PVC Exhaust pipe boot quick fix
The What? PVC Exhaust pipe boot. There are (usually white) plastic pipes that stick out of the top of your roof. They are the exhaust vents from your bathrooms.
They have black rubber gaskets or boots that seal the exhaust pipe boot from having rain follow the pipe and get moisture in your house. They are replaced when the roof shingles are replaced with new ones. They usually last the same time as your shingles. The attic fan we have installed in our attic has drastically extended the life of our roof shingles. So we are years away from needing to replace those. I noticed one day that after a particularly hard rain we had some wet spots on our ceiling. I was major concerned. But upon inspection, I found that the exhaust pipe boots are not sealing correctly around the pipes and rain water was entering the attic by running down the pipes. From the many years they have been installed they are starting break down around the opening. Our roof pitch is so steep that I did not feel comfortable climbing up there when the roof was wet (or even dry.) New exhaust pipe boots are relatively cheap, but you need to pull up some shingles and with the age of the shingles, even though they were in good shape. I did not feel comfortable doing that.
While in the attic I pushed some roofing grade caulk into the space between the pipe and degrading exhaust pipe boot. This is a good temporary fix that will last until the roof gets replaced. I have heard about a gold mine fix that may sound ridiculous, but it really works well. Tie some absorbent rags around the pipe. This will absorb the rain water that runs down the pipe. The leaking water is not much, but enough to do damage if left alone. The rags absorb the water and hold it until it stops raining, then dries in the heat and airflow of the attic by the next time it rains. So it is ready to repeat the process. It is an excellent quick-fix that will suit you for many years until the roof is replaced.