday display! Anywhere wastewater is produced in your home at plumbing fixtures such as sinks, toilets and showers a vent pipe is needed. The waste ever ends up in the sewer system connected to your house, but the gases produced needs a place to go and that is quite the function of your roof vent pipes. Without the pipes you would be inundated with foul odors inside your home.
- To locate the leak, you need to climb up into your attic and locate the PVC pipe that goes through your roof. Be careful not to step between the ceiling joists or you may fall through the ceiling.
- You will have to pull the insulation carefully away from the pipe where it penetrates the roof. If you see daylight you know you have a problem. That's where water can come through.
- If the roof decking is rotted, you will need to have it replaced. Hopefully you can locate the problem before it gets that bad.
- If you think it's going to rain again before your roofing repair contractor gets to you, tie a towel around the vent pipe to soak up the water before it reaches your ceiling. Most good contractors can be there on the same day you call.
- One of the most common issues is a cracked boot around your vent pipe. The boot is the rubber cover that hugs the pipe and keeps it watertight. Exposure to the elements causes it to shrink and crack over time. Replacing it is a standard procedure.
You could also have the rubber boot replaced with other flashing solutions such as lead pipe flashing that are not nearly as suspect to the weather as rubber. Your roofing contractor can advise you on the latest technology in repairing roof ventilation pipe leaks. The important point is to have it handled before it becomes more costly.