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Roofing materials | Roofing Industry Knowledge

What is a Roof Boot? (And Why Your Roof Needs Them)

June 24th, 2022 | 5 min. read

What is a Roof Boot? (And Why Your Roof Needs Them)

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You probably never heard of a roof boot until water started coming into your home. But the truth is, a roof boot is essential to your roof system. 

Not only is it important to your roof, but it’s also crucial to keeping water out of your home. So, what is a roof boot? And what makes it important? 

Let’s find out.

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided roofing knowledge to homeowners like you. Because of this, I’ll give you what you need to know about roof boots. 

This article covers:

  • What is a roof boot?
  • Why roof boots leak and how to fix it
  • How much it costs to fix a roof boot
  • How long a roof boot lasts

What is a roof boot?

A roof boot (also called pipe boot) is a type of flashing that goes around the base of the pipes coming out of your roof and waterproofs them. A roof boot can be lead, synthetic rubber, plastic, copper, etc. 

roof boot

However, the most common type used on roofs today is made of a synthetic rubber called neoprene. Whatever material is used, the main job of a roof boot is to prevent water from following the pipe down through your roof and into your home. 

This makes them a crucial component of your roof system. Without roof boots, you’ll definitely have a roof leak, and water will come into your home wherever the pipe is. 

The leak associated with a roof boot and how to repair it

Unfortunately, one of the most common leaks we deal with often is associated with roof boots. This is usually because the roof boot is damaged, has failed, or reached the end of its lifespan.  

Remember, a neoprene synthetic rubber pipe boot is the most common type on roofs today. Because of this, we’ll use it as an example. 

UV rays from the sun break down the neoprene over time and eventually lead to cracks. Once the cracks form, water runs down into a closet, kitchen, bathroom, or wherever you have the pipe coming out of your roof when it rains.

before and after of roof boot repair

The easiest way to repair a neoprene roof boot is to install a rubber collar over the top. This collar encases the existing flange (the flat rectangular flashing around the pipe's bottom) and should last you around another 10 years.

roof boot replacement(Left to Right: Roof boot replacement)

The other way is to simply replace the roof boot. To do this, the shingles around the pipe need to be removed, remove the old roof boot, install the new one, and then reinstall (or replace) the shingles. 

Both repairs do the job, but which one you need is determined by the condition of the entire roof boot. 

How much does it cost to repair a roof boot?

After learning about repairing or replacing a roof boot, you probably want to know how much it’ll cost. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to give you an exact price because every roofing contractor is different. 

There are also factors like your roof’s pitch, how easy it is to access, how many roof boots need repairing, if shingles need to be replaced, and more that impact the final cost. But even though I can’t give you an exact price, I can at least give you a price range. 

You can expect to pay around $250-$550 to replace a roof boot. Keep in mind that your estimate may be less or fit right into this price range. 

Remember, this price is different for each roofing contractor and depends on multiple factors. However, most roofing contractor prices should fit in the price range. 

How long will a roof boot last?

Now you know the common roof leak, how it’s repaired, and an idea of how much it costs. But how long does a roof boot last before it needs to be repaired or replaced?

Neoprene roof boots should last around 10 years, depending on location, weather, and animals. Just know that roof boots will never outlast the life of the entire roof system. 

While manufacturers have changed the compound over recent years, it still will not outlast your shingles. You’re probably thinking, “How am I supposed to keep track of when my roof boots will fail?”

This is understandable because you want to avoid a roof leak before it happens. The best way to do this is with roof maintenance

Your roofing contractor always checks the condition of your roof boots during a maintenance inspection. This gives them the chance to make the proper repair or replace the roof boot before a leak has a chance to happen. 

Not only does roof maintenance prevent future leaks, but it’s one of the best ways to maximize the lifespan of your roof. 

Learn the rest of your roof system’s components and why they’re important

Now you know what you need to know about roof boots. Remember, they are a crucial component of your roof system to prevent leaks. 

But roof boots are just one small but important piece of the puzzle. That’s why you need to know the rest of the components that make up your roof system and what they do. 

That’s why I wrote another article breaking down the rest of the main 8 roofing components.

Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roofing services to thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. Whether it’s to repair a roof boot or a full roof replacement, you can count on our workmanship to maximize your roofing project. 

Here are The 8 Main Components of a Residential Roof System (& Their Functions) to learn more about the parts of a roof.

roofing contractor questions checklist

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