Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

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Don Quixote Home Inspections----rides again!

     In the past I have gotten my Underoos all in a bunch writing about the installation of roof pipe flashings that are not "consistent" with the expected life of the roof. 

     The types of pipe flashings that I am talking about are the ones that have a stretch-rubber component designed to fit tightly against the sides of the pipe.  They may be constructed entirely of this stretch rubber material or a combination of harder plastic materials or metal materials.  All three of these types of flashings have about a 15 year life expectancy making them suitable for roofs designed to last that long.  These types of flashings should not be used with any of the many other types of roofs designed to last a lot longer than that.

     This first picture is of the "metal/rubber" type pipe flashing installed on a roof designed to last 20-30 years (note also that it is the wrong size flashing for the size of the pipe).

Pipe flashings

     This next picture is of the "all rubber" type pipe flashing installed on a metal roof designed to last 50 years or more.

Wrong pipe flashing for metal roof 

     So far, these flashings have not "failed" because the roofs they are installed on are still less than 15 years old.  The other day, the house I inspected had the "plastic/rubber" type pipe flashings installed----and they were failing.  The flashings were 15 years old on a roof designed to last 30 to 40 years----a perfect example of what I have been "tilting at windmills" about.  Here are a couple of pictures of two of six flashings on that roof.

Wrong pipe flashing on Composition Roof 

 Splits in the pipe flashing 

     You might ask, "Well, yeah, but how much water can actually get in there?"  The answer is quite a lot----enough to do significant damage over time----not to mention a place where bees can get into the roof structure.

Don (formerly Charles)    

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Comment balloon 12 commentsCharles Buell • September 18 2008 11:20AM

Comments

Charlie,

Your blog yesterday was much better in the view of my employee. I know what you mean. The rubber ones are killed by UV. Also, if they have they been scrunched or twisted at all, I have seen them out of round at the pipe or compressed so there is a reservoir that collects water so even a new one can be vulnerable.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Well your employee may have liked yesterday's post better, but we all know he is nutsy!

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Well Charles, at less they install them correctly there, a common practices here is to install them underneath the shingle and tar the you know what out of it.

 

                                   

                                                                           

Posted by Roy A. Peterson, P.R.E.I. (Domicile Analysis of Texas) about 10 years ago

Roy, good point---and what is the life expectancy of tar flashing?----5 years if you are "lucky?"

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

These were nice pictures and show that you walk on roofs quite nicely.  You'd have to be pretty close to see these things. 

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

Dad you mean you havent told these guys about your freakishly acute fear of acrophobia (heights).  He's probably invested in thoes super high powered telephoto lenses.

Posted by Klee B. Patel about 10 years ago

Barbara---I manage to get on most roofs---despite what Klee says:)  I was so afraid of heights that I used to tie Klee's harness to a tree when he was 10 so that he could belay me rock climbing:)  I guess we both have a thing about "heights!"

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Charlie - Thanks. I can't get on the roof to check it out but maybe that explains my bee problem - I think it's bees - my son hears buzzing behind his wall (exterior). I got an appointment for an exterminator to come out. I can imagine from the pictures in your post that there would be a lot of water over time too.

Posted by Carol Culkin, Overland Park (Reece & Nichols) about 10 years ago

Oh, and I was also trying to imagine those underoos!

Posted by Carol Culkin, Overland Park (Reece & Nichols) about 10 years ago

Carol, I just love my Underoos:) 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Dad it's a good thing you tied me to a tree when I was ten cause at 80 pounds soaking wet, I wasnt much of a counter weight.  I remember you used to scream yourself up thoes 5.8 (not that difficult), loose (rock that falls apart), runout (nothing to keep you from hitting the ground), off-width (a crack in the rock that is bigger that a fist width).  I guess I'm just glad you dont have to tie me to trees any more, I'm not a pet you know...Hehehehe....    

Posted by Klee B. Patel about 10 years ago

Klee, don't know how I missed your comment here.  You would probably have to tie me to a tree now:)  You are someone's pet I hope:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

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