How to Shingle Around a Roof Vent

The shingles on your roof perform the all-important job of keeping rain, snow, and cold air from entering your house and causing damage. They also serve an aesthetic function, contributing greatly to the curb appeal of your home and having a dramatic effect upon its value. Of course, shingles are only able to perform these tasks if they’re installed correctly. If there are any flaws in the installation process, or if any of the shingles are lost or damaged, these can become weak points in your roof that can let the weather in, ultimately causing property damage inside your house.

Fortunately, installing and replacing shingles is a fairly easy task and one that you can usually perform yourself if you have the proper equipment. However, this task becomes dramatically more complicated as you attempt to work around certain features of the roof, such as the vents. If you’re willing to put the effort in, however, the job can still be done. Read on to learn a bit more about how to shingle around a roof vent:

Make Sure You Have the Right Safety Equipment

Working on a roof has a certain element of risk to it, which is why it’s important to have the correct equipment to perform the task. Do not attempt to begin the job if you don’t have all of the items on this list, since they are directly tied to the safety of the person doing the work.

You will need:

  • Sturdy, closed-toed work boots. Make sure these boots have excellent grip since you absolutely do not want to slip while performing the job.
  • Work gloves. Thick, solid gloves are best to avoid cuts and puncture wounds.
  • Eye protection. Such as safety glasses.
  • A roofing ladder. Not just any ladder will work here because you’ll be attempting to access the roof from certain awkward angles. A self-supported ladder usually won’t work here. You’ll need one with enough height to it that it can be secured to the edge of the roof itself. Roofing ladders are ideal, and roofers can stand on them while working.
  • Fall protection equipment. Don’t risk a fall. This is dangerous work.

Use the Right Tools for the Job

Having the right tools for the job is also a must. If you don’t have the right tools, the installation process won’t work effectively, and the shingles around your roofing vent will likely leak. Before you begin planning the job, make sure you have:

  • Roofing nail gun. The job can technically be done with a hammer, but nail guns are a good deal faster. You will also need an air compressor to connect to the nail gun.
  • Roofing hammer. Even though you’ll be using the nail gun for the majority of the work, you’ll still need a hammer for certain parts of the job.
  • Shingle cutter. While a regular utility knife can certainly do the job, you’ll be better off if you purchase a knife specifically designed for cutting roof shingles.
  • Measuring tape.
  • Caulking gun. Sealing the shingles around the roof vent requires a caulking gun. Without one, you’ll find that your roof is prone to leaks. Get one that’s specifically designed for roofing shingles.

Setting Up for the Job

Before you begin, proper setup is key. Once you’ve ensured you have all the proper tools and safety equipment, make sure you have the right shingles for the job. They should match the other shingles on your roof and be of the best quality you can afford. It’s a good idea to have another person who can assist you with the job. They can help you to keep an eye out for safety concerns as well as give you a hand doing the job when you need it.

When choosing a spot to put your ladder, make sure the ground is level. If you place it on angled ground, it can wobble and could even fall. Make sure that you also set up the ladder at the correct angle. This means about a 1:4 ratio, or move the ladder one foot back for every four feet of height.

Attaching the Shingles

A key part of learning how to shingle around a roof vent is ensuring that the shingles are properly laid on top of one another. You’ll need to make sure this is done all the way up to the roof vent itself. Then you’ll prepare the shingles themselves.

Before connecting the shingles, you’ll lay down roofing felt. With your utility knife, cut a hole in the roofing felt as close to the exact shape of the roofing vent flashing as you possibly can. The shingles will need to be cut as well. Cut curved notches in the ones that touch the vent flashing. In this way, you’ll be able to place the shingles directly up to the vent flashing.

Use your caulking gun to glue the shingles down and then nail them directly to the roof with the nail gun. Double-check each shingle to ensure that it is securely fastened, with no bubbles or leaks.

After you have secured the shingles, you should place more roofing sealant around the vent itself. Then you can slide the vent pipe boot over the shingles, where the sealant will help hold it in place. A few more nails will prevent this boot from blowing away when the wind picks up.

Maintaining Your Roof for Years to Come

Even if you have performed the job perfectly, you’ll need to make sure the roof is regularly maintained. If it isn’t, eventually, damage will occur that can compromise the integrity of your roof and lead to costly repairs. Maintenance should be performed by a professional roofer from a licensed and established company such as Interstate Roofing. They’ll be able to extend the life of your roof for many years to come, as well as save you money on repairs by regularly performing preventative maintenance.


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.