Roof vent boot

A Corrupt Roof Vent Boot? 1 Troublesome Leaking Roof Cause

Written on
April 12, 2021

Many homeowners dealing with a leaking roof have found a roof vent boot is to blame.

Roof vents play a crucial part in roofing ventilation. Often, they are the short gray pipes sticking up from your roof. The roof vent boot is the portion closest to the roof's shingles.

When the roof vent boot becomes cracked, damaged, or otherwise compromised, water has an avenue into your home.

This article will outline why a roof vent and roof vent boot are essential in the first place and provide you with a roadmap for fixing your own. Of course, if you prefer utilizing the help of a roofing professional and live in the Dayton, Columbus, or Cincinnati area, Possert Construction is here to help!

roof vent on asphalt roof

About roof vents

Proper roof ventilation is vital for the well-being of your roof. Keeping the attic cooler during colder weather ensures the warmth from the upper levels doesn't melt any snow on the roof, which could cause ice dams. And in the summer, a continuous flow of air flushes mold spores from the space—the humid air from the home's upper levels offers the perfect breeding ground for mold. 

Additionally, proper roof ventilation makes sure the attic stays at a relatively consistent temperature, meaning less work for your heating and cooling units. 

There are two components to roofing ventilation systems: the roof vents sticking out from the roof and intake vents near the attic's bottom. This design takes advantage of hot air rising to keep air flowing.

The roof vent boot is the portion of the roof vent closest to the roof. It's often rubber, plastic, or steel. When a roof vent boot becomes compromised, water can run down the length of the roof vent, penetrate below the shingles, and enter your home. 

cracked roof vent boot

Roof vent boot repair

Roofs with asphalt shingles last around 25-30 years. On the other hand, standard roof vent boots have a 15-year lifespan. So, there's a good chance that you'll encounter a faulty roof vent boot at some point in your roof's life cycle.

If you suspect the rubber around your roof vent boot is the cause of your roof leak, or notice that the rubber seal of your roof vent boot is cracked or worn, then there's a chance you can get away with a simple DIY repair to the rubber seal.

This process helps if the flashing around your roof vent (the metal portion next to the shingles) and the surrounding shingles seem to be in good condition. If either of these seems worn, contact your local roofing company. There are more permanent options available but require more labor than the steps outlined below.

The two steps for repairing the rubber seal of a roof vent boot:

  1. Get a new rubber seal
  2. Trim and seal on the roof

Again, this process is only for issues where the rubber directly around the vent pipe requires maintenance. Anything more is the job of a roofing contractor!

Get a new rubber seal

Plastic roof vent boots, also called pipe flashing, are available at local hardware stores. These come pre-made and include the entire portion that lies beneath the shingles.

Remove the rubber seal at the top of the flashing, assembly, the portion that surrounds the roof vent pipe. Then cut away any obvious extra while leaving yourself material you can trim on the roof.

Trim and seal on the roof

Once you're on the roof, trim the rubber to match the existing, damaged rubber portion. Then, slide the piece over your roof vent pipe, making sure it fits.

After completing this check, seal the new rubber piece over the old using a silicone sealer (also available at your local hardware store). Clean up any portion of the sealer that squeezed out during installation.

better roof vent boot

Other roof vent boot options

There are roof vent boot options available that are built to last longer than the standard. These are typically installed by roofing contractors and cost anywhere from $15-$60.

They are made from steel, high-impact plastic, or silicone—these options all last as long, if not longer, than typical asphalt-shingle roofs.

You can find longer-lasting roof vent boots online. If you're roof's new, or you don't want to worry about your roof vent boot until it's time to replace your roof, then these are a great option over the traditional roof vent boot.

Fixing a roof vent boot in Ohio

The roof vent boot has a shorter lifespan than the roof itself, but repair is often a quick job—whether it's DIY or through a professional. The traditional rubber and plastic installed with most roofs can crack or become worn, allowing water into your home.

Keeping your roof vent boot in good repair supports a robust roof and roofing ventilation system, saving you from more significant potential issues if either system becomes compromised.

If you are looking for roof restoration services in the Dayton, Cincinnati, or Columbus area, Possert Construction is a full-service roofing company dedicated to customer satisfaction. Give us a call or reach out via our contact page, and we'll get back to you so we can schedule your free inspection!

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