Metal roofs are made by welding together metal sheets, which means that the seams between them are not sealed. This is done intentionally to make it easier for heat and air conditioning to escape from your home. However, when water leaks onto a metal roof, these gaps can allow it to penetrate the attic space or even leak through the walls into your living area below.
You don’t need any special tools or skills to seal these pipes – all you’ll need is some caulk and a caulking gun or tube. Keep in mind that this process should only be performed during dry weather conditions because wet surfaces will cause moisture problems on your roof surface. This article will show you how to seal a vent pipe on a metal roof, which is an often overlooked step.
What You’ll Need
- Flexible Vent Pipe
- Metal Glazing Putty
- A putty knife – or scraper
- Roofing Cement
- A caulking gun
- Roofing nails or screws with washers
- Goggles and gloves
9 Steps to Follow on How to Seal a Vent Pipe on a Metal Roof
Step One: Inspect the Roof
Before starting any work on your roof, make sure it is safe to be on. Look for missing or lost shingles, holes in the roof, and debris that may cause you to slip while up there. If you’re not comfortable being on top of your roof, then don’t risk it. You can try out these steps on how to seal a vent pipe on a metal roof, but you need to make sure it’s safe.
Step Two: Find Your Vent Pipe
You will need to know where the vent is for this process to work. It may be behind your gutter or directly up under your ridge cap, directly below the peak. You will need to find the actual vent coming off your roof, not just a downspout.
It will have a piece of piping coming off the main vent. Downspouts cost less to fix by themselves and could be a possible option if you do not know where your vent is. To identify the main vent, look for its base. It will be an oblong circle like a pie pan with holes to let water out of the pipe.
Step Three: Try to Seal it from Inside Your Home.
If you can’t make it up on the roof due to any of the risks mentioned above, then try sealing it from inside your home. Make sure you know exactly where the vent is before you try this. If it’s directly up under your ridge or gutter, start by removing part or all of that to get better access to the vent pipe.
If you get good water pressure while spraying the vent from outside, but no water comes out while you’re up on your roof trying to find a leak, then it’s likely a cracked or broken seal.
Step Four: Make Sure You Have Enough Roof Vent
Sometimes, there is too much of an opening built into your roof to give room for air flow, leading to a burst of condensation and a leak. Also, if your house is hard to keep warm in the winter or too cool in the summer, you may not have enough roof vent.
To fix this problem, you will need to open up your roof with a large opening square of four feet by four feet, using metal-cutting handsaws or a utility knife. You can also cut it yourself using roofing shears, but the result will not be as clean of a cut which may lead to leaks later.
Step Five: Gather Materials
This pipe needs to be sealed on both sides, so you’ll need two tubes of caulk. You can use silicone or butyl rubber sealant that is labeled suitable for the outdoors. If the vent is on the roof and it’s accessible from inside your home, then go ahead and remove it while you’re up there.
Unscrew the vent and seal it up using caulk on both sides of the pipe. If you’re going to have a hard time doing it from the inside of your house, then I would suggest that you seal one side of the pipe now and wait to do the other side until you’ve had time to do so.
Step Six: Apply Caulk to Vent Pipe
Once you have removed your roof vent or after you cut open a hole in your roof, apply caulk on both ends of the pipe so that it’s completely sealed on either side. If you’re sealing the vent inside your home, then apply caulk on both ends of the pipe until it’s sealed. You will need to let it dry overnight before you go up on your roof.
Step Seven: Make Sure Caulk is Dry
You will need to make sure that both sides of the seal are completely dry before putting everything back together. Unfortunately, this means it will take some time before you can use the roof vent again.
This is an excellent time to do some more work on your roof than you need it. But, if you want, you can place some potted plants under the vent for a little decoration while you’re up there.
Step Eight: Re-Install Roof Vent Pipe
Once you have it installed, go ahead and hook up any screens or covers removed during this process. You can also re-attach the downspout you took off in step one if you want. If you had to remove the vent pipe, re-attach it using a metal vent pipe flashing designed explicitly for roofs.
The bottom of the flashing slips under your shingles, which leaves no room for water to collect and seep through your roof. There are many different styles available; make sure you buy one that is designed for your vent pipe diameter.
Step Nine: Enjoy
When you need to use your roof vent again, you won’t have to worry about any water damage. Just hit your ridge cap with a hose or place some buckets under it until you’re ready to use the roof vent again.
You did well. It’s a sweet feeling when you use your own two hands to do something that people used to pay professionals big bucks for. If you use the steps outlined above for how to seal a vent pipe on a metal roof, you can do it yourself. Now get out there and observe the world from up high.
How Do I Stop Condensation in My Vent Pipe?
The condensation occurs because of temperature changes inside and outside the vent pipe. The air in the pipe cools as it moves through, causing water vapor to condense into liquid water. This can plug up your vent, creating ice dams that could damage your roof. However, there are several methods you can use to stop this problem:
Your best bet is to use a product like Flex Seal or Insul-Film. These are liquid rubber products that seal the vent once applied. They also repel moisture, so they’ll work well to keep your vent clear this summer too!
As you can see from the photo, there is nothing wrong with this vent pipe. I’ve been asked before if the lack of snow or ice buildup might have meant that it wasn’t sealed properly and should be re-sealed. The answer is no.
Snow and ice will not penetrate your vents as long as they are in good shape like this one. However, if you have an issue with moisture inside your attic because of poor sealing, then yes, resealing may help solve those issues! This blog post has given helpful advice on how to seal a vent pipe on a metal roof.
Check it also – How to Insulate Dryer Vent Pipe .