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.
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.
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.