Replacing pipe boots involves installing a new flashings to your PVC pipe vents. This is what protects water from leaking near bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchen areas. There are two pipe boot flashing styles.
Rubber Pipe Boots
Rubber pipe boots come in two adjustable size ranges. The smaller version fits pipes 1.5″ up to a 3″ while the larger version fits a 3″ to 4″ pipe. Rubber pipe boots work by simply fitting tightly around the PVC pipe itself. There is a rubber ring in the center that slips over the PVC pipe and holds tight to keep water out.
Lead Pipe Boots
Lead pipe boots are commonly recognized as the higher quality over rubber. They work by covering the entire pipe. Since lead is very malleable, the flashing is easy to manipulate around the pipe itself. Lead pipe boots are made in specific sizes to match common plumbing pipes: 1.5″, 2″, 3″, and 4″.
The benefit of lead over rubber/EPDM is that lead should last forever! The major drawback to a lead pipe boot is that they fall victim to rodent (squirrel) damage. Rodent damage is actually a very common cause for roof leaks. This is easily resolved by painting the boot itself. Another alternative is to wrap the lead flashing with some small wire mesh.