18 Oct

Roof Penetrations: Why Securing Them is Important

The aforementioned (roof penetrations) aren’t something you’re probably thinking about. But they’re important. Why? Unless they’re shored up properly, water can get into the inner cavity of your roof and then your house, which nobody wants.

Here’s a quick list of roof penetrations, just to inform and/or refresh:

Roof vents, electrical conduit, utility pipes, satellite dishes, HVAC curbs, and finally, lightning protection. 

Quite a list, right?

Now, something that’s sometimes used to help secure these penetrations is called a pitch pan. Never heard of it? Not surprising because most contractors don’t recommend them. However, you might still have them. Here are a few things to consider.


What are Pitch Pans?

These guys are two-inch, high-flanged, open-top metal boxes placed around the penetrations that are fastened to the roof and are filled with non-shrink grout. Pourable sealant (bituminous or polymeric) is also added and shaped into a slope so that when it rains the water runs off it. That said, it’s one of your roof’s most vulnerable features.

Truth is, the NRCA has discouraged the use of these because frankly speaking, they’re a pain to maintain. Over time, the sealant dries out and shrinks, which causes them to pull away from the sides, which in turn, allows water to creep in. Now, if you have them, don’t despair because we’ve got a solution.


Pitch Pan Alternatives

We recommend liquid-applied, fabric-reinforced flashing materials, or something called gooseneck roof flashing. It’s less likely to leak and won’t be something you have to worry about maintaining. It works on flexible conduits, cables, and other items that require a little extra support.


Watch Outs When New Penetrations Are Installed

Of course, you want to trust the professional who makes these adjustments. But there are some things you’ll want to be mindful of when your roofing contractor shows up. Don’t be shy. It’s your roof!

Using compatible materials. If the materials are incompatible, it can void the manufacturer’s warranty. Get a confirmation from the installer that everything’s good before work begins.

Using pitch pans. If your contractor suggests this, question it, if not put your foot down. Say “no.” Generally, other flashing methods are better because they’re easier to maintain and less prone to leaks.

Using non-roofing experts. Sure, your plumber might be able to do the job, but don’t risk it. Only roofing professionals who are certified by the manufacturer should even approach such a task.


Proper Installation of Roof Penetrations is a Must

First, make sure you put your service contractor connects with your roofing contractor. This way, the roofing contractor can advise the service contractor on the proper spacing needed on your roof, i.e., 24-inch clearance between walls and curbs, and 12 inches between pipes and curbs, as well as other important details. If your roof is under warranty, your roofing contractor should make sure the manufacturer knows about the new work.


No Matter the Roofing Job, We’re on Top of It

Peak Roofing & Construction is a trusted residential and commercial roofing contractor based in Frisco and Austin, TX, serving the whole of the DFW and Austin markets. Whether it’s a shingle repair or a whole new roof, we promise to do the job right and add value to your asset. We pride ourselves on our superior workmanship, fair prices, and always strive to exceed your expectations. Remember, no matter what you need, we’re just a phone call or email away. Contact us today for a free roof inspection.

Jeff Riss

Jeff has 20 years of sales experience, a love of roofing, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He leads Peak Roofing & Construction’s team but also is known for getting his hands (and knees) dirty on a job site. His passion for customer service, integrity, and quality craftsmanship drives his success. Peak Roofing & Construction is a family-owned, locally-operated business focused on doing things the right way. His deep understanding of roofing, gutters, windows, fences and exterior painting provide a strong foundation for running the business and serving his customers.

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