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When Roof Doctor did a roof inspection in Citrus Heights Ca., we found defective pipe flashings that were causing roof leaks.
This type of plumbing pipe flashing is notorious for wearing out here where the rubber collar meets the metal part of the pipe flashing. These are a cheap style of flashing that many builders use, sometimes not aware or maybe not too concerned that they are inferior.
The reason I say they are inferior is twofold: First, the "cone" part of the flashing or the part that is supposed to protrude up from the roof is almost nonexistent. instead of an actual cone, to save time & material they just stamp an indent into a flat piece of metal creating a small rise as you see here. Second, a piece of rubber is folded into that metal to form the collar and this is where it fails. As with virtually any material, where this rubber is folded it is stretched as well creating thinner areas in the rubber and it is also thinner where it contacts the pipe, so it deteriorates at both places.
I have at least 100 photos like the one above, of these type of pipe flashings completely worn out long before the roof warranty period is up.
This type of roof leak will often show up as a stain on the ceiling or by noticing a moldy or musty smell in the house, the latter being caused when water is allowed to run down the outside of the pipe which is inside a wall and eventually causing mildew or mold to grow inside the wall.
What is the solution?
There are 3 general methods of roof repair for fixing these defects:
1. Slip a rubber collar down over the worn out one. (As was done above with no success)
2. Smear caulking all over the worn out rubber collar.
3. Replace the pipe flashing with a galvanized flashing of appropriate size and style and a separate collar.
We do not do methods 1 or 2 because they are at best short term and do not really fix the problem. They are however pretty popular methods due to the dramatic price difference.
After getting his roof inspection report, the owner hired us to do some roof repairs and we ended up replacing all of the undersized, worn out flashings with flashing like the one shown here. It is 3 times larger than the original, has a nice cone that extends up away from the roof place a good 4 inches and offers far greater protection.
The separate rubber collar will be added after the new flashing is in place. They also have a more uniform thickness throughout so do not tend to deteriorate as quickly. These type of collars eliminate the need for tapes or caulking at the flashing / pipe connection which is good since these never last long.