All it takes is for a large stick to get blown onto your roof during a windstorm to damage the flashing around a vent pipe. The damage can cause water to leak through the flashing and down the pipe. If you see water damage in the walls and ceilings in your home where the pipe passes through the house before it protrudes out of the roof, you know you've got a leak. If you're not afraid to climb up on the roof, you can fix the damage by yourself. Here is how to fix the damaged flashing around a vent pipe.

Risk Assessment

You need to assess the risk to your personal safety before you climb up on the roof. If your roof is steep, and you have never walked on or worked on a steep roof before, you should consider hiring a professional roofer to do the job. However, if your roof is easy to walk on, you can climb right up and get to work.

Remove Damaged Flashing

The flashing is made out of sheet metal and is typically nailed to the roof and the edges are covered with tar to seal it from the elements. Take out the nails with a roofing hammer. You should use a utility knife with a sharp blade to cut through the tar on the edges of the flashing. Once the tar has been cut, take a putty knife and push it through the tar until you can lift up on the edges of the flashing a little bit. You can use a flat bladed pry bar or the claw end of the hammer to stick under the flashing and pull it off of the roof and around the pipe.Scrape the old tar off of the pipe and the roof.

Install New Flashing

You need to use flashing sections made for putting around a pipe. The flashing is cut so the pieces fit together as you wrap them around the pipe. Make sure the top of the flashing is tight against top of the pipe.

Nail the bottom of the flashing to the roof so it stays in position. Take some roofing tar and apply it around the bottom edge of the flashing and the top edges around the pipe. Make sure there aren't any gaps or air bubbles in the tar. If you see air bubbles, take the putty knife and smooth the tar out to remove the bubbles. You also want to make sure the nails are covered with tar to prevent water from leaking in through the nail holes. Feather the tar away from the bottom of the flashing to give the repair job a professional look to finish.