What Is A Roofing Boot?
A roof boot is also called a plumbing vent boot, pipe boot, or pipe flashing. The purpose of this product is to water proof the pipes that protrude from your roof. These pipes are used to vent plumbing stacks or vent the bathrooms in your home. You may be surprised to find out that these pipes are the usual cause for leaks in your home. To seal these protrusions in your roof, a boot or pipe flashing is installed over the pipe to keep water from running into your home.
The two most common types of roofing boot are rubber/neoprene and lead.
The lead roof boot is definitely the old school approach to this issue. Lead is a malleable material that can be folded over the opening of the pipe. While lead is a metal and can last a long time, there are some issues that you should be aware of when using a lead boot.
Cost – Lead boots are more expensive that rubber boots…up to 2 times the cost in fact.
Potentially Unsafe – We’ve all heard the warning about lead in our homes. Lead can cause negative health effects if handled improperly, and children are especially vulnerable. The adverse effects of lead can also be seen in the environment.
Squirrels – Yes, you read that right, squirrels. One of the biggest causes of leaks around the lead pipe flashings are holes caused by squirrels. Squirrels will chew on the lead pipe flashings to wear down their teeth, which are constantly growing. This causes holes to form in the lead boots, which leads to water entering your home.
Ugly – Let’s face it, lead pipe fittings are not the most attractive things in the world. They never fit exactly right and the color of lead hardly ever matches the color of your roof.
The alternative to the lead roof boot is the rubber/neoprene roof boot. This newer technology has made some significant advances in recent years and has become the choice of roofing contractors all over the country.
Cost – The cost of rubber boots are half that of lead pipe boots…half!
Superior Performance – The rubber boots stretches to fit over the pipe, forming a water tight seal around the pipe requiring no painting, caulking or pipe cutting.
No Squirrels – Squirrels don’t chew on the rubber boots. No squirrels = no leaks
Increased Curb Appeal – Because these rubber boots come in all kinds of color options, you can match the boot to the color of the roof, plus the rubber boot is a much slimmer product and draws less attention to the pipe in the first place.