repairing vent pipe flashing
May 7, 2023
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3 Things You Need Should Know About The Pipes On Your Roof

Every home has them, yet few homeowners fully understand the importance of roof pipes. These seemingly small components play a huge role in maintaining the health and safety of your home. In this blog, we will quickly review what roof pipes are, common problems, maintenance tips, and when to contact a roofing contractor for help with leaks and roof pipe problems.

1) What Are The Different Pipes On Your Roof

Roof pipes, often seen protruding from your roof, are typically part of your home’s plumbing or ventilation systems. In our recent blog, “What Is On My Roof” we identified the different types of pipes, vents, and accessories that you’ll find on your roof. These pipes serve various functions like venting gases, allowing fresh air into plumbing systems, and helping HVAC units operate correctly. Below is a picture recapping some of the common elements you’ll find on your roof.

5 different types of pipes on residential roofs

2) Recognizing Common Problems With Roof Pipes

Knowing what to look for can help you spot issues before they become major problems. Common issues include poor installation of flashing and roofing materials, corrosion, damage, and blockages caused by debris or pests. These common issues can lead to a range of bigger problems including leaks, interior water damage, or even dangerous gas build-up. Regular inspections and prompt attention to any signs of trouble can save you from costly repairs or damage to your home.

Why You Need to Know About the Pipes on Your Roof

Understanding the roof pipes of your home is an integral part of maintaining your property’s overall health and safety. Here is a quick list of reasons why you need to know about the pipes on your roof:

  • Protect Your Home’s Structural Integrity
  • Ensure Proper Ventilation
  • Promote Energy Efficiency
  • Save On Repair Costs

3) How to Properly Maintain Your Roofing Vents & Accessories

The health of the pipes on your roof depends heavily on regular maintenance. Whether you’re comfortable doing some basic tasks yourself or you prefer to leave all maintenance to a roofing contractor, understanding the maintenance process is crucial. Tasks might include clearing debris, and checking for signs of leaks, corrosion, or damage. Remember, safety first – always ensure you have the correct equipment and knowledge before going onto your roof to attempt DIY work.

What To Do When There Is A Leaky Pipe On My Roof

Now that you are a bit more familiar with the roof pipes and systems, let’s discuss what to do if you have a leak from those pipes and how to stop the leak. Any penetration on a roof provides an opportunity for a leak. In our blog, How to inspect a leak from a vent pipe, we discuss in greater detail the method we take to find a leak. For now, I’ll give you the bullet points of this inspection.

How to inspect roof pipes and vents:

  • Measure the leak from inside the room. This will help you find the exact spot during the following steps.
  • Go into the attic space if possible to see the leak from above the ceiling.
  • Inspect the bottom side of the roof.
  • Always take pictures.
  • Inspect the roof using the measurements and pictures to pinpoint the exact location.

Other Helpful Information To Know About A Plumbing Vent Pipe Leak

Unfortunately, the flashing designed for your plumbing vent pipe is typically one of the first things to leak on a roof. With that in mind, let’s focus on some helpful tips to resolve any potential leaks from the plumbing vent on your roof.

  1. Whenever there is a pipe sticking up from your roof, there is also a specifically designed type of flashing for that pipe.
  2. Your shingle might be a 25 year or 50 year shingle but few pipe flashings are actually designed for that length of time.
  3. Most builders install a pipe flashing that lasts approximately 7 years.
  4. Learn how to pick the right flashing for your vent pipe

How the Plumbing Vent Works

The plumbing vent pipe you see in your roof is attached to all the sinks, toilets and water sources in your home, which ultimately drain into the sewer. There are two main reasons for these plumbing vent pipes.

  1. To help the water drain out of your house, just like the tiny hole in your coffee lid functions.
  2. Prevent sewer gases from entering back into the house.

When To Call A Professional: Signs and Symptoms

There are instances when DIY isn’t enough, and a professional roofer help is needed. If you’ve noticed consistent issues, severe damage, or if your pipes are old and possibly due for replacement, a roofing professional can provide the necessary recommendations and services. Professionals can also perform regular maintenance and inspections, so if you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, don’t hesitate to seek their assistance. RoofPRO is the go-to Maryland Roofing contractor for all of your inspection, maintenance, repair, and replacement needs. Contact today to schedule an appointment with a roofing expert!


Want to learn more about the structure of your roof? Check out our blog about the different parts that make up a roofing system:

Understanding the Parts of a Roof System

Article Updated June 13, 2023.