Lead pipe boot flashings for toilet vent stacks have been in existence for 80+ years. In most cases they outlast the roofing materials that cover the roof. The
malable nature of lead makes it the ideal product for this application on a pitched roof. They come in 3 different thicknesses and 6 different pipe diameters as
stock items. Different areas of the country used different lead thicknesses either by code or preference.
The alternative options are either plastic or metal like galvanized or aluminum with a rubber gasket. They are convienient and cheaper than lead flashings. But,
and this is a big but, they tend to corrode over a 5-10 year period due to the elements. Lead never corrodes. What happens when they corrode is it starts to leak
and causes issues on the inside of the home or business.
Troy Ragan of Pure Lead Products who has sold more lead roof flashings than anyone in the past 20 years, says often it is “penny wise and pound foolish” to
save the little bit of money on no caulk flashings and have the hassle of replacing them in such a short period of time.
Troy, also points out, certain areas of the country like Florida, and other areas with a salt air enviroment, lead flashings are really the only option for certain
roofs that use tile versus shingles. Tile roofs need the flexibility of a lead roof flashing.
These products are known around the country by different names, pipe boots, lead roof flashings, soil stacks, vent flashings, lead flashings, and the list goes on
but the one thing for sure is they work, they last for decades, and are commonly available at most roofing supply wholesalers.