Thursday, June 16, 2011

Roofing the Kilpela House

Mik's and Jeni's c. 1890 house needed a new roof. It had originally been covered with cedar shakes, and two layers of asphalt shingles were added over the years. Now it was time to pay the piper - all three layers had to be removed and the whole roof had to be sheathed with OSB (oriented strand board, plywood's poor cousin) before the "lifetime" shingles were nailed on. (Yup, they're guaranteed for the lifetime of a shingle.)

David set the bar high for the rest of us. He has been doing this kind of work for the past several summers and never seems to tire.

We had a few problems with the hose fittings on the nailing guns, but after Jeni's third or fourth trip to the hammer store we had it all worked out.

In case you ever need to know, a 24" wide pick will not fit a ladder jack. I don't know where the word came from, but a pick is basically an aluminum plank supported by scaffolding or ladder jacks. Another trip to the hammer store and we had the right width pick.

Mik's original plan was to separate the wooden shingles from the asphalt shingles, so that the asphalt could be recylcled into Marquette streets. This turned out to be a noble sentiment, but like many noble sentiments, it was abandoned after the first day. Afterwards all debris was loaded onto the dump truck, irrespective of ancestry.

Sullen roofers. Jeni provided us with lots of ice tea, gator-aid, delicious meals, etc., but at times we were hard pressed to respond with more than grunts and groans.

One of Daniel's better cuts. After gouging the porch soon afterwards, he moved the cutting operation onto the lawn. Not to be outdone, I managed to saw halfway through a hammer handle. Good thing the hammer store is just down the street.

We were blessed with three sunny days in a row - which is a record for the month, which has otherwise been unusually wet. Of course it doesn't take much sun to make a hot day when you're on a roof.

Birthday cake for yours truly. We generally worked until 9:30 or so every evening, Monday through Wednesday, which left about an hour or so to shower up, have a snack, try to hold a conversation for a bit before everyone started yawning and headed for bed. Mik insisted on talking about the roof, but we steered him off the topic as quickly as possible. After a certain point, thinking and roofing just don't go together.

Mornings were delightful. Good breakfasts, good coffee, somewhat recovered bodies, and a few exquisite moments of relaxation before we hit the roof again.

Lunches tended to be more subdued gatherings.

The girls gathered enough debris to fill the entire dump box. I helped out by climbing the ladder one day to dump the garbage cans. After a few hours I was asking them to put less into the cans. By afternoon I was toast and had to find a shady spot to lay down for a half hour's siesta. Age has its perqs.

Meanwhile, the first side is almost complete.

Mik pounding in nailheads. The cedar shakes were nailed in with thousands and thousands of nails. They all had to be flattened before the OSB could be laid down. Btw, a safety harness isn't really meant to be a climbing harness.

The cleanup took as long as the roofing.

David, the roof stripping machine.

Davejon, our pikkupojat, working as team again, like they always have.

The rain held off until Wednesday night. By then we had shingled 3/4 of the house and were able to cover the remainder with tarps. Overnight a light rain, but no wind.

Thursday afternoon, the end in sight. As Marja and I pulled out and headed for home, it occurred to me that I hadn't gone 50 feet from this house since Sunday night when we arrived. Still, it was a memorable vacation, full of fun memories. But hey, let's try some new construction next time, no more roofs for awhile, ok?

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