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How To Repair a Leaking Roof Vent

Far from being a simple annoyance, a leaking roof vent can have a devastating effect on your home, property, and belongings. As water drips through the vent, it will gradually cause the ceiling paint to darken and the plaster to expand and bubble. Soon enough, it will spread into your home, damaging anything you have stored in your attic and encouraging the growth of mold and mildew. Not only will this lead to expensive repairs, it may also create health issues for the residents of the home as mold spores propagate and spread through the ventilation systems.

While leaks can occur anywhere in the roof of your home, it’s the vents that are often most vulnerable. In most homes that face leakage, it’s a combination of inclement weather and a lack of proper maintena how to repair leaking roof vent nce that leads to problems. That’s why it’s critical to make sure your roof is properly maintained and to repair any issues as you find them. Here are a few tips on how to repair a leaking roof vent.

Safety First

Before you begin any project involving roof work, take your time to plan and prepare. No repair job is worth putting your safety at risk, so never attempt anything you aren’t certain you can do safely. Before you walk around a roof or in an attic, make sure that everywhere you stand will be able to support your weight. Also ensure that you aren’t doing any roofing work in unfavorable conditions. Extreme heat, extreme cold, and wet weather are not times to be working on your roof.

It helps to have the right safety equipment. A proper ladder and harness are absolutely essential. In addition, you should never attempt any sort of roofing work alone. ALWAYS have a spotter working with you to serve as an extra set of eyes, as well as an extra set of hands. If at any time you’re uncomfortable with any element of the job you’re attempting, simply contact a professional roofing company like Interstate Roofing and ask them to undertake it for you.

Learn to Diagnose the Problem

The first step toward dealing with leaky roof vents is diagnosing the problem. Learn to recognize the signs of a leak so that you can begin the repair process as quickly as possible—before the damage becomes catastrophic. Stains on the ceiling are one of the primary telltale signs. A dark spot will usually spread out from underneath the source of the leak.

You may also notice mold growth in your attic. This is a sign that moisture has found its way into your home. Metal parts of the home might begin to rust as water drips down pipes and over vents. You’ll want to check the outer roof as well, since sometimes the damage is apparent there. A close inspection may reveal shingles that have been worn away, as well as sealant that has come off near your roof vents.

Find the Leak

Once you have noticed signs of a leak, you should follow these indicators to locate the source of the vent leak. You might do this in the attic or on the roof itself. Sometimes, it’ll be obvious, as you’ll actually see water dripping down from the damaged area. In other cases, it won’t be as clear exactly where the leakage is occurring. In that case, you may have to feel around with your hand for any damp spots.

The leak can occur anywhere near the roof vent. It will often be in the seal around it, but it can also be somewhere along the vent pipe. Of course, it’s also possible you’ll be dealing with more than one leak, especially if your roof hasn’t received regular maintenance.

What Kind of Leak Is It?

When learning how to repair leaking roof vent flashing, you’ll have several different solutions available to you, depending on the source of the problem. If it’s a cracked vent pipe, your strategy for fixing it may be different than a split rubber vent pipe boot, for example. In any case, the different elements of the roof vent must all have watertight seals. If any areas are compromised, that’s where the leaks will occur.

Temporary Fixes

In many cases, you may not be able to repair the damage immediately, or you may end up needing to call a professional roofer to complete the job. If that’s the case, there are a few temporary fixes you can do to avoid further damage while you wait for your permanent solution. Tying a towel around the leaking part of a vent pipe can catch the water that’s coming through. It will work for a short while.

You can also add a quick layer of extra sealant over the damaged area. Just note that, without a more involved repair job, this is only a temporary solution and not how to repair leaking roof vent flashing or pipes.

Replace Any Damaged Parts

First, you’ll need to clear a path to the leaking area on the roof. You may need to cut away some insulation to access a damaged pipe. After you have accessed the leaky area, you’ll need to use a pocketknife to scrape any old caulking away. Remove any screws from the damaged area and dispose of them; they are likely to be weak from rust and should be replaced. Slide the vent parts apart and removed the damaged section. Replace the rubber boot if it has split, and redo any sealing with more caulk. You may have to remove damaged sections of pipe too. Replace these, if you’re able, and add a little pipe sealant to the seams when you screw a new section of pipe into place.

What To Do If the Damage Has Spread

Particularly if the roof of your home hasn’t been maintained properly, the damage may have spread farther than a simple leak. While a split rubber boot or a cracked vent pipe is easy to repair, occasionally the problem may become more severe. Water damage can lead to the wood that makes up your roof rotting. If that’s the case, it’ll be a much more difficult repair. If, at any time, you discover that an element of the repair is beyond your capabilities, simply contact the licensed professional roofers at Interstate Roofing to complete the job.

Prevention vs. Cure

The best solution to a leaky roof vent, of course, is to prevent it from taking place in the first place. Your best option is always to have regular maintenance performed on your roof. Having a professional roofer from Interstate Roofing come in to check for any potential problems every once in a while will save you a lot of money in the long run, not to mention stress and headache as you avoid catastrophic damage to your roof.

4 Tips To Prevent A Leaking Roof Vent

A leaking roof vent can do serious damage to your home and property if it’s left unchecked. While any part of the roof is subject to leaks, the roof vents are among the most vulnerable. Heavy rains, extreme heat or cold, or simple aging can cause the roof vents to weaken and leak.

Even if the problem seems minor, it can quickly get out of control and lead to even more expensive repairs down the road. As with most problems in life, prevention is usually the best solution.

Here a few of our top tips to prevent a leaking roof vent:

Get to Know Your Roof

Knowing the different parts that make up your roof will help you diagnose problems with it before they become severe. You’ll also be able to communicate more easily with your roofer, knowing exactly what to tell someone when you do have an issue.

Beneath everything is the decking of your roof, which is usually made of a thick plywood and serves as the nailbed the shingles are attached to. The shingles of your roof can be made of a number of different materials; the most common, however, is asphalt and composition.

The roof edge, or fascia, as the name suggests, is the edge of your roof and is formed from all the boards that make up the roof. Roofs come in a variety of shapes; some are flat and some slanted. Most roofs, however, have valleys where water can pool. This is prevented by flashing, which are covers placed on parts of a roof that are vulnerable to leaks. Flashing is usually made from a rust-resistant metal such as stainless steel. Aluminum and copper are also occasionally used.

All of the parts of a roof are prone to weakening over time, which can lead to leaks; however, it is the roof vents that are the most vulnerable. Vents are openings in your roof which are required for ventilating your home’s attic; these openings can serve as weak points in the structure of your roof and begin to leak if not properly maintained.

Look for Signs of Leaking

Preventing leaks starts with making yourself aware. This means knowing how to spot the early warning signs and take immediate action before the problem becomes worse.

The first and the most obvious sign is an actual water stain. It will look like a large, brownish-colored puddle on your ceiling and is a sure sign water has leaked through your roof and is starting to cause damage.

Often, the moisture that’s leaking can spread beyond just the ceiling; if you notice discoloration on your walls, or even on the floor, that could be another sign of a leaky roof.

Unchecked water leaks can also cause mold growth, which will manifest as spots on your ceiling or walls. Mold and other growth can also appear on the roof itself or on the exterior walls of your home. The gutters can also become clogged, which can lead to mold or mildew buildup, which will weaken your roof.

By this point, the structural integrity of your roof could become seriously compromised; you’ll have to make immediate, costly repairs and may have to deal with other property damage as well. For this reason, it is critical that you perform regular inspections and search out any signs of leaks or damage.

If you are struggling to find the source of a leak, you can also use a hose to spray small, localized parts of the roof. Thoroughly wet each area and then move on if you see no signs of a leak. Eventually, this method should allow you to pinpoint the source of your leak.

However, if you know you have a leak, even if you’re not sure where it’s coming from, it’s best to call in a roofing specialist to check for a leaking roof vent and other issues and correct the repairs with haste.

Make Minor Repairs

In many cases, a leak can often be fixed rather easily. It may be as simple as replacing one faulty part. If a single nail works its way free of your vent boot, it can quickly begin to take on water. Often, vent boots are made from plastic or a combination of plastic and metal, and after a hot summer or a winter freeze, can become compromised.

The housings on the vents can also become cracked; even metal housing can become damaged as the seams crack after extreme weather.

While it’s possible to fix leaks temporarily by applying caulk to the affected area, it’s more effective to have the entire damaged parts replaced and it is highly recommended — and usually safer — if you retain the services of a professional roofer.

Call in a Professional

Many overzealous homeowners attempt to tackle roofing problems on their own. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to make repairs yourself, the roof of your home is extremely complex and fixing one symptom of the problem may not actually prevent leaks.

Not only this, but moving about on the roof of your home safely requires training and, in many cases, specialized equipment. That’s why your best option is usually to call in an experienced, professional roofer.

But, even though it may be an urgent situation, don’t forget to do a little research first. Contact at least three or four roofers in your area. Read reviews online and look to see if the companies’ past customers have been satisfied. Find out how long each one has been in business, and don’t be afraid to ask for references and about warranties.

Then begin comparing prices; you should be wary of work that is too cheap because you will often get what you pay for.

Think you might have a leaking roof vent or another roofing issue? Reach out to our team today.