Time Machine Thursday: Roofstory

Let’s take a trip back to May 2009…

When the building was still a fixer-upper.  When we finally started dealing with the leaky roof.

There were six different layers of roll roofing.  We’d asked several roofers to give us an estimate, but none of them would take the job – too hard to guarantee results on a roof like ours, apparently.  Luckily the pitch was flat enough that we felt comfortable enough doing it ourselves.  So one fine and sunny weekend was set aside for roof repair.  We rented a dumpster, I put on a Yo! MTV Raps compilation CD from the thrift store, and we started scraping all six layers of roofing off the decking with crowbars…

…and throwing it off the roof into the dumpster.  We filled it completely, and paid an overweight fee.  There was a lot of roofing on that roof, and it was totally useless.  Instead of fixing any problems, previous owners had just slapped a few new layers on and hoped for the best.

The wood was completely rotten here, and had to be removed.  No wonder there were so many leaks!  Up to this point, when we were at the building and it rained, we’d put buckets under all the leaks we could find.  Over the years the water had eaten through the floors of the apartment and storefront.  Before we could fix the floor and seriously start the interior rebuilding, we had to deal with the roof problem.

By the end of Day 1, all of the old roofing was in the dumpster (or at least on the ground near it).

Day 2 involved patching all the holes with plywood and pulling nails.  Day 3 was Monday, and I went back to my desk job while the guys rolled out new roofing.

Right after they finished, it started raining.

Several weeks later we put down a white Solarflex coating, to protect the roofing and reflect the light and heat.  It made a huge difference: the top floor was no longer as stifling and hot when the sun was high.

The next few times it rained, we identified any remaining leaks and patched them.  I wasn’t there the day the guys hauled that air conditioner onto the roof with ropes and ladders…

I’ll leave you with this scene from last summer when my little sister visited and she took this picture of us on the roof with our Guinness floats.  It’s a great spot to watch the sun set.

We did it.  But I’ll tell you what, the guys say they’re never doing another roof.

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One Response to Time Machine Thursday: Roofstory

  1. Jim says:

    Amazing that you could get the entire old roof off in one day. And the white roof is beautiful, a place that makes me want to spend time up there. When I was in HS there used to be this song by the Drifters called Up on the Roof – this reminds me of that, a place at the top of the stairs that is peaceful as could be, where all your cares just drift right into space. Here are the lyrics:


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