Removing Sewer Vents From Your Roof: What To Expect

Back before there were "traps" in toilets and sink drains, there were sewer vents that traveled through the roof. This antiquated method of sewer gas expulsion made it easier to flush a toilet, but made every place you went very smelly indeed. As the sewer gases traveled upward from your toilet and out the roof, a stove-pipe style of vent released your personal odors into the air. After toilets with traps came into existence, these vents were no longer needed. However, many of the vents were never fully removed. If you have an old sewer vent sticking out of your roof and it is causing your roof to rot, here is what you can expect when you hire a roofer to remove this roofing relic.

All of the Roofing Materials around the Vent Are Removed

The first thing the roofer will do is remove all of the roofing materials from around this vent to expose the vent pipe itself. This also removes any of the rotting roof from the area and gives the roofer a better look at any of the water damage the open vent has caused to the ceiling of your bathroom. All of this will be replaced after the vent has been removed.

The Vent Is Cut Free

Since these vents used to travel down to a pipe that ran into your bathroom and connected to a toilet, there may still be some pipe remaining. The roofer has to cut all of the pipe out of the roof, and any pipe that may have been plastered over inside your wall. Then the remaining hole where the pipe exited up to the roof is plugged and plastered over. If there was any pipe in the wall, the wall is lined with more insulation in the place where the extra sewer pipe was and then sealed off. Then the vent itself is removed.

The Roof Is Repaired and Filled In

Finally, the roofer repairs all of the water-damaged areas that were caused by the open, and very old, sewer vent. Wood beams and roof underlayment are replaced after fresh insulation is installed. The rest of the roof's underlayment materials are nailed down and then the shingles go on last, of course. If any new plaster and paint is needed in your bathroom where the sewer vent caused some damage, that is often done before the insulation is replaced but after the damaged wood is removed. Now your roof is repaired, complete, and minus a smelly relic from the twenties and thirties. 

For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like