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Next Up....a New Roof

November 24th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Once again my grand plans for saving are stymied as I learned yesterday I am in need of a new roof.

At 18 years, I knew the roof was approaching the end of its natural life, but hadn't really planned on putting this on my list of things to fix before selling the house. However, something happened yesterday that changed all that.

Handyman was over yesterday to apply the 2nd coat of compound on the back wall of an upstairs linen closet which received ice dam damage from last winter. (I'd discovered similar damage in an adjacent closet and dealt with that previously, but I didn't discover the damage in the 2nd closet til I emptied it out in search of stuff to sell in my garage sale last summer.)

So anyway, when he returned yesterday, he pointed out an ugly brown stain on top of the compound he'd applied! There must be a damn water leak. I went into the attic to have a look, but of course it's bone dry now and everything looks fine. But we did have some rain last week.

Not the kind of thing I want to let go. Put down my info on HomeAdvisor website and within, like, one minute, the first of 4 roofers called me. He came over an hour later, got on the roof and informed my I need a new roof. I climbed out a bathroom window and walked on the more shallow pitched family room roof and he pointed out shingles that had been damaged by guys I'd hired last winter to shovel snow off the roof after an exceedingly heavy snowstorm. Not something I usually do, but there were reports of old barn roof cave-ins at the time, along with cave-ins of roofs with a shallow pitch. So I forked over a couple hundred at the time thinking I was doing the smart thing.

He also said the shingles all along the eaves were all chewed up...could I have done that myself with the long roof rake I have? I didn't scrape down to bare shingle, but who knows? He said if you use a snow rake, leave a half inch or so of snow there....I thought I had. I may have also damaged the shingles myself the umpteen times I got on an extension ladder in dead of winter to chip ice dams off the gutters with a hammer. I thought I was being careful, but he said shingles are very brittle in cold temps so maybe that was the problem. Stupid me.

On top of that, I knew there was much older damage to the family room roof from at least 10 years ago when an old boyfriend was trying to help me by setting up a ladder on the shallow pitched family room roof to paint the side (2nd story) of the main house. He'd done a lot of damage to the shingles because the feet of the ladder dug right into them as he moved the ladder as he painted, and by the time I saw what he'd done, it was too late. I was pretty mad at the time. He couldn't have put a throw rug or something or something under them??

So anyway. The roofer who came over also pointed out some holes in the roof; don't know what happened to the nails that were once there, but maybe they were pulled up by the guys shoveling. He said I could still be getting water inside the walls even if I don't see any leaks/stains.

So anyway....his price wasn't too too bad, at $5800. That's because he said the plywood panels underneath the shingles seemed fine, and most wouldn't need to be replaced. This is contrary to what a roofer told me a few years ago who said all the plywood was soft and probably couldn't hold a nail and would need to be replaced, and his price was $8,000. So who's right?? The first guy seemed pretty nice, but maybe he was just trying to make more money, betting on the fact I probably wouldn't get up there to look at the plywood myself.

A 2nd roofer came over this a.m. He had bad attitude, plus I really didn't like the way we started off on the phone. He wanted to have my "husband" present when he gave his pitch, which he said would take 45 minutes. I told him just I would be meeting him and I'd be the one making the decisions. He insisted that my hubby should be there and pretty much said it was becus I wouldn't understand everything he said about their process and that he didn't want to waste my time...meaning their time, of course.

I don't feel it's his business to know my marital status, so didn't say anything about that, but I did tell him I didn't think roofing was rocket science and that I could process the information.

He was borderline rude when he got to my place, 20 minutes late. Needless to say, I won't be hiring him. I think I'll go with the first guy. He seemed to know his stuff, his references were sterling and I see he's licensed, insured, bonded. Couldn't dig up any dirt on him online.

Tomorrow is my first work at home day on the new job. AT&T is coming over sometime in the a.m. because there's a problem with my UVerse Internet line...I'd told them I keep losing internet every so often, and then it corrects itself in 5 minutes or so.

Also, the handyman is coming back tomorrow to do the 3rd and final coat in the closet. I'm not too thrilled with how it looks so far... in hindsight, I don't think taping is his strength, but it's the back of a closet, so hoping once he does one more coat and then I paint it, it'll look presentable.

Yesterday, I decided to take advantage of the 5 gallon bucket of joint compound and tools that he left here to try my hand at taping some of the many stress cracks above doors and such in my house, something I'd always been afraid to do becus I'd probably botch the job. I used that sticky netting tape and for a 1st coat I guess the 6 places I did aren't terrible. I have to do the 2nd coat TODAY since he's returning tomorrow.

There were a few other issues with his work and he really charged me a lot for what he did, so though he's very friendly, I won't be using him again.

Also tomorrow afternoon, I'm taking my mother to meet with an attorney in town so he can set up a durable power of attorney for me and her. This was something I tried talking to my mother about 6 months ago but got nowhere once my mother learned it would cost a few hundred dollars to do. It is so important, but she never wants to spend any money.

Also tomorrow is my ONLY day to call Access Health, the Connecticut health care exchange, to finish up my health insurance application. I have questions to ask and since their hours are 8 to 6 pm, I have no time to call them since I'm at work. It's been extremely frustrating. I may also have to call Anthem to ask my questions and endure their own needless/annoying questions about me.

This is why I don't like working 5 days a week. Thee is no time to attend to personal matters without asking for a day off, something I don't want to do when I'm working a contract job with no benefits. So I'm forced to try to sneak some in on a work at home day.

Other things I accomplished this weekend: grocery trips to BJs and Big Y for Thanksgiving dinner and a few special food items for my mother, for a Xmas food basket; filled up the gas tank; donated some old 60s records to the library, for their annual sale; vacuumed the downstairs, tried to remove old dried latex paint from an exterior garage doorknob (it works but not very well); organized myself cooking-wise for Thanksgiving (I will be brining the turkey overnight in a cooler, in the garage, the night before...never did that before, but supposed to make the turkey breast tender)

Once again, I'm at the tail end of a weekend and still haven't found time to just...relax.One good thing: yesterday was the LAST time I mowed and now the mower is in storage in back of garage. I wasn't really mowing the grass, but i learned a while back that it's much easier to run over fallen leaves with the mower, to mulch them, than it is to rake up the leaves, so that's what I was doing. But now we're done with lawn mowing season, and that should free up substantial free time on my weekends.

3 Responses to “Next Up....a New Roof”

  1. Looking Forward Says:

    Ugh! The second roofer sounds awful!

  2. snafu Says:

    Is the roofer quite certain the wood beneath the crumbling, damaged shingles and roofing felt has remained in good condition or will this problem be revealed later? Is there any possibility of replacing just the damaged shingles? Is it an all or nothing over the entire roof? If you panned to remain in the house for the long term there would be higher benefit for cost.

    Popped nails: [I tried to add the link but it just wouldn't copy & paste] The reason most nails pop up is expansion and contraction from heating and cooling. This is normal. Some roofers use nails that are too short, almost ensuring a call back for "repairs." If a nail has been driven between planking, or is in a weak spot in plywood or OSB strandboard, it will pop up too.

    Driving the same nail back into the hole, slapping some cement on i won't work. It will pop out again. Using a prybar, the repairman will need to gently lift the shingle, taking care not to break it and expose the popped nail. Remove the nail. Drive a new nail into the shingle tab about an inch higher so the nail gets a good bite into the wood.

    Apply asphalt cement over the hole, and along the bottom of the lifted shingle. Place the shingle down on the cement and weight it with the brick. The heat of the sun activates the cement. Leave the brick in place for twenty-four hours.

    If a nail head has come through the shingle over it, repeat the same steps, only cut a square of the roofing felt 2" by 4" and fold into a 2 inch square. Apply asphalt cement over the hole where the nail was removed, and lay the square over it. Apply another dab on top of the square, and lay the shingle down on top of the square. Fill the top hole with asphalt cement, and sprinkle the asphalt granules over it to mask the hole. Weigh down as before.

    Polyfilla powder is cheap, easy to mix and apply. I was surprised that you hired a handyman to repair the closet damage since it's mostly considered a DIY task. How did your other repairs go? A wet/dry sanding sponge makes the work easier..

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    The roofer who was here yesterday got on the roof and looked at everything close up. He said he was pretty sure most of the plywood was in good shape and that there may be just a few boards at most that need replacing. Unfortunately, having to work, I won't be able to watch and see what they replace so he could easily charge me for boards not replaced i guess.

    Given the roof is 18 years old, I don't think it makes sense to replace just the damaged shingles. There are really too many of them.

    I am really not a big do it yourselfer. I can paint and wallpaper, but even that is hard work and as i get older i don't have nearly the interest in tackling these jobs myself. In hindsight, after watching the handyman do the closet, I probably could have done it myself, and that in fact (and watching a few youtube videos on taping) is what gave me the courage to tackle the stress cracks in a couple of rooms.

    But taping is definitely an acquired skill, and when you're only doing a little bit of it, the poor quality workmanship is really evident. I did the 2nd coat tonight on the cracks and will probably have to buy my own compound after handyman leaves tomorrow, to do the 3rd coat; hopefully repainting will camouflage the cracks completely.

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