When you’re flipping a house, you know that it’s a good idea to hire contractors when you aren’t sure how to make repairs or improvements – but what about small jobs, like fixing plumbing vent boots?

In cases like those, it may be a good idea to tackle the job yourself.

Here’s how to fix plumbing vent boots on your own so you don’t have to hire a pro. And of course, if you doubt your ability, by all means – hire a professional.

How to Fix Plumbing Vent Boots Yourself

Plumbing vent boots can be made from plastic, metal, or a combination of plastic and metal. If the boots on your roof are damaged, they need to be replaced.

If you’re dealing with plastic, look for cracks – and if you’re dealing with metal, look for broken seams. Always check the rubber boot surrounding the pipe, too, which can rot or tear away. When plumbing vent boots are damaged, they can allow water to get into the house along the pipe.

The first step is to buy a new vent boot to replace the damaged one. However, sometimes the boot itself isn’t damaged – just the nails at the base are missing. If that’s the case, replace the nails with rubber-washered screws that roofers use on metal roofing systems. (You can find them at your favorite home improvement store.)

Work free the shingles on both sides of the boot. Just be careful with the shingles, because you’ll have to put them back when you’re done. Use a flat bar to separate the sealant between the layers, and then use the bar to pry loose the nails that are damaged or loose.

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