As you look up at your roof system you may be wondering "What are those pipes on my roof?" No, they are not something that the plumber forgot to cut off when the home was built. Pipes on roof tops are not there for structural support. Those pipes that are sticking up through your roof surface are there to ventilate the sanitary plumbing system in your home. They allow gasses to vent out of the system and not build up.
So, you may be wondering if there is some way to get rid of them or make them vanish from the roof surface. Plumbing vents, according to building code should be vented through to the exterior of the building. This is to allow the gasses to ventilate to the exterior of the building and not be drawn back into the home. Sorry, you cannot cut these PVC pipes off to make the roof look better.
There are however several different ways to beautify the appearance of roof top vent pipes. You can choose to paint them using a spray paint or other type of paint that matches the color or appearance of the shingles or slate roof system that the pipes extend through. Also, there are manufacturers who offer roof pipe covers that are placed over the PVC pipe. These pipe covers are available in colors that match the shingles on the roof system and can camouflage the white PVC pipes.
PVC pipes through your home's roof, particularly the front slope of the home, can take away from the general appearance of the home. But as you can see there are at least ways to hide the presence of these pipes or at a minimum make them less apparent when you look at the home from the front. With a bit of creativity, you can perform your own magic act and make vent pipes disappear! Just don't forget that these pipes penetrate your roof system to don't try anything that may damage the roof pipe or pipe collar which could potentially cause a leak.
Photo © istockphoto.com/cbartow Roof top PVC vent pipe.