What You Should Know About Pipes On Your Roof

Woman by whiteboard diagraming vent pipe
May 7, 2020
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Where the leak is coming from?

Identify and fix the leak! In this blog I want to discuss the different types of pipes coming up through your roof, particularly the plumbing vent pipe. How to identify leaks from those pipes and what you can do 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 pullet points of this inspection.

How to inspect a roof leak:

  • 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.
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Four Things To Know About A Plumbing Vent Pipe Leak

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

Pick the right flashing for your vent pipe

What Is A Plumbing Vent Pipe On The Roof?

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.


Learn More – What Is On My Roof