Do You Have A Water Heater Related Leak In Your Roof?

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Of all the leak problems we encounter at Anderson Roofing & Contracting, one of the most common is directly related to the venting of the water-heater through the roof.

A homeowner can usually expect to replace their water-heater every 10-15 years and a quick call to the plumber is all many consider. From there, the next and final decision (with exception of the cost) is whether to go back with a traditional water-heater, or upgrade to a tankless system.

Whichever product or system is chosen, there is something else to consider: the roof.

Proper flashing of the water-heater venting is essential to keep water out of the home. Unfortunately, it is frequently done incorrectly. Plumbers may neglect to tell the homeowner further work needs to be performed, with the owner only becoming aware after they discover a leak.

Many plumbers are not equipped to handle the roof scope of work. This is usually due to the steepness and height of the roofs, or lack of familiarity with roofing components. Their knowledge (usually) stops at what type of flashing the roofer should be installing around the vent pipe/duct.

When an existing traditional water-heater is swapped out for a new model, the new water heater may be a different height. Consequently, This will cause the position of collar flashing on the pipe/duct above the roof to become unsealed and unseated.  For example, the photo below was taken at a new client’s home in Flower Mound and references this very problem.

example of leaky roof caused by water heater replacement

Is My Water Heater Causing A Roof Leak?

Additionally, tankless water heaters that have become more popular in the last decade, may require a flashing made of a specific material. It is not unusual to see poor workmanship on these flashing installs. Furthermore, the person installing the flashing may skip changing the shingles (not recommended) and choose to apply excessive amounts of sealant; a temporary solution that will become a problem in the further.

An existing client recently purchased a new home in Plano, and upon inspection we discovered this incorrectly installed tankless water heater flashing as discussed above.

A professional and reputable roofer will always leave the roof as good (or better) than it was before. Shingles will almost always be replaced, and additional measures such as installing a self-adhering membrane in the repair area, will further insure there is no future water intrusion.

A common sign of subpar workmanship is the use of different styles of shingles or strikingly different color of materials used during the repair. A qualified roofer will do his or her best to match the existing brand and color of shingle.

If you think there may be an issue with your roof, contact our team today for a free inspection and estimate.

incorrectly installed tankless water heater flashing causing roof leak

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