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Rain Water Is Leaking Through My Vent Stack Plumbing

Water entering your home through a roof leak can cause major problems. Water promotes wood rot, attracts insects and other pests and, if left untreated, damages your home's systems and interior walls. Leaks around vent stacks are among the easiest leaks to identify and repair. In many cases, they are caused by poorly sealed rubber boots that require no more than a bead of caulk to seal the connection between boot and pipe. When the boot must be replaced, save cash by taking a quick trip to the hardware store and doing the repair yourself.

Stop roof leaks before they cause serious problems.

Step 1

Lean the ladder against the roof overhang.  Make sure the ladder is stable before climbing onto the roof.

Step 2

Pull back the shingles covering the pipe boot.  Pry them from the roof with the claw end of your hammer if pulling them back doesn't give you enough access.

Step 3

Pry away the nails holding the existing boot in place, before sliding the boot up and off the vent pipe.  The vent pipe will not be much longer than 12 inches, so sliding the boot over the pipe will not be difficult.

Step 4

Scrape away any caulk or roofing tar on the vent pipe or on the decking (wood beneath the roofing shingles) with the putty knife.  Lumps and debris will reduce the integrity of your new seal.

Step 5

Slide the new boot down the vent pipe until the bottom is against the decking.  Nail it to the decking, and squeeze a bead of caulk around the seam where the boot meets the decking. Squeeze another bead around the seam where the top of the boot meets the pipe. 

Step 6

Press the shingles back down, or nail on new ones if you had to remove the original shingles. 

Things You Will Need

  • Extension ladder
  • Hammer
  • Roofing nails
  • Putty knife
  • Pipe boot
  • Caulk gun
  • Silicone caulk

Tip

  • Seal around the vent from inside your attic, if possible, for added protection.

About the Author

Robert C. Young began writing professionally in 1989 as a copywriter for an advertising specialty company. From 2000 to 2007 he operated a real-estate development and construction company. His work has been published online at SFGate and various other websites. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics from Georgia State University.

Photo Credits

  • Jeffrey Hamilton/Lifesize/Getty Images