Repairing our roof – Thursday

I have fallen behind on my writing, so this is actually Thursday’s episode of do-it-yourself contracting.

It was the coldest weather I can remember and the wind was blowing hard.

I felt great empathy for the man standing on the roof ridge of my house in the gathering darkness. He was struggling to fasten a tarp over the exposed sheathing and the wind was lifting the heavy plastic like a sail.

He and his crew had spent much of the day stripping shingles and tarpaper from a large section of roof in 20 degree weather. They had started slowly and carefully on the steep roof, gradually picking up speed as they became more confident with their task.

Roofing-day3Click on image to enlarge
This photo shows how they started the day. They used the man-lift as a portable scaffolding to access the most difficult parts near the 20 foot high eaves. While two of the men used shovel-like shingle removers to produce a continuing shower of shingle and tarpaper fragments, the third cut a hole for the new skylight.

The 46′ x 18′ roof section acted as a resonator so that the house shook with the heavy rasping of shingle removers and the thunder of the reciprocating saw. Later on, the sound of breaking drywall joined the cacophony, as the ceiling of the kitchen was torn down.

Near the end of the day, they managed to lay two courses of tarpaper before darkness and the increasing cold put an end to their efforts. They were wearily packing up to leave when I reminded them that we had a forecast of possible snow and we wanted no possibility of water damage.

After a few minutes trying to persuade me there would be no problem, they resigned themselves to breaking out the roll of heavy plastic sheeting I had procured for this eventuality. They fired up the man-lift again and got up on the roof, while I set up spotlights so they could see. They completed their work and drove off into the night after assuring me that they would get an earlier start in the morning.

It has begun to register on this contractor that he only has a few more days to use the man-lift. If he is not through with it in a week, the daily charges will come out of his share of the contract. Alternatively, he can rent some very long ladders, but there is no doubt that the man-lift is a real time-saver over any other means of accessing this high roof.

We are making progress, but we are not out of the woods yet.

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