The Sky is Falling - by Chicken Little
Well, maybe the sky isn't falling, but roof leaks can lead to significant amount of home damage - rotting lumber, odors, crumbling plaster, mold and structural damage. One of the most common causes of leaks are the pipe vents on the roof. Pipe vents are part of the ventilation system for your plumbing system. They vent the sewer gases from the drainage system.
The pipes protrude up through your walls and out the roof originating from your bathrooms and kitchen. On the roof's surface, the pipe is wrapped with a rubber gasket and metal flashing. The rubber wears down and metal changes shape from age and weather elements. This is now a prime spot for rain, snow and ice to get under shingles and rain on your lovely furnishings. The gaskets can be sealed with roofing caulk unless they show serious wear and need replacing.
Why do you care to know this? I don't suggest this to be a DIY project, so call a pro. You do need to know some basic roofing lingo so you are armed with knowledge. An unscrupulous roofer may tell you the whole roof needs replacing. You may only need a $10 gasket (+ $60 for labor). Ask questions, get written estimates and get a second opinion before agreeing to costly repairs!
Be a smart, capable, confident chick.
Beth Allen, Founder of HIP Chicks, www.diyhipchicks.com