It seems as though every time it rains in Atlanta, homeowners call about a roof repair they need because their old pipe boots have deteriorated. Roof penetrations are one of the weakest parts of every roofing system, and as such they are prone to leak in heavy rains. Read this article to learn about the common problems with pipe boots and discover some easy roof repairs you can do yourself. If climbing on roofs isn’t for you and you live in our service area, call us at 770-744-5992 or fill out our contact form to the right.
Common Reasons Pipe Boots Cause Roof Leaks
- Failed gaskets
- Debris trapped around flashing
- Corroded nails
#1 Cause Of Roofs Leak: Failed Pipe Boot Gasket
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of roofers installing brand new “lifetime” roofs while they continue to use a pipe flashing that will last 8-10 years at most. I’m reminded of the old saying about a chain only being as strong as its weakest link. The weakest link in most roofing systems is the cheap pipe boots or flashings being installed. Fortunately, there are a few products on the market that can change this; a few are listed below.
How You Can Repair Failed Pipe Boot Gaskets
There are some things you can do to repair your own pipe boots. A short term solution is to apply a bead of quality roofing caulking to around the failed gasket. Do not give in to the temptation of applying too much caulking. Also, Perma Boot makes a pipe flashing that can be installed over your existing flashing. The installation process is simple, and you can purchase the kit at your local big box home improvement store. If you live in Atlanta and your roof is too steep, give us a call at 770-744-5992. We will install the Perma Boots for you.
#2 Reason Pipe Boots Cause Roof Leaks: Debris
Sometimes Atlanta area homeowners call us out to perform what they fear is a difficult roof repair when in truth all we need to do is clear a little debris out from around their pipe boot. During the installation process, some roofers get in a hurry and fail to leave enough room between the base of the pipe boot and the shingles themselves. Debris gets trapped in between the shingles and pipe flashing and forms a little dam, causing the roof to leak during hard rains.
How You Can Repair Pipe Boots With Debris Stuck Around Them
To repair pipe boots that have been installed with little to no gap between the shingles and the base of the boot, you will need a utility knife with a hooked blade. Cut the shingles back 1” from the base of the flashing. This space will allow water to run around the flashing without trapping any debris and causing a dam. When you have finished cutting the shingles back, be sure to apply a small bead of caulking under the shingles.
#3 Reason Pipe Boots Cause Roof Leaks
Pipe flashings are one of the few areas on your roof where nails are left exposed. Some roofers either forget or purposely decide not to caulk exposed nail heads. Over time water, will corrode the nail heads and cause a roof leak. It’s frustrating that this problem is easily solvable with a few dabs of roof caulking, but fortunately the repair is fairly simple.
How You Can Repair Pipe Boots With Corroded Nail Heads
To repair pipe boots with corroded nail heads, you will need two roofing nails per pipe boot, a tube of roof caulking, and a hammer. Remove the old corroded nails and discard. Install a nail on each bottom corner of the pipe boot and seal both the new nails and old holes with a small quarter-size dab of caulking. Installing too much roof caulking can cause the surrounding shingles to blister.
If you don’t feel comfortable with climbing on your roof, please call a local roofing company who is trained to walk on roofs. Also, be sure to have someone help you hold the ladder while getting on and off of your roof.
Fix My Roof For Me
Do you live in our service area between Canton and Atlanta and need someone to come repair your roof leak for you? Call Fowler Homes at 770-744-5992, and we will come out to give you a free 15 Point Roof Inspection, going over the entire roofing system and pointing out any other potential problems you might face in the future.