No caulking done on roof vents - thoughts on fixing?


(Warning - perhaps no caulking is needed and I am worrying for nothing?)

Our house is a complete lemon and we have had to make many repairs to it. So, it never surprises me to see something done wrong.

We discovered our roof does not have any caulking on it, whatsoever. None of the roof or plumbing vents have been caulked.


  • Can you please look at the photos and let me know if I should re-caulk?

  • Should I pull the vents out so I can make a U-shape bead of caulk under each vent, or is that going too far? Alternatively I could simply apply caulk to the top portion of the roof vent flashing - so I wouldn’t have to pull shingles. Is this a bad idea? Should I pull each vent out and reinstall with correct caulking?

  • So many caulk options - any recommendations?

  • Overall, how bad is it, from the pictures?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have thick skin, so don’t worry about offending me with a dose of truth.

Below - Pictures:



Those vents are designed to be caulk free. With that said, I still caulk underneath the shingles personally. And any exposed nails should be caulked. At this point if it’s not leaking just leave it alone. Def don’t caulk it from above, that could possibly trap water in somewhere and cause a leak.

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Thank you so much for the reply. Very much appreciated.

Actually, after taking a proper look at the pic I would recommend nailing down the flashing in the top pic better (with 2 nails) then caulking the nail heads.

Will do! Thanks again.

I always mud the bottom of the flashing, so any nails going through are sealed. If the shingles are too tight to the hub of a plumbing - furnace - attic vent the water will run sideways when the debris buildup gets too thick. I leave 1/4-3/8" exposed so it will self clean. As far as caulk, match the material you are sealing. I do not like silicone, except for a temporary repair.

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