Mending the Roof

The weather report said there was a 20 percent chance of rain today. Given that, and the many other times a 20 percent chance of rain has meant losing a day of work because the rain didn't come, Noel decided to head out onto the roof.

His goal? That disused chimney pipe in the middle of the roof. It's not flashed properly, and leaks horribly every year. So our plan was to remove it and re-roof over it. With the practise of having roofed the chicken house, Noel was feeling confident.

Noel approaches the roof with bundle of shingles

The first step was to remove the shingles around the pipe. There was a fair amount of damage there, mostly from previous failed attempts at repairing the problem (none of which seems to have considered removing the pipe altogether).

Removing shingles around the pipe

It's not that the pipe wasn't flashed at all. Here we see Noel waving the flashing from the base. It's just that it was flashed well below the current level of the roof. And incorrectly.

The base flashing

Over the years, we've talked about just sort of cutting this pipe off in the attic. But it made more sense to pull it out. It was not secured at all, so it came out easily.

Removing the pipe

And slid off the roof easily, too.

Sliding flashing and pipe off the roof

If we wondered what happened to the old kitchen cabinet doors when they redid the kitchen way back when, here they are. Used as a plywood base for the flashing.

Old kitchen cabinet door used as base

And then we had a hole in the roof! Right around this point a neighbor came out and said, "Did you know you have a hole in your roof?" No. No, we did not know, neighbor.

And then we had a hole!

But the fun was not over. Noel spent quite a bit of time removing rotted material, the remains of various repairs, old shingles, wooden shakes, and all sorts of stuff from around the hole. Many of the shakes were rotted away completely, and there was a layer of dirt that needed cleaning up. The key was to get all the failed repairs and dirt out of the way so that we could put in a level deck for the new shingles.

Cleaing the hole out

Just we Noel got the area cleaned out and started re-shingling, the rain started. I was working on my own project at the time and it was pretty unpleasant at ground level, so up on the roof it must have been a laugh riot.


When it was all done, Noel lost his mind and pushed everything off the roof. My idea had been to roll out a plastic tarp and push things onto that. Instead he will be cleaning up the garden by hand.

Junk pile

End result: one patched-up roof. We still have one other major leak, and a few minor leaks. But this is pretty good as a start.

Repaired roof

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posted by ayse on 11/08/08


Oh my! That's a job and a half. And as you doubtless suspected, the job got bigger before it got smaller. And you were right about the tarp -- 'twould have been a good idea.

Oh, we had a good idea how big the job would be. The thing is, if we'd done it "right," we would have taken the whole roof off, so just knowing that we wouldn't be doing it right helped keep the scope in check. (Instead of that creeping, "but if I just get a little bit more it will be cleaner" which always results in more wall torn down than you expected.)

And thanks for siding with me on the tarp. I guess roof work goes to a man's head.

The tarp thing is the voice of experience. I redid our roof ~10 years ago, and even though I had a tarp down, I'm still finding nails and bits of shingles that got missed and then buried by subsequent layers of pine needles.

Question on the pipe... the shape makes it look awfully a lot like the asbestos flue I now proudly own (and will remove down the road when the roof is re-done.) I assume you looked inside the pipe before crushing and flinging it around.

I'm not sure. It could contain asbestos. Or not. Finding out would mean taking it apart. Not taking it apart means not potentially loosening asbestos fibers. We removed it intact, with only one minor bounce on the way down.

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