Tuesday, December 18, 2007

about that roof.

So we had the builders out here yesterday to evaluate the roof and find the source of the water leak.

It turns out the roof was put onto this house by intoxicated simians with no knowledge of physics and/or static design. Our roof pitch is insufficient for the snow to slide off (the builder said it's such a low pitch that it might as well be a flat roof), and there's so little insulation under the roof that the bottom layer of snow melts very quickly. We had 20-degree weather yesterday, and there was a layer of running water under the snow. It melts merrily, flows to the edge of the roof, freezes into a nice crust of ice, and the water running up behind it just sort of pools behind the ice and then finds nooks and crannies to yield to gravity and come down into the house.

The source of the troubles is one spot on the roof where the roofing nails have popped up due to ice pressure, and the pooling water goes right down the nail holes and into the plywood of the wall below.

I asked the roofer what he'd do if it was his place, and he said, "build a roof on top of the old one with sufficient and uniform pitch to it." They measured out the roof, talked the details out with me, and gave me an estimate for the work that would be required.

Sixteen thousand dollars, give or take.

They're planning to extend the peak of the roof by about six feet, build a new shingled roof on top of the new structure, and insulate the old roof below. Work can start in January, since they don't need to take the old roof down, and nothing will be exposed to the elements.

We could have the old roof repaired for quite a bit less than that, but the problem would only resurface, since the issue with the roof is basically built-in, and I want to only spend the money once for doing it right, instead of spending less more often for half-assed work.

So, that's basically it. The two minor leaks at least have stopped, but Quinn's room has water dripping down in two more spots, and is basically uninhabitable for a toddler. His room is right below the junction of the upper and lower roofs, the spot where the water comes into the plywood, so it's taking the brunt of the damage. Today, I'll be relocating him into Lyra's room temporarily, and she'll have her crib in our bedroom again until that room has a proper roof over it once more.

I'm trying not to get too awfully cranked up about it. We can pursue action against the inspector who signed off on the sale, and the seller who almost certainly failed to disclose the water problems (the roof has signs of being repaired before in the troublesome spot), but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a stream of dollars.

On the plus side, the house is warm and dry except for one room, the fridge is full, and the holidays are around the corner, so all is well. When I used to go to Barnes and Noble in Knoxville with Quinn, I couldn't pry him away from the wooden train tracks in the kiddie book section, so this Christmas, he's getting a train play table of his own. I'll have to put it together clandestinely, and the size of it doesn't lend itself to wrapping, but I'm looking forward to seeing his face when he sees what Santa crammed down the chimney for him.

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