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Monday, August 27, 2012

Ack. Roof Problem!

You never know when you will discover a house problem.  I happened to reach for a book on the top shelf of the bookcase, and a "wrong" image caught my eye.  You live in a house for 26 years and you know every square inch of it...

There was a slightly off-color spot on the living room ceiling.  I looked at it a few minutes, then backed away across the room.  A 3' area sagged about an inch.  I got up into the attic...

The attic is not my favorite area.  I always expect that hornets will have moved in, or squirrels, or knife-wielding people with masks.  Its been a year at least since I was up there.  Its "The Land of Old Boxes and Junk".  Ayla loves to climb ladders, and even she won't go up there!

Years ago, I put plywood sheets down on the center of the attic.  I meant to do the other half, but there were problems with wiring going over the joists and I put it off.  I should have finished the work. 

Because when I got up there and crab-walked over the joists to where the possible leak was, I found one!  One drop per minute while it was raining yesterday.  When the rain stopped, so did the drips.

So I looked around for a wide pan to catch the drips so they wouldn't soak the plaster ceiling any more.  I found an unused cat litter pan in the basement and went back in the attic with a piece of plywood scrap to span the joists to support the pan to collect the drips. 

You know how, any time you find a good solution, a better comes to mind after?  I was looking around for a large wide container to catch drips and settled on a kitty litty pan.  Well, when I went to bed that night, I was staring at a HUGE plastic storage bin that would hold about 20 gallons! 

I'm usually smarter than that about thinking of the best things to use.  But fortunately the rain is stopped for a week, so the need to get back up into the attic with the larger container is delayed.

I had a roofing expert come to the house today.  He was REALLY NICE!  He got up on the roof, examined the spot, and saw that a tree branch had fallen onto the roof and punctured the plywood slightly.  Small hole, slow leak.  Ans his best guess that even a hurricane (like Isaac) coming up through  the Southeast US IF it hit maryland on the way east, wouldn't fill the pan.  So I'm OK.

But that means a roof job.  It's 26 years old.  I had been planning to replace it anyway.  20 year guarantee and lasting 26 years is "OK".

But the roof isn't the only problem.  The cheap vinyl siding is about worn out.  It was "builders grade", and that is about as poor as it gets.  But I didn't know anything about that stuff 26 years ago.  It needs to be replaced too.  It is so abraded by weather that the surface is rough and grows mold and mildew rampantly.  It stayed clean for 13 years, so I cleaned it.  Then it only stayed clean for 3 years and I cleaned it.  Then it only stayed clean 1 years.  Then 6 months.  Now it can't stay clean of mold and mildew on the north side of the house at all.  So I need new vinyl siding.

So I have added new siding to the roof job (he does both).  I'm not going to be "the blue house" anymore.  We are changing to a slightly greyish green  with darker green trim and "heather" shingles.

I couldn't expect it all to last forever.  Well, actually, I didn't expect to live in this "starter house" for 26 years.  But here I am and I don't plan to move just yet.

I'm glad I have savings, I can write a check for the whole work...  On the other hand, that's 80% of the  checking account.  But the house is going to look a WHOLE lot better in a couple weeks and I'm not touching the savings account at all..  Happily, the inside is in great condition.

Its time to have some work done on the house...

Things are going to be VERY NOISY here for 3 days in a week from now...


Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

Yuck on house repairs! Never any fun. Hope you and the kitties and your dad get through it with minimal fuss and disturbance!

Derby, Ducky said...

If, and this is a big if, the roof was damaged by falling debris, could it be covered by insurance?

Shaggy and Scout said...

I mentioned what we had donethree years ago on the cat blog. Rof, siding & window replacement, new front door & storm door with full glass front so the kitties can see out. We went with steel siding. We had that particle board or pressed wood siding or what every its called and it was water logged in places and chipping off in others. We've been here 26 years too. And wed originally were just going to stay about 5 until we decided where we really wanted to live.

Shaggy and Scout said...

I keep meaning to come back to catch up on the dad news, so I'll be doing some reading of the other posts soon.

Elizabeth said...

At least you can say your roof exceeded its life expectancy! You’re also lucky to have easily spotted where the leak is coming from. Otherwise, you would need to remove parts of your roof to locate the damaged area. Good thing you called for a professional who responded right away!

Elizabeth Hoffnung