A very common source of roof leaks in the mid-Atlantic region can easily be avoided with periodic inspections and preventative maintenance. This particular source is the common pipe collar that seals where the plumbing vents penetrate through the roof.
This common type of collar (as noted the images) has a life expectancy of 8-12 years, depending on a number of environmental factors. And once a pipe collar ruptures, expands or inverts, it’s not a case of ‘if’ it will leak – the concern then becomes just how bad IS it leaking.
One possible scenario is when water from smaller leaks gets trapped in the attic insulation where it will evaporate, until such time that the volume of water from the leak simply overwhelms the insulation. Once this occurs water can then easily penetrate the ceiling material and really wreak havoc on your home or building.
Another common scenario is when water literally rides the pipe to a low spot. This occurs via gravity, obviously, but more importantly due to surface tension. Water spots in the ceiling or walls may not be anywhere near the culprit pipe collar or even on the same floor.
So what do you do? If you see water spots on your ceiling or walls, call a reputable, professional company that offers complimentary diagnosis and inspections. Better yet, if you’re in our immediate service area, call us 571 250 9650 and ask about our life time guaranteed alternative solution!
If you DON’T have any water spots or other signs of water penetration, but your roof is 7 years old or older, have a pro-active, preventative inspection once every two years or so. Once again, insure that you contact a reputable company that does not charge for inspections. There are many other maintenance issues on a roof that will be checked out at the same time including, but not limited to; ridge vents, other penetrations (flu stacks), step flashing, chimney flashing etc.
In our next article we’ll discuss ridge vents; their purpose and potential pitfalls.