Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Roof Over Our Heads

When we bought our house, we expected to make some repairs and do some renovating. It is, after all, nearly 90 years old. We've puttered along, doing mostly small, cosmetic things, usually doing them on our own and only occasionally calling a professional in (plumbing, tree removal, and concrete pouring were left to the pros).

Then one rainy morning awhile back, I went into my closet to get dressed for work and found that water was coming through the roof and into my closet. Eventually, the plaster got so waterlogged it came right off the lath, leaving a soggy mess in the back corner.

 We hemmed and hawed about what to do. Our roof was made of aluminum shingles, so it wasn't as simple as having someone come and fix a leak. The structure was such that they weren't even supposed to be walked on. We had a roofer come by and look at it. He admitted he didn't know how those roofs went together but was nice enough to try caulking a few places. We thought we were good. 

A few rain storms came and went, and for the most part, things were ok. No leaks, no problems. Just when we thought we were in the clear, we would get one nasty, windy storm and the water would be coming in my closet again.

We started looking for companies that deal with this kind of roof. We tracked down the company that bought out the manufacturer of these shingles, and asked them for names of local contractors that work with their products. The two closest ones were still over an hour away and after numerous calls, it was pretty clear they were not at all interested in repairing a roof they hadn't installed. 

So, we finally came to the conclusion that our best option was to have a new roof put on. We weren't particularly happy about it; it seemed that we shouldn't need a whole new roof for one leak. But we got a couple quotes, chose a company, signed a check and got it done. 

On Monday, they came and took final measurements.

On Tuesday, a big truck with a forklift crane came and plopped shingles up on the roof. Bert was a big fan of watching the crane.

On Wednesday, three men scurried up the ladders and got to work.

It was nice to see those shingles go.

The roofers were great about covering up the garden beds to protect them and picking up after themselves.

They really kept at it too; on day one, I only heard them break for about twenty minutes. Thursday, they were down for a little while with an air compressor problem. Friday, they were done and out of here by a little after 1:00.

It was loud in the house as they pulled off the old shingles and scraped off the tar paper underneath. Then their nail guns made quite a racket too. For three days, Bert didn't nap until after they left. Three long, noisy days of keeping Bert happy without a nap (we did head to the park and to a friend's house on two of the mornings). 

Now it's all done, and it looks great. (They are coming back to do a little touch up work on the flashing around the chimney.) The front and back porches used to have different shingles than the main roof, and now they all match so that's an added bonus of having a new roof. We are really happy with the color, which has a little red to it, thought it is hard to see in these photos.

And the biggest perk? We had several inches of rain and lots of wind earlier this week and my closet is completely dry.


  1. It looks great! I'm sorry about C's naps though. That's rough. I remember when we had a new furnace installed when S was a baby and he didn't nap.

    We will have to walk over sometime to take a look in person.

  2. Woah! Nearly 90 years old? A classic indeed! You really chose a great time to have your roof replaced, right before the winds and rains came. :) Anyway, you might want to check your gutters after a rain or hailstorm to check if they are clogged, and to be advised as soon as possible of any problems that need to be addressed. Also, don’t forget to check your roofs, and maintain them regularly.

    Willie Norman

    1. I should have specified that the roof itself was around 30 years old, but it was supposedly rated for 40 years. That's why it was such a bummer having to replace the whole thing.

  3. Good thing you’ve found a company that will replace your roof. The type of roofing materials installed in your roof is not very popular, and not all roofers have experience in installing this kind of roof. However, aluminum shingles are very resilient and can stand for many years. Glad your roof is fixed now. #Joann Winton

  4. 30 or 40 years is still a long time for a roof's lifespan. Around 30 is usually the maximum for average roofs. Some that are installed correctly can last longer. Anyway, congratulations for having a new one! I hope it will last and reach its maximum potential for a lifespan! =)

    Missie Rice


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