Change Your House's Shoes. No, Really!

By
Home Builder with Winslow Homes
https://activerain.com/droplet/5wy

You may not realize it, but your house has shoes!  Ok, really they're boots, and maybe they're not for walking.  But your house has one, or two, or three, or more!

You say you don't know what a roof boot is?  What?  How'd you get on my jobsite?  Did I hire you?  You're got to maintain roof boots, especially roof boots here in the Raleigh & Wake Forest area with all our hot summers.  Roof boots wear out and Ceiling staincan cause leaks and ugly brown stains. Or worse!  That stain inside on the ceiling isn't so bad, but left unattended it will be!

Ok, since I now know that you don't know what a roof boot is, let's show you.  You can't work with me and not know about roof boots, we change them all the time.  In fact, get up on the roof with me and I'll take you through the whole process.  It's pretty simple, but be sure to take precautions getting on the roof.  Better safe than sorry!

A roof boot is essentially a piece of flashing that goes around a vent pipe penetration in the roof.  Vent pipes are necessary to do at least three functions:  release backed up sewer gas outside of your home (to pass the smell test), allow oxygen into the Roof boot--it's that little black thing around that white pipesystem to allow bacterial breakdown of waste, and to equalize pressure to allow P-traps to hold water (again, to pass the smell test!) and keep your sewer in you sewer and not in your house.  They do more, but I don't want to bore you.  You can learn more on Wikipedia or a quick internet search.

So on the left is a picture of a roof boot.  It's that thing up there on the roof.  No, not the hole!  We fixed that hole earlier, and you can see the photos of that on our Facebook page.  We'll take care of that in a future post here in the Rain.  But glad you noticed the hole, lest you fall in that as we take our trip up on the roof.  Step carefully!Roof boot, up close.  Now you see it!

Ok, now we're up on the roof and you can see what a roof boot looks like up close.  Go ahead, lean it, it won't bite.  Get close and take a look!  But it may have a smell!  Remember about the sewer gas?  Yeah, not so pleasant on the roof sometimes.

No roof boot!

Well, now to get this boot off that we're up here.  No, put your boots back on!  I mean the roof, and hand me the pry bar if you don't mind.  I'll get the shingles off. 

There, shingles off!

Now to slide the new roof boot over the top of the vent pipe...wait a minute!  Someone caulked this one!  Why would they do that?  The roof boot even is named "No Calk" (yeah, it really is).  It must have been leaking before, or was cracked and they thought this would help it to not leak.  Now there is caulk all over our pipe, and we can't put the new one on until this stuff is scraped off.

These roof boots have a tight fit around the pipe, and the caulk left on the pipe from the previous "work" will Roof boot going onstretch the boot too far.  We'll be sure to have a leak if we don't get that off.  Ok, all clean now.

NOW, hand me the new roof boot, and I'll slide it over the vent pipe like so...Great!

 

Now we'll nail down the roof boot and re-install the shingles.  We'll use 1-1/2" galvanized roof tacks.  Oh, and that's why it's important to take the Follow the dotted line...what dotted line??shingles off carefully:  we like to use them again since they match already.  Matching old shingles can be a challenge, but sometimes may be necessary.  And usually the new roof boot is not the same size, so we have to adjust the shingles to fit around the new boot properly.  Hand me the shears and I'll cut the shingle to match the curve of the roof boot...got it!

Ok, we've got the roof boot nailed down, got the shingles back in place.  Whoa, wait!  Don't get down yet.  We're not done, mister!  If you leave those nail heads exposed like that I'm letting you come back and fix all the water damage on your off time.  All those nails are through the shingles, through the roof felt (no, not the green stuff growing on Jay Markanich's roof, but this stuff), and through the plywood.  If water gets around that nail head...

Caulk it up!

 

 

So anyway, hand me the roof cement and I'll take care of this pretty quickly.  NOW we're done. 

 

 

 

 

And now for a final "beauty" shot.  She is a beaut, no? Yay, new roof boot!  Woot-woot!

Hey, thanks for your help.  Who knew you would end up helping me put this boot on when just a few minutes ago you didn't know what a roof boot was!  You get the next one all to yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
North Carolina Wake County Wake Forest
Tags:
home improvements
home repairs
roof leak
roof repairs
wake forest handyman
raleigh handyman
roof boot

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Rainer
28,402
Christopher Taylor
Corpus Christi, TX

Wow, hope I have the money to have someone do that work for me.  I'll just keep my shoes on.  Thanks.

Feb 17, 2011 03:52 PM #1
Rainer
398,594
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Christopher, that's the wisest thing to do if you aren't experienced and equipped for it!

And yes, do keep your shoes on.  Another wise move for us all.  :)

Feb 17, 2011 03:58 PM #2
Rainmaker
303,859
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Jeremy~And here I thought I was pretty smart because I knew about flashing. Now I am REALLY smart, to boot!

Feb 17, 2011 03:59 PM #3
Rainer
398,594
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Liz, great pun!!  That is impressive that you knew about flashing, and glad to help expand your knowledge base!

Feb 17, 2011 04:02 PM #4
Anonymous
Matt Moon

Great advice.  We rarely think about things up on the roof that we can't see everyday.

Feb 17, 2011 04:52 PM #5
Rainer
398,594
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Thanks, Matt.  It's a very common problem that we rarely think about.

Feb 18, 2011 01:59 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,762,286
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Great post Jeremy! It's unfortunate that these boots wear out over time. Now that we are aware of it, we can add it to the list of things to inspect or repair.

Feb 20, 2011 04:58 PM #7
Rainer
40,155
Dale Ganfield
Leland, NC

Hi Jeremy, clever - those boots aren't made for walking - good information.  Thanks

Feb 20, 2011 11:42 PM #8
Rainer
398,594
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Tom:  it is a good thing to help your clients with!

Dale, I wish I'd thought of that!  And thanks!

Feb 21, 2011 12:52 PM #9
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Rainer
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Jeremy Wrenn

C.O.O., Winslow Homes
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