Roof Vent Boots

Is It Time for New Boots?

No, not cowboy boots or work boots. We’re talking about roofing boots on your roof, the ones around those pvc pipes sticking out above your roof line. You know, the ones that keep water from coming inside your attic.

They actually serve as a seal to keep water from entering the attic around the pvc pipes. They are made up of a metal form, called a roof pipe flashing, and a rubber boot that fits over the pipe. The metal form is nailed to the roof decking before the shingles are fitted and nailed around it. This secures the pipe in place and keeps it from moving while the rubber boot seals around the pipe to keep the water out.

Sizes of Pipe Boots

Because there are different size pipes protruding on the outside of the roof the most popular pipe boot is designed to fit from a one inch pipe to a three inch pipe. This is called a “three-n-one pipe boot” because it fits any pipe from one inch to three inches. Any pipe boot size above three inches must be bought to fit that individual pipe size.

Have you have ever wondered what those pvc pipes are that extend above your roof line are? They are actually vent pipes, or exhaust pipes for plumbing. There may be several vent pipes on your roof depending on the plumbing needs of the particular house.

Over a period of time these pipe boots may need to be replaced. The weather can play a major role in how long your pipe boots last.

Extreme heat in the summer can cause the rubber boot to harden and crack allowing the boot to fail and allow water into your attic. Cold weather can be hard on the rubber boat as well. What happens over a long period of time is the rubber boot being exposed to both the heat and cold.

In the summer, the pipe boot will expand from the heat and in the winter it will contract. Another pipe boot fail may be the roofing caulk used to seal around the pipe boot to the actual pipe. The caulk may become brittle and need to be resealed. Only a professional roofing caulk should be used for this job.

Replacing Pipe Boots

The entire pipe boot can be replaced relatively easy by an experienced roofer. He will make sure the job is done correctly so you don’t have to worry.

He will make sure not only the base form of the pipe boot is in place correctly but that there is no damage on the rubber seal. He will also make sure the shingles covering the base form of the pipe boot are installed correctly.

This may not be the “Old West” but we still have to take care of our boots. In this instance… our pipe boots. It’s mostly about the weather, when it comes to wear, tear, and acts of nature your pipe boots serve pretty much the same purpose as a pair of work boots. They are there to protect your house from the elements.

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