Vent boots - roofing issue

birdgardnerOctober 12, 2011

The rubber on the flashing has deteriorated in just 8 years and is letting rain in around the vents. The old boots are Oatey, aluminum flashing with rubber; all Home Depot carries is Oatey.

Totally replacing the boots means prying up shingles with a flat bar, which tends to damage them even if I'm careful. Then the old boot was sealed on with both a clear calk and a tarry one even though it's marked "no calk." Getting through that really damages the shingles, so the shingles need to be replaced. And messes up the tarpaper stuck to the calk. Did it that way on one boot, it was a PITA. Took a long time, scraped my hands up, got fiberglass splinters in them. Cant't feel the nails with gloves.

What I want to do with the others is cut out a circle from the new boot, containing the rubber seal and a ring of flashing, and then calk the ring to the old boot with a small weep hole at the bottom. The old flashing is perfect, no leak, it's only the rubber that's gone bad. This should seal around the vent pipe, which is where the water is getting in. Any problem with that that you can see?

I also would like to protect the new boots from the sunlight which breaks down the rubber. Would wrapping them with foil be okay?

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It would be nice if you could find some of these. I could not find a distributor near me in LA or near my parents' home in NY.

Your plan seems sound. The only reason to use any goo, however, would be to keep the edges from blowing up in the wind. I'd be careful with the type of caulk, it could attack the rubber. The rubber in these things is UV-resistant. It is not UV-proof as you and everyone else discovers. Why not cut a hole in a shingle and slide it over the pipe to shade the boot? It might look weird and it might blow off, but it might work alright.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 2:41PM
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The rubber sealing boots are not an improvement over the old lead flashing method.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 11:46AM
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If your present installation appears like these;
a simple way to address the problem would be to use a no=hub coupling which are available in sizes from 1-1/4" to 72".
As a for instance, an 1=1/2 vent pipe. Use an 1-1/2 too 3 or 4" coupling removing the larger un-nessary clamp and forcing the fitting down to make a seal against the flashing.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 10:53PM
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The replacement collars at the address posted by snoonyb should work, but you could just take apart a regular flashing too. A no-hub coupling is a groovy idea, but they might not be UV resistant.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 2:57PM
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It's been raining so I couldn't repair the other vent boot but I did climb on the roof and just slide the new Oatey over the old one. Since the flashing (new and old) has a raised aluminum hood below the rubber, there is no way that water can rise to the level of the damaged rubber. And there has been no leak during the heavy rain so it will serve for now, until I come up with something that won't move in a strong wind.

The older, knowledgable guys at Home Depot don't usually steer me wrong, but it sure happened this time.

The no-hub coupling is an interesting idea. Thanks everyone - now I know there are a number of feasible alternatives.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 8:13PM
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