August 24, 2020

Why Maintaining A Healthy Pipe System Is Critical To Your Roof’s Health

As you learn more about home building and home improvement, you come to realize how all of the parts of your home interact. Plumbing and roofing are a perfect example of two things you probably don’t naturally link together - yet both work in tandem to keep your home safe and secure. In this piece, you’re going to learn a little bit about plumbing. Specifically, you’re going to learn why there are pipes coming out of your roof, what those pipes do, and why caring for them is essential to maintaining your roof.  

Plumbing vents

Those pipes sticking out of your roof are almost certainly plumbing vents (sometimes called vent stacks). Plumbing vents help regulate the air pressure in your entire plumbing system, venting out gasses and allowing outside air to flow in. When a plumbing vent is covered by debris, growth, or animal nests, your plumbing won’t work properly. It’s like sealing the top of a straw when there’s liquid in it - the liquid can no longer flow freely. That means regular roof maintenance is critical to your plumbing’s health - you need those plumbing vents to stay clear. The title of this piece, however, is about how maintaining your plumbing is critical to your roof’s health - and that’s what we’re going to cover now:  

Damaged plumbing vents, damaged roof

Plumbing is, of course, designed to shuttle fluids away from your home - downwards, not upwards. You might (quite reasonably) wonder how plumbing vent damage could harm your roof - after all, it’s not like sewage is travelling up to the top of your house.  Your intuition would be right - but it’s not the sewage we’re worried about. Anytime there’s a protrusion from your roof, like your chimney or plumbing vent, it needs to be sealed to prevent rainwater from infiltrating your home. This is why you see metal flashing around your roof - it’s used to seal these protrusions. When the metal flashing around your vent pipe deteriorates, rainwater can begin to leak into your roof and attic, causing water damage. The same thing can happen if the rubber boot which seals your plumbing vent deteriorates. There are two ways your plumbing vent can cause damage to your roof. The first - damage to the rubber or metal surrounding the plumbing vent - is pretty obvious if you do regular visual checks of your roof. The second - damage to the vent stack itself - is less obvious, and potentially more dangerous. If the vent stack begins to leak, moisture and water can accumulate in your attic, causing water damage that can remain invisible until it becomes very serious. With that, you know how your roof maintenance can affect your plumbing, and how your plumbing maintenance can affect your roof. We offer roofing services in Calgary, so if your plumbing vent has caused damage to your roof or attic, give us a call! 

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