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How to Fix a Roof Leak Around a Vent Pipe

When the roof leaks around a vent pipe, the damage isn’t always obvious right away.

Water leaking from a roof vent ruins attic interiors and contents. It migrates down into walls, resulting in long-term structural problems and unhealthy mold growth.

We know how quickly it can spread. For more than 28 years, ServiceMaster by Lake Shore has restored homes and businesses impacted by vent pipe leaks.

We can help you minimize the damage. Read on for insider tips that can make this DIY project easier.

Before You Get Started

  • Stay safe by making sure the ladder is in good condition, you can easily move supplies up to the roof and you’re within easy contact of someone on the ground.
  • Smooth repairs by determining the vent pipe’s type: all metal, all plastic or a metal-plastic combination.
  • Know your roof type and its covering so that you can purchase and replace the right underlayment, membrane, shingles, clay tiles or slate tiles as needed.
  • Call your insurance agent, ask about your coverage for roof leaks, and arrange an adjuster’s visit.
  • Contact restoration professionals like ServiceMaster of Lake Shore, and schedule a water damage inspection.

What to Do If Your Roof Is Leaking Around a Vent Pipe

what to do if roof is leaking

Most vent pipe repairs involve fixing or replacing one of these two basic components:

  • A flat rubber pipe boot around the junction of the roof and the bottom of the pipe
  • Metal flashing extending up from the roof and wrapped around the lower portion of the pipe

However, there are different techniques for making the repairs depending on the roof type. This guide outlines how to fix a leaking vent pipe on the four most common types of residential roofs.

Asphalt Shingle Roofs

  • Using a pry bar, remove shingles around the vent pipe, and check the underlayment.
  • If the underlayment appears damaged, replace it with a patch of new material.
  • Remove the damaged pipe flashing or collar, replace, and seal with roofing cement.
  • Install new shingles, being careful to line them up in the same direction as existing shingles.

Power Tip: Buy extra replacement shingles so that you’ll be ready for the next DIY roof repair.

Metal Roofs

  • Clean up rust on and around the vent pipe with a wire brush.
  • Seal the top and base of the leaking flashing with urethane roof cement.
  • Replace badly damaged flashing with new metal, securing it with roof cement and fasteners.

Power Tip: Add extra leak protection with an application of seam sealer formulated for metal roofs.

Flat TPO or EPDM Roofs

  • Clean and dry the area around the leaking vent pipe, removing roof material as needed.
  • Replace any damaged roofing with a patch of matching material, and secure with roofing adhesive.
  • Replace the leaky pipe component, and seal with roofing adhesive around the edges.

Power Tip: Restoration pro Diana Rodriguez-Zaba adds, “Some TPO roofs need heat-welded patching, so you might want to leave this type of repair job to a roofing professional.”

Slate Roofs

  • Confirm the condition of the roof slates adjacent to the vent pipe.
  • Remove and replace cracked or discolored slates.
  • Replace the damaged vent pipe, and secure with a sealant specifically formulated for slate roofs.

Power Tip: A flat-bladed slate ripper makes it easier to remove old slates without disturbing adjacent slates.

Clay Tile Roofs

  • Check underlayment around the vent pipe, and patch as needed.
  • Remove damaged tiles by slightly lifting overlapping tiles with a brick trowel.
  • Replace the pipe flashing or collar, seal, and install new tiles.

Power Tip: If you need to buy replacement tiles, take a damaged tile with you so that you can be sure and purchase the right shape and color.

How Do You Spot Roof Vent Pipe Leaks?


If you’re comfortable up on the ladder, inspect the roof several times a year. Check the vent pipes for leaks, but be aware of interior clues too.

Keep an eye out for these signs of vent pipe leaks outside and inside your home.

Up On the Roof

  • Water pooling around the base of the pipe
  • Rust or corrosion on metal pipe components
  • Cracks or holes in plastic pipe components
  • Shingle damage adjacent to and down-roof from vent pipes
  • Loose, bent or damaged vent pipe flashing

Inside the House

  • Unusually high humidity levels in the attic
  • Water stain streaks running downward on the attic ceiling
  • Mold growing in attic insulation or on boxes of stored belongings
  • Circular stains on or water seeping through ceilings below the attic floor
  • The sound of water dripping behind walls during or after rainy weather

Are You Facing Water Damage From a Leaking Roof Vent Pipe? Call Us Now!

professional water damage restoration

If you’re dealing with roof vent pipe repairs in the Chicago area, your hands are full. You don’t need to worry about cleaning up the water damage too.

Let ServiceMaster of Lake Shore take care of the job. Our technicians handle it all, from soaked attics to buckled ceilings, and we provide certified mold remediation services too.

We’re ready to help, so call us now: (312) 707-8597.

Helpful Resources

Portable Ladder Safety – OSHA

Controlling Interior Moisture – EPA

Mold and Interior Dampness – CDC


What causes a vent pipe leak on the roof?

The most common causes of vent pipe leaks are bad flashing, seam seal failures and broken pipe collars. Severe weather, flying debris, extreme temperature fluctuations and even small animals can also damage vent pipes.

How much does it cost to repair a leaking roof vent pipe?

The cost of fixing a leaking roof vent pipe depends on how badly components are damaged and the extent of damage to surrounding shingles, underlayment and supporting structure. The final costs can range from $400 to $3,000.

How do you prevent roof vent pipe leaks?

Check the condition of roof vent pipes several times a year, especially after severe weather. Take care of necessary repairs immediately. Have the roof and vent pipes inspected once a year by a roofing professional.