Repair or Replacement? Getting Advice from a Roofer

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How To Easily Replace Plumbing Vent Flashing

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Over time, the flashing around your plumbing vents can become rusted and deteriorate. This can lead to water leaks around your plumbing vents. Follow the steps below to easily replace old flashing around your plumbing vents.

Confirm The Leak

The first thing you need to do is confirm the location of the leak. If the flashing around your plumbing vents are made of metal, look for holes or gaps created by rust. If the flashing around your plumbing vents are made of rubber, look and see if the rubber has become cracked or brittle. If you notice any of the conditions described above, the leak is most likely due to the deterioration of the flashing around your plumbing vents.

Remove The Surrounding Shingles

The flashing around your plumbing vents extend below your shingles. In order to replace the flashing, you'll also need to remove the nearby shingles. If you don't have any extra shingles, you'll need to work carefully so as not to damage the shingles so you can reuse them.

First, you are going to need to get the tabs on the shingles above the vent loose; you are not going to be removing these shingles, but will need to loosen them to get tot he nails for the shingles located directly below them. Shingles are layered so that one layer of shingles hides the nails holding the next layer in place.

Use a putty knife and work it under the edges of tabs of the shingles. Work slowly to break the adhesive seal and loosen up the upper layer of shingles.

Once the upper layer of shingles is loose, you will need to remove the shingles that directly cover the plumbing flashing. Once again, use the putty knife to work around the edges and break the adhesive. Then, slip your crow bar under the shingles and use it to top up the nail and the shingle together. Once you have raised the nail and shingle, bring the crowbar to the top side of the shingle and remove the nail. 

Repeat with all the nails holding the shingles in place around the plumbing vent flashing.

Remove The Old Vent Flashing

Now you can remove the vent flashing. Slip the flat edge of the crowbar under the vent flashing and use it to pop the nails up. Once you've popped up the nails, pull them up from the upper side of the vent flashing. Then, pull the vent flashing up and cover the vent pipe. Use the crowbar to remove any old caulking from the area where the flashing was located.

Attach The New Vent Flashing

Take the new flashing that you purchased and slide it over the top of the vent pipe. Adjust the pipe so that it is centered in the new flashing. Push the corners down so that the flashing is even on the roof. Make sure that the flashing is under the shingles.

Apply caulking to all sides of the vent flashing, and push it into place. Then, place nails every inch or so around the flashing it further ensure that it stays in place. 

Reattach The Shingles

Once the vent flashing is in place, you need to reattach the shingles. Apply caulking over the old nails holds. Then, create new holes right next to the old ones to hold the shingles in place. Finally, apply caulking around the edges of the shingles to ensure that they stay in place. 

For the layer of shingles that you just loosened but didn't remove, reapply caulking so that they are sealed to your roof again.

Allow everything to dry. Check your work in a day or so and make sure that everything has remained in place. If you notice any shingles are loose, apply additional caulking. 

To learn more, contact a roofing company like Surface Shield Protective Coatings