snow covering bathroom vent..problem?

Old 12-28-06, 10:12 PM
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snow covering bathroom vent..problem?

We are getting a bunch of snow here in Colorado and I was wondering if it is a major problem if snow cover the bathroom vent. The vent coming out of the roof is a 'pipe' and currently is sitting an inch or two above the pile of accumulated snow.

Do I need to climb on the roof and try to clear it away or is there some other way to remedy this if it is a problem.

Thansk for any suggestions!!
Old 12-29-06, 03:03 PM
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bath vent snow

I hope that the exhaust fan penetration is more than just a "pipe". You more than likely have a 3 or 4" diameter pipe going through your attic that penetrates your roof with a vent cap. Most vent caps have a damper. When the fan is on the damper opens, and when off the damper falls closed. If you do not have a cap of some sort, you should have one put on. The good news is that if there is no cap, snow will simply blow down the pipe and drip through the exhaust fan. The melted snow will accumulate on the exhaust grill and may do some drywall damage. Pull the grill straight down and allow everything to dry out.

If you are referring to just a plumbing vent, then you have nothing to worry about.

I would also recommend that you check your attic for blown in snow. Remove it as soon as possible to prevent damage.
Old 12-29-06, 05:30 PM
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"I was wondering if it is a major problem if snow cover the bathroom vent." If snow is not cleared away, snow may bury vent pipe. A buried vent pipe can not vent! Vent stacks for plumbing, chimneys, and flues exhaust gases and contain vaporized water. The water vapor can condense and collect in the stack and freeze.

I believe local building codes calculate vent stack height above roof based on average snowfall. You might want to check with the local building code office to see if yours meets code, as codes tend to vary from area to area. Requirements for vent stack height would also tend to vary due to variations in amounts of snowfull among areas. In some areas, vent stacks are required to be as much as a foot above anticipated snowfall.
Old 12-29-06, 06:16 PM
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snow covering bathroom

The small amount of heat that is rising in the vent will keep the top open enough to allow a discharge. In in a total cover, any snow around and above the vent will honeycomb the snow and create passages for the vent to work. Each time the fan is operated everything opens more.


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