Vent pipe leak...not sure who to ask

Hey all,

I just found this website and saw that the forums were active so I thought I would post my issue.

About a year ago, my wife heard the infamous “drip” from our upstairs ceiling. So, I tore out a decent chunk of saturated sheet rock and proceeded to remove the insulation (which was like a sopping wet sponge) above the area.

I then looked into the hole and saw this:

(excuse the cartoon like picture, I am at work and do not have a real picture handy)

The picture represents my furnace vent pipe (a double wall type b) going through the roof and how the water is getting into my ceiling.

Essentially, water is somehow getting into the exterior wall of the vent pipe and then simply traveling down the pipe and pooling on the plywood sheathing, and then ultimately dripping down onto what was my ceiling.

So my question is this: would a roofing contractor be the one to contact to get this problem repaired?

In the past year I have called several roofers in my area and either got no call backs (if I left my problem on their voicemail), explanations that they don’t do “repairs”, or advice to call general contractors or “handymen”.

It finally got to a point last fall, I went to a home repair store, bought all kinds of stuff, got on the ladder and tried to seal up every seam or opening I could see.

My shoddy patch seemed to be working until last night, during a sleet storm (while my wife was literally painting killz onto the stained drywall before I patched the hole…) and the drip came back.

I apologize in advance for the long post and hope that someone who has the patience to read it can give me a suggestion on how to proceed.

I would call a professional. Some companies for some reason dont do repairs while some thats there bread and butter. This time of year with the weather being what it is you might have to wait a day to two but im sure someone will come out and repair the roof correctly. Make sure that they are not using the caulk to repair the leak because that only buys time. Hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to post them here. Have a great day.


Where are you located at?

This is a job for a roofer.

Where are you located at?

Thanks for the quick replies.

As the hole is still in my ceiling and the drips are not being “destructive” to any more of my ceiling, i can be patient if and when a contractor responds.

Lefty, I live in NJ (wonderful time of year here…sleet, snow, and rain all in the last 24hrs).

  1. How old is the roof?

  2. Dimensional (30 year type) or Strips (3 Tab / 20 year type)?

  3. Gable or hip roof?
    3a. If it’s a hip roof, is the pipe directly below the ridge or a hip line?

  4. How far down from the ridge or a hip is the pipe penetration point?

  5. Any trees anywhere near this particular slope of the roof?

As a for general ballpark, if the pipe is within 4 or 5’ of the ridge line, IMO this is the best & easiest way to make a proper repair:

Remove shingles from the pipe penetration (“pen point”) all the way to the ridge line. If you need a new double walled flue, replace as needed. If it’s the cap that is leaking, see if you can replace the cap. Replace shingles as needed.

Some ‘older’ pipes are reused on a re-roofing project & there can be pinhole cracks on the high side of the pipe where it meets the slope.

Once opened up & exposed, check for any rotten or damaged wood. Repair as needed. If the damage is widespread (i.e. wider & worse than the leak appears to be from the attic side), look for damages directly below the pipe penetration. If the pipe looks OK (along with the surounding areas of decking) then move ahead.

Properly cut into the new shingles, set the new(er) pipe & seal the high side as well as silicone over any exposed nail heads.

A more ‘surgical’ repair would have you lifting out nails but not taking the shingles above this particular hole; personally, I find this time consuming.

My estimate if your pipe was within 5’ of the center line, I would charge around $ 350.00 to repair. The problem with repairs of any sort is some large co’s know they are paying a lot more to someone for a repair than what they might make on a full roofing project. Even some one man show roofers don’t want this kind of work because it’s a half day’s drain when you count time on material roundup, visiting to look @ the leak then going back to do the work if you take a day or two to think it over… gas, trip charges, etc.

If the shingles are a dimensional & they elect to go all the way to the ridge line, then you need @ least one bundle of 30 yr. & one bundle of 3Tab (unless someone has leftover shingles that might match your roof color).

I still think this is roofer territory. If you want a handyman, let one come over to wash 3rd story windows or rake your leaves.

Done & done.

Don’t panic - sounds like a simple repair. Hopefuilly a few shingles and possibly a new pipe stack at worst case. Get a professional to check it out on site and fix it.

Did the roofer use G-Tape or Reveal tape?

if he did, he is a good quality oriented roofer!! :wink:


Where at in New Jersey?

Yo G-Tape - I see that you have 637 posts in here. How many of these posts are actually usefull responses to someone’s questions ? This response you put in this thread is stupid and useless. My guess is 75% of your posts are for your product. Go market elsewhere. This person has a legimate concern and is seeking professional advice from individuals in the roofing business. He cares less about your product.
Let’s keep this forum to useful responses to homeowners so they appreciate a good roofers answer. Thanks in advance.

Timmy, I’m here as back up. If you will notice all my threads or posts, I usually stay out of them or in the least, just give comedic answers. unless there is a real mess, then I step in with my knowledge and wisdom. I felt that GTP and RanchHandRoofing had everything under complete control. If I felt differently about it, I would have given my answer. I felt both of their answers were right on.

I will usually wait until a few of the other guys give their answers also. We have some very smart roofers here, so most of the time, I don’t need to add anything else to the answers.

and yes I have 600+ posts, and you have been the first person to complain about the content of them. I will keep posting how I post, if you don’t like the way the forum flows, go start your own roofing forum.

Yes, your knowledge is probably a plus to have here, but I don’t think your attitude is. Most of us have come here after a hard days work and we are relaxing and having alittle down time.

As for pushing my product on the forum, thats why I’m here, to push it. Can you believe I have had over 40 people link from here to our site, just this month? With numbers like that, I think I’ll stay around. :twisted:

Congrats - keep it up. NEXT !!!

hey…guess what i just invented d-tape. the d is for drunk…it says on it “ALL YOU NEED TO BE A ROOFER, IS A HAMMER…AND A DRINKING PROBLEM!” they lines are all crooked on it and in random increments.haha…G-TAPE, carry on as usual. you are always welcome. i get your humor.

Did you check with G-Tape on patents especially since the name is so close to his product ? Could be a product infringment !!

as a homeowner solely, i think that a plumbing leak is still not out of the question based on that picture. too many questions still
real pics inside and out could help, and more info


What everyone posted is valid, yet you might only need to check and make sure that your storm collar on your B-vent is pushed all the way down to where it makes contact with the flashing. I have been on many service calls where the original roofer was in a rush and did not install the collar correctly. Make sure it is down and then Flexi-Seal or some comparable brand silicone.



…you might only need to check and make sure that your storm collar on your B-vent is pushed all the way down to where it makes contact with the flashing. Make sure it is down and then Flexi-Seal or some comparable brand silicone.[/quote]


Keith is quite correct. It might be something that simple. A new collar is available @ “orange big box store” for under $ 5.00 & all you need in addition is one short sheet metal screw.

Such a simple answer eluded us…

  1. How old is the roof?
    16 yrs old.

  2. Dimensional (30 year type) or Strips (3 Tab / 20 year type)?
    To be honest, I have no idea. If i had to guess, based on how other things in the house were done by the builder, I would say Strips (assuming they are cheaper to install) Beyond guessing, how do I tell?

  3. Gable or hip roof?
    I had to look up roof styles to answer this one…it is a cross gable roof. The house is a cape cod style if that helps as well.

3a. If it’s a hip roof, is the pipe directly below the ridge or a hip line?
The pipe is on the back side of the ridge

  1. How far down from the ridge or a hip is the pipe penetration point?
    The pipe is approximately 6 inches below the ridge (less than a handsbreadth between the pipe and the ridge vent)

  2. Any trees anywhere near this particular slope of the roof?
    No trees on my property whatsover. The closest tree is about 40 feet away.

Did the roofer use G-Tape or Reveal tape?
I have no idea…

Where at in New Jersey?
Camden County, less than 5 miles from the walt whitman bridge (that goes to philadelphia)

Storm Collar…
The storm collar is part of the pipe. It looks as though it came from the factory that way (riveted), so it is not mobile.
The storm collar itself is about 1 inch from the shingles on the ridge (high) side and maybe 3 or 4 inches on the low side of the slope. Does that sound right, or should it be higher or lower?

As far as it being sealed, when I last ventured on the roof in the fall, that is what I did…I sealed the storm collar seams and the flashing seams. It appeared to have worked…until this past weekend.

Again - plumbing boots are self sealing and should not require silicone or caulk or anything at all. The pipe could of gotten sucked or pulled down thus making the self sealing “gasket” suck down and make a means for water to pool and eventually leak. Check this out as well.

if I’m reading this correctly, doesn’t sound like he has the pipe boot on there, still has the cast iron collar with the horse hair and all. Old school. If this the case, have a roofer go up and, first, make sure it is not a two piece pipe above the roof line and, second, pull the necessary shingles around the pipe, break the old steel collar off, and reroof it back in either using lead jack flashing or the aluminum boot for the pipe.

Severance -
It definitely is not cast iron, it is typical “off the shelf” hvac vent (see pics below). That being said, this particular vent does not have a rubber\silicon boot. However, now that you mention it, I believe it had a galvanized boot, just that the shingles covered most of it.

The storm collar was definitely permanently attached, perhaps the storm collar was where the vent pipe connected the lower and upper portions?

Anyway, here are interior pics:

Pic1: … leak91.jpg

Pic2: … gleak8.jpg

Pic3: … gleak1.jpg

Pic4: … gleak3.jpg

The pics were too big to post within the message. Pic2 and Pic4 show the dark area where the water pools and then drips from.

It may be hard to discern from the angle, but behind the elbow in Pic1 is the beam supporting the roof peak. I was below and behind the leak when taking these pics, so the roof peak is in front (on the other side) of that pipe and the plywood sheathing is sloping up and away from me.