There could be several as shows on the picture, but here we will point the most ones.
If you look at your home’s roof, you’re likely to see several vent pipes protruding from the flat surfaces. These vent pipes allow gases to safely exit your home. The gases originate in bathrooms and kitchens, travel up through the venting pipe, and exit the home where the pipe empties above the roof.
A properly ventilated roof creates a balance between air intake and air exhaust. Without proper attic ventilation, numerous problems with temperature and moisture can arise and the lifetime of your roof may be significantly shortened – one of them being ice dams (when ice builds up in your eaves and gutters, which can buckle or fall off under the weight, causing serious and expensive damage to your home).
Hence, maintaining a healthy vent pipe system is critical to your roof’s health – this may include ridge vents, soffit vents, gable vents and powered attic fans.
Yet, aside from skylights and chimneys, roof vents are one of the most common causes of roof leaks . I pinpoint the source of a roof leak, you examine your vent pipes besides other penetrations in the roof.
Typically, vent pipe leaks occur at the collar surrounding the base of the vent pipe where it breaks through the surface of the roofing material. These collars consist of a metal base, generally made out of aluminum, and a rubber boot integrated into the top of the collar.
The collar’s job is to create a tight seal, keeping rainwater and debris from getting into your attic. Over time, through exposure to the sun and harsh weather, the rubber boot may wear out and deteriorate or split. Rusty and cracked vent pipe collars will allow the water to first pool around, then seep through the interior walls of your home causing great damage.
Deterioration of the underlying metal flashing and roof cement around vent pipes is also a common occurrence.
1. Collar vent
Bottom line: If the collar is cracked or damaged, it will need to be replaced.
Not all collar leaks are due to bad rubber boots, of course. Water can also enter your home if the roof vent itself has been disrupted. During a rainstorm, some rain will fall directly into the open end of the vent pipe. This rainwater makes its way down the vent and ultimately to your home’s sewer line. If there are leaks in the elbows or joints on this line, water can seep out and cause interior damage.
Damage to the chimney structure is quite common as well, as chimneys can develop cracks and crevices that allow water to permeate them. Instead of keeping rain and snow out of the roof seams, sub-par flashing allows the moisture into the roof’s inner structure. Water seepage can cause mildew, mold and premature aging of the roof.
To fix this problem, start with a thorough inspection of your chimney base and walls looking for gaps, cracks and obvious wear and tear. Chimney flashing needs to be replaced when it becomes rusty, corroded, chipped, or broken. Masonry caulk can seal small gaps or holes on a short-term basis, but is not designed to take the place of the flashing. Depending on what you find, roofing cement, caulking and most often than not flashing will need to be replaced.
Since improperly installed flashing leaves your home unprotected from rain and snow it is always best to have a professional roofer address more extensive flashing problems.
3. Vent Pipe
Aside from skylights and chimneys, roof vents are one of the most common causes of roof leaks. Rusty and cracked vent pipe collars around their base allow the water to first pool around, then seep through the interior walls of your home. Again, deteriorated flasihng & old roof cements and sealants might be the reason behind vent pipe leaks.
A leaky skylight can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Most often than not, an improper installation is the cause of a leak. If that’s the case, your local roofing contractor must handle the repairs to avoid further damage.
Some common situations that cause skylights to leak are: improperly installed fasteners, poor flashing seals, glass micro-fractures or fissures and sealant failure due to thermal expansion. If the skylight leak is at the roof flashing, it may be possible to make temporary repairs using roof flashing cement around the perimeter of the unit. However, proper repairs will require removing shingles near the skylight, installing appropriate flashing, and reinstalling new shingles in the area. Most skylights have integral flashing or a special flashing kit that is specifically designed for the skylight and roofing material.
Have questions to help on your decision? Call at 774-245-6455. We would love the opportunity to inspect your roof and help you resolve any potential issues that could result in costly repairs.