Adventures in Roofing

We finally decided to get part of our house re-roofed. If you’ll recall, I discovered the shingles breaking off about three months ago. The roof is high enough and at a steep enough pitch that I didn’t want to do it myself. “Died trying to save money on roofing” isn’t something I’d like marked on my tombstone, thanks very much. So we had several companies put in bids, and we decided it was too expensive to be done right away. But then one of them (the most reasonable one) cut their asking price by a quarter (I guess because they needed the work?) if we’d start sooner rather than later, so we agreed.

Anyway. Long story short is that it’s finally happening at my house. I got home yesterday to see fresh plywood magically appeared where yesterday old shingles had been. (We already had two layers of shingles, so they had to both be torn up in order for a new layer to be put down. Shingles weigh a lot, ya know? The problem? The roof was originally done in cedar shingles, back in the 1800s. Cedar shingles were just nailed to long pieces of wood attached to the rafters–and when the asphalt roof was put on, no one bothered to put plywood up, so there were still huge 2-4 inch gaps between the boards.)

So I was very happy that this was all happening, and I wasn’t having to do any of it.

Except remember those four inch gaps? Yeah. Well, I knew that some pieces of shingles might fall inside the house as they were tearing them off, because they could slip through those gaps. So Denisa and I went up and moved our insulation around to make sure it didn’t get junked up. I came home and headed up to the attic, a little surprised by how little mess two layers of asphalt shingles make when you tear them off the roof.

Then I saw inside the attic, and I discovered where all that mess had gone.

There was a layer of snow, ice, and shingle remains 2-6 inches deep.

“Denisa!” I called out. “I’m gonna need some help with this!”

TRC and DC pitched in, and it took us all over an hour and a half to get the place cleared out. Something like 20 loads of shingles and snow and ice. And speaking as the guy who took 40 bags of shingles, snow, and ice down three flights of stairs, that stuff is heavy. And wet. And messy.

“Should we call the roofer and complain?” Denisa asked.

“Definitely,” I said. “And it’ll come better from you than me.” Because I’m awful on the telephone. I admit it.

“Should I call him once I calm down?” Denisa asked. She was pretty irate, having just spent 100 minutes shoveling shingles, snow, and ice in a cold, stinky attic.

“No,” I said. “Call him when you’re upset.”

She did, and they were very apologetic. I guess they hadn’t realized just how much stuff had gotten in there. They said they’d clean it up themselves for the other half of the roof, so yay for that.

In any case, the job should be done by Friday–hopefully with much less snow melting into my attic. (Not sure yet how much slipped between the floorboards up there. We might have some leaks come spring . . . ) Always an adventure when you’re doing home renovation. Even when you’re not the one doing the renovations, apparently.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *