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How to Detect a Leak and Repair Leaking Vent Pipes

Any holes in your roof make it susceptible to leaks. These holes can be found in gaps in your shingles, worn wood due to ice dams, and even in holes that serve a purpose, like near your vents or chimney. Older rooftop vent pipes can start to develop leaks as the metal cracks or the parts work themselves loose. Be sure to detect signs of leaks before water damage becomes too serious and repair the leaks before they grow out of control.

rain drops falling on metal roof

Detect a Leaking Vent Pipe

Check your walls and ceiling for water stains. As winter weather slides in around the vent pipe or flashing during a rainstorm (or even just through light condensation), it will start to collect and drip down onto the ceiling below. Regularly check your ceilings for watery patches ringed with light brown or orange.

Keep an eye out for damp insulation. If you're lucky, you might catch a water leak before it starts to be visible outside the attic. If some of your insulation starts to darken with mold or mildew, check the area for moisture. If the spot is right below an exterior vent pipe, consider patching the flashing and pipe just in case.

Repair a Vent Pipe Leak

The separated edge between your vent pipe and the surrounding flashing and gasket is covered by caulk. Remove all the old caulk, so you can entirely replace it. While the caulk is off, check the rubber gasket around the bottom of the pipe. If it's torn or ripped, which can happen with a rough pipe, or cracked due to old age, you can repair the damage by placing a new gasket on top without having to remove the old one. Just caulk heavily around the edge of the old gasket between it and the pipe, and slide the new gasket on top, so the caulk both seals the surface and adheres the two rubber pieces together.

A leaking vent pipe isn't a sign of major roof damage or age; it just means the rubber parts may have dried out and cracked due to long exposure to the sun and elements. However, letting water leak into your house can cause water damage and weaken the walls, structural integrity, or insulation. Be sure to inspect potential leaks when you find them and act if necessary. For more roof repair tips, contact us to learn more.

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