A plumbing boot, also referred to as a roof boot, helps to seal off the gap left between your plumbing vent and the roof. Your plumbing vent, also called a plumbing stack, extends out of the roof. It pulls air into your plumbing lines, providing the air needed to pressurize your water. Roofing materials can only get so close to the vent coming out of your roof. A boot is a collar-like item that is placed around the base of the pipe, filling in the space gap between the vent and the roofing materials. Due to age, weather and temperature extremes, the boot may need to be replaced. Here are a few of the signs that your plumbing boot needs to be replaced. 

The Plumbing Boot is Cracked or Peeling

The tell-tale sign that your plumbing boot needs to be inspected is that it is cracked or peeling. It is recommended that you have your roof inspected annually and your plumbing stack inspected and cleaned every two to three years. During both of these inspections, a professional will inspect the plumbing boot to determine if it is cracked, chipped, peeling or damaged. If it is damaged, repairs cannot be made. The only option is to replace the entire boot. 

You Smell Moisture or Mildew

Another sign that your plumbing boot may need to be replaced is the smell of moisture or mildew. When the plumbing boot is damaged, water can seep in through the crack between your roof and the plumbing stack. Water typically runs alongside the stack into your home. Unfortunately, it can take awhile for moisture to build up and present itself visually. As such, you are more likely to smell it before you see it. If you notice a humid or mildew like scent, call in a plumber to determine where the water is coming from. 

Water is Leaking Down the Side of Your Kitchen or Bathroom Wall

The last sign that your plumbing boot needs to be replaced is the worst one. If you see signs of water leaking down the wall in your bathroom or kitchen, the boot may be to blame. Depending on the layout of your home, the plumbing stack either runs alongside a wall in your kitchen or bathroom. If water has been dripping through the roof alongside the stack, eventually you will notice signs of water staining. When this is present, the problem has been going on for some time. By this time, your roof and structural wall beams may have sustained damage. 

If you notice any of these signs, a roofer or a plumbing replacement service can inspect the plumbing boot to determine if it needs to be replaced. Both professionals can replace the boot if needed. However, if the boot has been damaged for some time and damage has been done to the roof, a roofer will need to be called in to make the needed repairs to the roof and replace the boot when they are finished.