Homeownership joys

October 15, 2009

So I’m sitting at the kitchen table, doing some work, and suddenly there is a strange sound coming from near the deck doors.

A “tap….tap….tap” sound.

A Dripping sound.

This can’t be good.

Just for reference, it was snowing again today. Now it’s sleeting and sraining and so on. Outside there’s puddles and water racing down over the slick snow base that’s giving way to just a sloppy, slippery mess. What I’m saying is, there are no better conditions to climb on the roof.

So off I go! Our 30-foot TV antenna is behind the house (opposite side of the house from the leak), offering a convenient, cement-secured method to clamor up to the roof. I slip on my (wife’s, really) pink polka dot rubber boots and climb. I get to the top of the roof, and gingerly reach across, I realize “This looked a lot closer when everything was dry.” A second try, I make it, a little shaky, and my right foot slips and slides. I catch myself, and half crawl up to the peak of the roof, soaking everything that’s comes near contact of the melting snow. Once I get partway up the roof, I look back down and realize I have made A Mistake. At my current rate of crawl-to-slippage there is no way to make it over the peak of the roof and down to where the deck is leaking. At least not without an ice axe and crampons.

I sit down, slip a bit, and slide-scoot-slide, soaking my rump through to my unmentionables, and get to the edge of the roof. Man, that antenna looks a long ways away. A few careful, caaarefullll reaches, and I’m back safely and climbing back down.

Meanwhile, the roof is still leaking. Also, this whole time my wife is inside baking cookies.

I head out to the garage, and grab an old ladder left by the current occupants of the house. I try not to notice one of the steps has been replaced by a piece of 2×6.

A few sloppy steps up the deck with a ladder and a car scraper brush in tow and try and find a not-slippery place to place the ladder. Some finagling, and I’m up, and…I can’t see the place where the roof is leaking. Up one more step to the “it’s not a step but everyone steps on it anyway” level on the ladder. Still can’t see. So it’s up the the very top of the ladder, leaning into the house for balance, holding the scraper brush. I’m brushing and shoving and getting wetter, and I still can’t see any place where the water is coming in.

Finally, near the peak, just past where my brush can reach, I see a seam that looks to have been once covered in tar but is now about a half inch wide and seems to have water running into it. I believe with copious amounts of my favorite silicone adhesive I could take of this, but nothing will bond on a day like today.

Carefully, back down the ladder, and into the furnace room. Beneath sleeping bags and tents a few boxes left from moving, I track down a camping tarp, and 4 trips up and down the ladder and deck, carrying chunks of firewood to hold things down, I’ve got a tarp on my roof.

This is what is known as a Temporary Solution. Naturally, the forecast for the next three days involves precipitation.

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