Wow, the sky is still opening up here in sunny California. It was coming down fairly good with a whole lot of rain when I took Harrison to school. Looks like we have more bands that will be coming through for at least another couple of days. So far things are quite wet but hanging in there. I guess the saving grace is that we get breaks in between the storms.
Just a little while ago, well, probably an hour now, I was in my office and could hear a downpour begin. I looked out for a little while (I have a LOUSY view) and decided to go look out the Harrison’s bedroom window to see how things looked out front. It was just wave-after-wave of sheets of water. Totally amazing and fantastic to watch. So compelling was the shear volume of rain that I decided to head downstairs and step outside to take it in even more.
From the front porch I noticed that water was coming off the end of the gutter along the front of the garage. Not a huge deal but obvious that the downspout was clogged. Figured since we were still going to get a lot more rain that I should do something about it, so, went back in, dawned my raincoat and put on my Driza-Bone hat and headed out through the garage. I grabbed the trusty aluminum step ladder and went to the end of the gutter with the downspout. No surprise, the guard I have over the drain was totally covered up in Fall’s flurry of leaves. I proceeded to clean that out and decided I should keep working my way down the gutter. While standing on the top of this tall aluminum step ladder, I scooped handful after handful of leaves and who-know’s-what and threw them onto a deserving part of the yard, all while listening to the wonderous sounds of cracking thunder above my head. Hmmm, should I be standing on a metal ladder with my hand dipping into a metal gutter while lightening is coming down somewhere around me? Don’t tell my Boy Scout troop.
As I worked down the gutter I shifted to standing on the edge of my truck bed as opposed to the ladder. When I got to the other side of the truck I actually looked at the gutter on the end that I had noticed the rain spilling off. Glory be! The gutter had actually pulled away from the house 6 to 12 inches and was hanging there! Okay, I’m now moving from getting dirt under the nails to carpentry work. I moved the ladder around the truck to investigate further. A couple of hangers had come unfastened and a nail that was holding in the gutter also had pulled out. So, I found a new, longer nail, fashioned a washer around it as the head wasn’t real big, and re-attached things. It was a little tough as, after I had nailed things back up, I realized I had gotten the flange on the back of the gutter above the tar paper. After struggling a bit I got one of the most versatile tools known to man, the screwdriver, and situated things as they should be and I only received minor cuts from the edge of the gutter. At the same time I noticed the end concrete shingle was not actually attached to anything. The nail in the end missed its target and was above the wood member it was meant to have gone into. So, I repositioned it and nailed it in. A job completed!
Heck! I just did a roofing job and realized I had noticed some shingles that had slid down on the other side of the garage roof. Well, I’m in the spirit now, and actually had noticed these a couple of years ago (I’m kinda bad about attending to some repair jobs), so, let’s go crawl out of one of the upper floor bedroom windows and take a closer look. That was the first challenge as the window I needed to egress through was Harrison’s. Funny as earlier when I was looking out his window at the rain I was thinking he really needs to clean his room so that the windows are accessible in an emergency. Now my thoughts had moved to cussing as trying to climb over the piles of clothes, books and other odds-and-ends on the chest next to his window just added to the enjoyment of the moment.
Well, the screen came out and I made my way out the window and onto the narrow section of the roof. I climbed over the ridgeline while being conscious of where I was stepping so as to try and not break any of the concrete roof tiles. I actually was rather shocked at what I found, and surprised I hadn’t seen any water in the garage. The tiles had slid far enough down that there actually was exposed areas of the flashing and tar paper. Something I hadn’t noticed from the street. Okay, time to step it up and get things back in order. What I found is that these inside edge pieces were not nailed down but simply adhered along the side connecting groove with some heavy, rubberized type of roofing compound. What I also found was that, even though things had shifted, the compound seemed to be having a pretty good bond such that I broke a couple of tile corners getting them apart to move. The best approach appeared to be re-positioning the tiles from the top down. I also found that as you hold up the tile above the one you are pushing in that it is a good thing to keep your thumb up out of the way unless you like the site of blood and the pain of your thumb being smashed by the rough edge of a concrete roof tile.
Of course, the last tile was adhered rather tightly to the one above it and this lowest tile, of about five rows, was the one that had slid the furthest. In trying to pull it apart I broke off about 5 inches of the edge with part of it still attached to the tile I was trying to slide up. It did not want to come off. Okay, time to crawl back through the window and grab the screwdriver again. Damn crap in front of the window! Wait until Harrison gets home! Well, the screwdriver I found upstairs wasn’t doing the trick, so, down to the garage I headed with the roof tile in hand. A few careful whacks on the screwdriver with the hammer and the piece separated without further damage. Back out the window, over the roof top and down to this last spot and, whalla!, the tiles are back in place, little broken corners and all. Fortunately there isn’t much that should make these shift that I can probably wait a couple of more years to get some roofing compound and go back up and fix it in a more lasting manner. Heck, maybe I’ll tackle the tiles I noticed starting to slide off the chimney bump-out about five years ago! At least the rain had let up while I worked on the roof and now I’m back in the comfort of my dark and dreary office after checking that I hadn’t disturbed slumbering Sadie.
I’m on a bit of a roll as last week I was doing balance beam work by walking 10 feet off the ground on the 4×6 inch beams of the backyard overhead while Ginny said prayers from our upper floor bedroom window. I had to place some lattice back that had blown out. Nice to know I still have a little balance left in me.
About the author
Entrepreneur Jeff Lambert is the President and founder of JVHM, Inc., a software development business located in the San Francisco Bay Area but serving clients around the globe. Jeff's expertise includes website design and development, Facebook development, blogging integration, SEO, video production, CRM systems, database design and development and more. In his "spare" time Jeff likes to hang out with his family, run, play tennis and, until recently, was Scoutmaster with a local Boy Scout troop.