Plumbing boots are not cracked up to handle the task of your new roof.

Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Traditional plumbing boots are not cracked up to handle the task of your new roof.

Wenatchee Home Inspections


With asphalt roof shingles designed to last much longer lasting than your dad’s older 3 tab asphalt roofs why has the plumbing vent boot followed in design?

We still use those traditional boots have a thin rubber collar to seal the plumbing vent pipe on the vast majority of homes.


                                                                   The old traditional pipe flashing


But here is the problem, most asphalt roofs are lasting around 30 years but that plumbing vent pipe boot which has no additional seal beneath the collar often do not survive their supposed design life of about 15 years. So let me state that again we have a roof shingle that is designed to last around 30 years and then we flash the plumbing vent with a boot that will last only 15 years if you are lucky.

(Scary to think this is so common)

                                      (typical deterioration after around 10 years)

I often find them failing half the time around the 10 to 12-year mark, especially on southern sides of the home. When they fail the collar splits and disintegrates and then water can find a path into the house as well as pests such as bees and rodents.

So why do we do this? Because construction habits, even really bad ones, die hard and fall back into “that is the what we always do or use”.

There are some option out there for you so but you need to inform yourself and require a different boot because if you don’t you will get that same old thing.


Enter your options-

1) Perma boot- ~$20. This is a great product for new construction as well as repair of existing boots.

New Roof Retrofit

2) Quarrix Pipe Boot ~30

This is an all-steel boot that should last a very long time.

3) The Ultimate Pipe Flashing from lifetime tool ~$55
A silicone boot flashings

4) The Bullet Boot ~ $15


This is a TPO flexible pipe boot and flashing with built in pest screen.


5) The lead boot ~$30  (Both flashing and cap)

This is the old traditional vent flashing also used on tile roofs. Now in some areas, squirrels do have a bit a taste from them but that typically is not the case in the Pacific NW.

All these products should last the life of your roof and beyond. So when you replace or install a new asphalt shingle roof you should be asking for one of the products. Remember that most roofs have only a few plumbing penetrations (1-3) so even with the most expensive boot you are only looking at around $150 to the total cost.





"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself."








If you find any errors or have additional information that would expand on any code, building standards or manufacturer requirements please let me know.




NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  


Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College


WA Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board                                                   509-670-9572

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Comments (3)

William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I have always watched these long with the cheap vents

Oct 28, 2018 12:44 PM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

When you think of how few of these penetrations there are on a rood the extra $15 to $45 seems like a no-brainer in the overall cost.

Oct 28, 2018 01:49 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

Nov 01, 2018 08:26 AM