A Soil Vent Pipe is a vertical pipe typically (although not always) attached to the exterior of a property.
Soil Vent Pipes connect the subterranean drainage system to a point just elevated from the roof guttering and carry waste from WCs, showers, baths and sinks.
The pipe allows odours emanating from the drainage system to escape into the air at a level that won’t affect anyone in the property.
The pipe also serves the additional purpose of allowing air into the internal drain pipe system to prevent a siphoning affect from occurring. This would manifest itself in baths for example.
Soul Vent Pipes are now made of plastic but historically were made of cast iron. Cast iron, albeit aesthetically pleasing is of course prone to rust. Often this rust is concealed due to over painting and a common problem occurs where the accessible part of the pipe is painted by the side closest to the wall is not. This tends to lead to failure from rust leading t leaks which can affect the wall of the property leading to damp.
Asbestos is also encountered on soil vent pipes on older properties. Please see our section on asbestos for further information.