Got a new roof last fall in southeastern Idaho. I didn't notice until this week that the shingles are cut sloppily around most of the vents (see pictures).

Should I coat the bad seams with a can of roof repair/black pitch, or are they normal and I don't need to do anything?

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  • That is not ideal. It should be sealed with some sort of tar/tape so that water goes on top of those layer.. not under.
    – Piotr Kula
    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:59
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    Excellent pictures btw - very well defined question. Oct 20, 2011 at 14:06

2 Answers 2


What BMitch said, but I would like to see them trimmed back from the vent some. They should not be flush, let alone so tight that they can be propped up like the one in your last pic. Making physical contact w/ the holes in the vent allows an opportunity for water to divert from the shingle into the vent. Cut that back a quarter inch or so, to prevent water transfer and to allow the shingle to lay flat.

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    I was thinking about water running into the vent holes, but the last pic makes me think that it's designed to have some water get through the holes and drain out where you can see some light. Hopefully the inside of the vent is designed to not allow wind blown rain into the attic. None the less, I've got nothing against trimming it back a bit. Just be careful not to damage any seal that's keeping water from going back under the shingle. +1
    – BMitch
    Oct 20, 2011 at 15:48

That's not too sloppy. Under that shingle should be the vent, tar paper, and perhaps the top of the next layer of shingles. Since this is right next to your ridge, there won't be much water coming down the roof to this joint, so the risk of any leak around the vent is very small.

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