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Author Topic: old man on a roof  (Read 1217 times)

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Offline grouch

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old man on a roof
« on: May 13, 2017, 11:29:58 pm »
This project consumed time and focus like a cow eating clover on the other side of the fence. I fell into a sort of tunnel vision just looking to get the next step done while constantly thinking, "Gotta move; this weather won't hold, rain is coming."

The weather mostly held and now I'm going to tell this tale. I know there are lots of folks here who think of doing it themselves first and hiring it done comes second, third or farther down the list.

Sometime while putting the roof on this thing I never should have built in the first place, I remember thinking, "If I don't fall off of here and break my neck, and it doesn't fall apart, I'll be back up here re-roofing in my 60s." Well, I'm pretty sure I survived, and the house is still standing, and those shingles were starting to look ragged, so the job seemed ripe.

Remember VHS tapes? Screenshots from a recording made one morning while waiting for the sun to straighten out wrinkles in the roofing felt:










Those are either 25 year or 30 year fiberglass / asphalt shingles. Either way, the warranty is not quite up, but I had a plan for getting steel roofing up there while I'm still able.

The house is 36 ft x 52 ft with a 2nd story of 36 ft x 40 ft. The main roof is a simple gable at 6:12 pitch with 2 ft overhang both sides and 1 ft overhang at the gables. It's 19 ft from ground to soffit on the back side. A deck roof sticks out in the way on the front.

When I was young and foolishyet, I relied on pucker power and being nimble to shingle that roof.  I don't have those features any more. I needed something to keep me on the roof in order to be able to put the roof on -- a fence on the front and scaffolding in the back.

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 11:39:10 pm »
I am on my way east with a genie lift ,will that work. ;D.
I think you may need to get in line Brad barb was interested in using it as well.
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Offline tree-farmer

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 07:04:47 am »
Looking at a similar situation, 18 yrs on a 25 yr shingle. You mentioned going to steel, would you need to remove  shingles first?
Anyone have experience with leaving shingles vs removing them when putting on metal roofing?
In any case be safe, a 19 foot fall or more would be a life changing or ending event. Old bones do not bounce.
Old doesn't bother me, its the ugly that's a real bummer.

Offline 69bronco

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2017, 08:13:55 am »
Looking at a similar situation, 18 yrs on a 25 yr shingle. You mentioned going to steel, would you need to remove  shingles first?
Anyone have experience with leaving shingles vs removing them when putting on metal roofing?
In any case be safe, a 19 foot fall or more would be a life changing or ending event. Old bones do not bounce.
No need to strip if your going over with steel. You should however put down a break between the two. We always used furring strips, they also make a (z) purlin in steel. The expansion and contraction of the steel rubbing on shingles will actually cause it to rust from the backside.
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Offline 21incher

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 09:01:29 am »
I got 24 years out of a 25 year roof. Last year I had it replaced and it did not cost much more to have it replaced by a roofing company then if I had done it myself. The new shingles come with a 50 year warranty. Ill never have to worry about them again. :)
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Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 09:35:15 am »
Judging by the responses so far (thanks all!) I goofed in the opening post; the main roof is on at this time. It's going to take some time to get the photos and descriptions up, but the part that had me worried and somewhat desperate is over.

I am on my way east with a genie lift ,will that work. ;D.
I think you may need to get in line Brad barb was interested in using it as well.
Thanks, but I googled that and that thing's too tall and spindly for me!


Looking at a similar situation, 18 yrs on a 25 yr shingle. You mentioned going to steel, would you need to remove  shingles first?
Anyone have experience with leaving shingles vs removing them when putting on metal roofing?
In any case be safe, a 19 foot fall or more would be a life changing or ending event. Old bones do not bounce.

Some steel roofing manufacturers specify shingles have to be removed, most don't, but all that I've researched require some type of cushioning material between the shingles and steel. Most common (cheapest) is 30 lb roofing felt. There are also various insulating materials that can be put down to help reduce heat gain in the attic as well as protect the steel from the shingles.

You don't want more than 2 layers of roofing, so if you already have 2 layers of shingles, you may as well remove them all before installing steel. That would let you inspect your roof deck for damage, too.

BTW, almost half of fatal falls in construction are from less than 20 feet.


Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2017, 09:46:28 am »
The first thing I needed to do was modify my scaffolding. I'd already built 20 ft of scaffold to rebuild and roof my son's deck.



5 ft on the deck, 15 ft to the right in this photo:


Note the 15 ft part is on a 2x6 track. That worked for the nearly level area outside his basement. It would be a royal pain to make and level such a track on the slope behind my house. I needed wheels and outriggers.





Replaced my stack of washers with spacers cut from 1/2 inch (trade size) pipe:


Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2017, 10:00:56 am »
Cross bracing on scaffolding is not generally designed for resisting the jolts of moving around on rough ground.





And some outriggers...












I wanted the ends closed, but not at the very end.








And except for adding a trailer jack to each outrigger, the scaffold was ready:


Offline thecfarm

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2017, 10:06:46 am »
Sounds better than old man on the ground.
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Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2017, 10:15:23 am »
After the scaffolding and other than ordinary work that always needs doing, I just had to wait for roofing weather.





and wait...





and wait...




(The weird colors are because that's a night shot. That was intended to be a garden instead of a swamp).

Even the 4th of July:




Now I know lots of roofers who seem to ignore the heat. I can't. August didn't cool until near the end:



Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 10:18:30 am »
Sounds better than old man on the ground.

I want you to know that I had an expert at climbing supervising the scaffold modifications:


Or maybe she was just hypnotized by the welding.

Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 10:33:07 am »
First thing you do when you want to install steel roofing is buy about 1650 lbs of lumber, right?





That quikrete is there because the load was almost perfectly balanced without it. I didn't want to pull an active see-saw down the road.

I have a truck. I bought it, it's registered in my name, I just don't get to use it. My truck stays hitched to my son's fishing boat. I think he just likes the numbers -- he's a 1981 model year, driving a 1980 Dodge D150, pulling a 1979 Ranger. Oh well, the little HF trailer has a higher payload anyway.

And we're off...


Some 6x6x16 posts





Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 10:39:08 am »
Needs more lumber:


(That dog has ordered something. He has to check out every bag, box or trailer of stuff that arrives).

See? Not what he ordered.


You can see that I listened to that spider.






Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2017, 11:19:36 am »
At this point there was a mishap that derailed things for a while.

Just before Christmas of 2015, the big dog, Marshall, tore his left cruciate ligament while chasing a deer. That's pretty much the equivalent of a human's ACL. My wife and I both rejected surgery because of the uncertain outcomes and lack of independent studies of the results. (Almost all reports I could find are by the surgeons who benefit from it). He had almost fully recovered, even trotting occasionally, after nearly a year of reduced activity and diet.

Late on Sept 29, 2016 I heard him yelp for only the second time ever. I think he stepped in a hole, but can't be sure. He couldn't stand at all. He tried to drag himself across the yard. It was getting near dark and I was not about to leave him out there. I've never been without a dog, but Marshall is only the 2nd one I've ever allowed in my house. The previous one was 34 years earlier and about 235 pounds lighter.

I found a 3 ft x 4 ft piece of 1/4 inch plywood, drilled some holes around the perimeter and coaxed him up on it. I strapped him to it with ratchet tie-downs, put a loop of polypropylene baling twine in a hole in the end of the plywood and used a crowbar to pull it along like poling a barge or pirogue. That was too slow and scary for him, so I hitched a come-along and pulled him up the rest of the way across the yard, past the construction area and up on the porch. Cardboard boxes provided a bearing surface.

She calls him, "my baby".


That night, he tried desperately to get to the door, peed in the floor, and was so shamed by it he refused to come back inside for 3 days and nights. He spent that time in my garage. I made a trail of rubber stall mats and cardboard boxes for him to drag himself out to the yard and back to do his business.

It was awful watching him drag himself around.



For a long time, he could only stand when I helped by putting my hands between his hind legs and lifting. He also needed help walking during that time. He outweighs me by about 100 pounds, but he doesn't give up.

By Oct 5, he was able to stand while urinating, twice. By the 19th, he climbed on the couch without help, 3 times. On Nov 11, he walked a lap around the pond but had to stop to rest 9 times. His hackles were up the whole time so he was moving by pure determination.

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2017, 11:22:25 am »
Loving the pics, thx for sharing
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Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2017, 02:03:06 am »
Back to building the fortress...

Two posts were 6x6 x 16 ft, the others were 6x6x12 and 6x6x8. Everything is braced in 2 directions using 2x6x8s, 2x6x10s and 2x6x16s.


Strange place to put a rail fence. The mail carrier asked if I was adding on to my house. Looks a bit flimsy for that. It just has to stop an old man using the roof as a sliding board. The bottom rails were screwed on while standing on the deck roof. That gave me a place to brace against as I added 2nd and 3rd rails to each successive section, starting at the head of that long ramp.


The 6:12 ramp was completed 2016-10-14.


The ramp itself acts as the diagonal bracing for the four 6x6x8 posts. A fifth 6x6x8 is laid horizontally on bricks for the foot of the ramp to rest on. Between the ramp rails are 2x4s on 2 ft centers.

The location of the ramp was dictated by (1) that box elder tree and (2) a clear space between my wife's flowers. Strangely, those flower beds are a higher priority than a roof over head. :) It still worked out nicely for 8 ft spans between pairs of posts.


I had originally planned to put up just 2 rails above the eave. When I got up there, it was obvious it would be easy to slide down the steel roofing and flip right over the 2nd rail. So I added a 2x6x10 on the other side of each 2x6x8 upright, and screwed a 3rd rail on.

Here's a crop of one of the above pictures that may show what I mean. (Please ignore the algae).


Planning for this contraption began with planning for a garage extension and a place to shelter sawmill, tractor and implements. That morphed into plans for 2 garage extensions instead of a separate building. I worked backwards from those plans to what kind of safety railing and ramp could be built and re-use the lumber.

If you squint just right and maybe use a couple of mirrors, you can see those garage extensions in the pictures. Ok, it might need sleep deprivation or some adult beverages to see it, but it's there!


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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2017, 07:25:45 am »
i remember the first metal roof i did you had to nail well i started sliding and slammed the claws of the hammer through the metal roof i never fell off but after that someone else put the rest of it on  :)

Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2017, 08:10:42 am »
i remember the first metal roof i did you had to nail well i started sliding and slammed the claws of the hammer through the metal roof i never fell off but after that someone else put the rest of it on  :)

Would that have been 5v roofing or the corrugated stuff?

First I ever nailed was corrugated and was nearly a flat pitch. Used the old lead head nails for that. The 5v is easier to slide on, even if you hook the side of your shoe sole on the nail heads. My mother's house has that on it.

Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2017, 03:05:02 pm »
View from the top with a stack of 23 ft steel roofing at the foot of the ramp:


Other side, 20+ ft scaffold sticking up:






Missing a football game on in the garage:


A long way to drag 28 sheets of metal:


Offline grouch

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Re: old man on a roof
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2017, 03:24:02 pm »
First sheet up the ramp:


3/8 inch fiberglass rods jammed between the rails to keep the sheet I was dragging from scratching the sheet below it:


First sheet went on the far side, starting at the end away from prevailing winds:


A makeshift jig to help align the next sheet:


My son teaches and coaches and has 2 pre-school toddlers, but he managed to be there at critical times. One such time was to unload the roofing from a trailer to that ramp. Another was getting that first sheet aligned. It would have been much tougher and slower to have to clamp it, move down to the scaffold, adjust and repeat.

I'm not sure what each panel weighed, but they were unwieldy at best, especially crossing over the ridge. I dragged them up the roof on cardboard to avoid scratches to the underside. (Roofing felt wasn't on the front side at this time. Traction).