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How to Fix a Leak around the Roof Vent Pipes

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Dealing with a leak can be a huge pain in the neck. This is especially true if you can’t seem to pinpoint the source of the leak. You’re in luck if you’re able to pinpoint the source. For example in a lot of cases, it could be from around the roof vent pipes.

This is not to say that it’s not going to be a problem. Dealing with a leak around the roof vent pipes can be a huge problem as well. You’ll also be surprised to know that a lot of homeowners are at a loss as to why that area is leaking. If you’re one of them, then you’re not really surprised. You’re also in luck because this article is going to help you a lot.

First of all, we’ll talk about the dangers of a roof leak. This is to make you understand that this is an emergency. It doesn’t matter where the leak is coming from. There are dangers attached to it that you have to know.

You also have to know how to spot signs of a roof leak. Of course there are obvious signs, but there are subtle signs that you should also watch out for.

You also have to understand the common roof leaking causes. This is for you to avoid them so you don’t have to deal with a repeat of the problem in the future.

roof vents on a flat roof

A lot of you reading this article also want to know why there is water dripping from your roof vent pipes. We’ll provide reasons why.

It’s also probably a good idea to make sure that the leak is indeed coming from the roof vent pipes. We’ll also teach you how to find the source of a leak.

By now, there’s a good chance that you understand that this is an emergency. This is good. It is an emergency that you have to take care of ASAP. But this is not an encouragement that you should do it yourself. It’s still a good idea to contact a professional so they can take care of the problem for you. We’ll tell you compelling reasons why.

Sure, you want to save money. This is why you’re having second thoughts about hiring a professional. Well, you’re in luck because we’ve developed a service that can help you find a great deal from a competent contractor near you.

Dangers of a Roof Leak

There are dangers of a roof leak that should convince you to take care of the problem once and for all. These are the most notorious dangers that should make you reach out to the best contractors in the area:

  • Your home’s structure will be compromised.

Your roof is an important part of your home’s structure. In fact, it can be considered as part of your home’s foundation. A leak may be coming from just a small hole or gap, but it can wreak havoc on your home.

Water is very damaging to a home. It will lead to rotting of the wooden parts. It will start with the floor of the attic. Water will find its way to the rest of your home and it will wreak the same havoc. The result will be sagging floor and roof. Damaged parts will become spongy.

You may not see these damages right now, but they can develop if you don’t do something about it. This will lead to an expensive repair or replacement.

  • Your home’s aesthetics will be affected.

You invested a lot of money to make sure that your home is beautiful. Water damage can flush that investment down. This is because it will lead to ugly results.

Your home will have black streaks. There’ll be ugly spots. There’ll be holes and damages. Your roof will have ugly and slimy-looking mold and mildew.

Simply put, your home will look ugly.

  • Your family may experience health issues.

Speaking of mold and mildew, they’re not just ugly to look at. They also have ugly effects on your health. This is because they can cause a wide range of respiratory issues. The risks are real especially for the children, elderly, and family members already experiencing respiratory issues.

  • It’s dangerous.

The mere fact that your home’s structure will be damaged is dangerous enough. You also have to worry about the health dangers. In addition to these dangers, there are other risks that you have to worry about.

There’s the immediate risk of your family members slipping on a puddle because of the dripping. This is why it’s recommended to place a bucket to catch the dripping. Of course, this is just a short-term solution to prevent the slip risk. You still have to do something about it.

It can also cause an electrocution. The water will find its way to electrical wiring, light fixtures, electrical sockets and more. This will lead to them being charged electrically, and anyone in your family can receive the shock of their lives when they touch them.

This can also lead to a fire hazard. The water touching electrical wiring can lead to an open circuit and this can lead to a fire.

  • It can lead to more expensive energy bills.

Your home’s insulation can also be damaged. This means that your HVAC system would have to work double time and this can lead to an increase in your energy bills. This increase can really add up.

  • Your belongings can get damaged.

Your attic is home to a lot of your important and expensive belongings. If they’re not, then you wouldn’t be storing them. The water can drip on your off-season clothes and damage them. It can also damage appliances and expensive equipment in there.

As the drip finds its way around your home, your other appliances, furniture and fixtures will also be at risk.

With these dangers, doesn’t it make sense to solve the problem and avoid these dangers?

Signs of a Roof Leak

With the dangers listed above, you now know that you have a big problem in your hands. It all starts with identifying signs of a roof leak. These signs can help tell you what you’re up against:

  • There are water spots.

There’s no logical reason why your ceiling or walls should have water spots unless your roof is leaking. The water will accumulate in these areas and that can lead to the water spots.

The bigger the spots are, the bigger the problem is. It’s either you’re dealing with a massive leak problem or your roof has been leaking for a long time already and you haven’t done anything about it.

  • You literally see dripping water.

If you see water dripping from above, there’s obviously a leak. This is probably the clearest sign of one.

This is not to say that you literally have to see water dripping to say that there’s a leak. The dripping water could go elsewhere in places that you can’t see like inside walls. Also, the attic floor may be stopping the water from dripping all the way to the inside of your home for now.

  • There’s growth of moss or mold.

They can grow on the roof or on the walls. There could be other reasons for this, like if they don’t receive a lot of sunshine. But in a lot of cases, their growth could indicate a leak.

  • The paint is peeling.

It could be because of moisture which can be an indication of a leak.

These could obviously lead to a leaking roof that needs to be repaired. In a lot of cases, the leak will happen during a hard rain. It could be a slow leak which can prove to be more dangerous than a fast one.

They play an important role of sealing roof penetrations so water don’t penetrate. If they’re damaged, there’s a good chance that a leak is already happening.

If you’re dealing with a leak around the roof vent pipes, then this could be the culprit.

Roof Leaking Causes

Unfortunately for homeowners like you, there are several roof leaking causes. Here are the most common ones:

  • Your roof has deteriorated.

It’s constantly exposed to harsh weather elements. While a good roof can last for more than a century, there will come a time wherein there are issues that you have to take care of – like leaking. This is because some parts or the roof as a whole has deteriorated.

Think of how it’s exposed to the hot sun for several hours at a time. That can break the seal between shingles as it can melt the tar. The materials that make up the roof may crack because they’ve become brittle because of these weather conditions. The constant temperature change can also do this.

Just like with us humans, age can take a toll on your roof.

  • Poor design.

An experienced roofer will make sure that it’s designed just right. DIYers and newbie roofers make the mistake of making the pitch too shallow. This is why air is able to lift the shingles up. This allows the rain to drive through them.

There are stipulations set by the International Building Code that states that the pitch should have a vertical rise of 2 inches over a distance of a foot horizontally. This is for asphalt shingles.

In some cases, there should be two layers of an underlay material. An experienced roofer will know this.

  • There’s debris or clogs.

The water should be able to flow freely off of your roof and into the gutters. Debris or clogs can slow or even stop the flow which will lead to water pooling. The water may eventually find its way into your home through gaps or can even create gaps.

Speaking of gutters, they can get clogged as well. It can also lead to leaking.

  • There’s condensation.

The leaking could be because of condensation which could mean that there’s nothing damaged in the roof. It’s a temperature issue which could be a different problem altogether.

  • There are holes or damages.

Maybe a fallen branch created a hole. Maybe the hole is because of a penetration that you’ve forgotten when you removed it like an old TV antenna.

Speaking of fallen branches, they can also cause damages to the shingles. That can cause leaking as well.

How to Find the Source of a Leak

With many possible sources, there are things that you can do to find the source. This information can help you when you contact a professional roofer. The best time to do it is during a heavy rain. If it’s not raining anymore, you can have someone spray water on the roof to mimic the rain.

Here’s how to find the source of a leak:

  1. Go up the attic with a flashlight.

Search for the wet spot in the attic floor. Use the flashlight to check out the rafters and decking of the roof directly above this wet spot.

  1. Trace up.

Follow the trail of water spots up to the highest point.

  1. Take measurements.

Take the measurement from the peak of the roof up to the leak’s highest point. Make sure to measure over the leak’s gable end.

  1. Wait for the rain to stop.

If it’s safe, go up on your roof and use the measurements to pinpoint the location. Look around for any signs that could indicate the cause of the leaking. If you can’t find it using the measurements, look further higher.

Make sure to take extra precautions when working on the roof. It’s actually not recommended for you to go up the roof. It can be very dangerous. You could fall. You can also create more damages that could lead to more leaks.

Why is there Water Dripping from Roof Vent Pipes?

In addition to the causes above, there is another possible cause for water dripping from roof vent pipes. In fact, it’s the most logical cause. It’s when the seal around it has been broken.

These pipes penetrate the roof. It’s normal to have gaps around the pipes when they’re initially installed or else, they wouldn’t have penetrated. This is why professional roofers put a seal around them.

This seal is often achieved with the use of flashing that has a gasket with it. This can get cracked, damaged or brittle. The seal breaks when this happens and you now have gaps or cracks where water can drip into.

How to Repair Roof Vent Pipe Flashing

Actually, there’s only one thing that you need to do – hire a professional. This is to make sure that the job is done correctly and safely. It can be a complicated and unsafe task.

Just to give you an idea, here’s how the professionals will do it:

  • Pry the nails off of the flashing.

While prying the nails sound easy, you have to be careful because some of them will be located across shingles. Untrained hands can end up damaging the shingles on accident.

A trained professional will lift the shingles just enough for them to pry the nails. They also employ a tactic of loosening the shingles so that they won’t get damaged when the damaged flashing is pulled out.

  • Remove the flashing.

This has to be done carefully and precisely.

  • Replace the old flashing with the new one.

Slide the new flashing carefully over the pipe. Tuck it underneath the shingles. Drive galvanized nails designed for roofs through the flashing and apply a roofing sealant.

Now, these steps may seem easy to do, but there are reasons why this job is best reserved for professionals.

Why You Shouldn’t Do DIY Roofing Work

Don’t be tempted to do DIY roofing work because of the following reasons:

  • You could misdiagnose the problem.

What if you think that there’s a leak around the roof vent pipes when indeed, there’s a different source of the leak? You could end up spending for the repair of the vent pipes when in fact you should be taking care of another problem.

On that note, do you even know what to look for?

  • You could do a bad job at it.

There’s actually no shame in saying that you won’t be able to do a good job with DIY roof work. After all, you don’t do this for a living. This is why it’s very realistic that you’ll do a bad job at it. This means that you’ll end up hiring a professional in the end, wasting time, effort and money in the process.

More importantly, this is your roof that we’re talking about. You’d want the job to get done right.

  • It will take up a lot of your time and effort.

Some DIYers even take a couple of days off from their work so they can work on the roof. They wanted to save money, not realizing that they’re also losing money because they’re not working on their real job.

On the other hand, some of them do the task on a weekend. Isn’t your weekend best reserved for rest and relaxation?

  • You can end up spending more money.

There are specialized tools that you may need to buy. Since you’re not a professional, you probably won’t use the tools again for a long time. You also need to buy materials and you won’t get discounts usually given to contractors since they buy in bulk.

  • You can make things worse.

You could end up creating more damages. You can make the problem worse. For example, you could end up damaging a row of shingles because you weren’t careful. Now, you have a damaged roof vent pipe flashing and damaged shingles to take care of.

  • You can hurt yourself.

This applies to just about any DIY work out there. However, working on a roof is more dangerous simply because you’re higher up there. You could end up falling and seriously injuring yourself.

There’s also the risk of being attacked by bees and other insects. Imagine being up on the roof and then being attacked by a swarm of bees!

Getting Quotes from Competing Contractors

We get it. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a roofing contractor. No one does. However, you can actually find a good deal if you know how to do it.

You just have to contact several roofers and ask them to send you their best quote. Let them know that you’re shopping around for the best deal. This gives them the encouragement that they need to put together their best quote. After all, they know that you’ll be receiving other great quotes so they have to send their best so they can be considered.

We made this process easier by creating a free service that homeowners can use for their home renovation and repair needs. We’ve put together a database of the best contractors in the country including roofing specialists. All you need to do to access this database is to fill out the form that you see on this page. In this case, make sure to include details about your roofing problem, specifically the fact that you’re dealing with a leak around the roof vent pipes if after reading this article you’ve determined that it is indeed the problem.

By sending the completed form, you’re sending your details to top roofers in your area. You’ll receive great quotes from around 4 contractors based on the details that you’ll put on the form so make sure to fill it out accurately. They know that you’re receiving quotes from their competitors so they know that they should send their best deal to get your business.

Just wait for them to get in touch with you. They’ll send you an itemized quote so you can easily compare what they’re offering. Make sure to check the items carefully. Don’t go for the lowest bid. Go for the bid that offers the best value for money.

This is a free service so there’s no risk involved to trying it. There’s also no commitment involved. Try it today!

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