Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

OK, here goes. This post has been a while in the making, mostly because I'm not a big fan of admitting 'failure'... and that's sure what this project felt like. But it's DIY reality, and it had a happy ending, so here it is! :)

I have a back porch. It has a roof. If you've seen any of the pics of my backyard (like the snowfall one below), they're taken from directly under this roof. Anyway, when the main roof and the front and back porches were re-shingled shortly before I bought the house, someone decided it'd be a good idea to only do the job half way. They redid the shingles, but didn't install any flashing in the space where the roof meets the wall.

Or a closer view:

I don't know if these pics are doing the gap justice. It was big, and causing problems. I really shouldn't be surprised, because I'm finding that so many things have been done in a similar manner (half-assed). But hey, I'm always up for a challenge, so I figured I could make it right.

I did lots of research, and gathered the requisite tools and supplies to install step flashing to keep water from entering the gap. I scheduled the assistance of a ladder-holding friend (thanks, Mish!). I found myself a bright, sunny day. I even got up there on each side of the peak and ran the circular saw along the roof line, to get enough of the shingles out of the way to get the job done (this was step one, and my first ever experience using a circular saw. My advice? Try it on solid ground first. But, hey, I got it done)

And then I hit a wall. Well, figuratively, at least. Basically, what I discovered that day was two-fold:
1. No matter how much I might wish otherwise, I do not have the arm strength of a man. Not even an average or somewhat wimpy man. That arm strength was a requirement of this job that I didn't anticipate.
2. I'm just not cool with working on that kind of angle, at that kind of height. The pics don't really tell you how high up I was, or how steep the roof angle, so just trust me: it was bad. Not bad for someone accustomed to such jobs, but bad for someone like me who's not a huge fan of heights to begin with. Add to that the wobbliness inherent in using a ladder at that height and...

End result: I eventually had to concede defeat, and call in a handyman. Thankfully Mish (the ladder-holding friend) knew of one who could get the job done. So here's what it looks like now:

In the future, the plan is to make it look a little prettier with a piece of wood clad in aluminum (white so it blends with the siding) but for now, the water has stopped pouring in the gap, so I'm happy. And hopefully this'll never happen again:

Yep, that's rain water that leaked into my light fixture through the roof/wall gap. Pretty, isn't it? Not so much. There was also a lot of water in the section of my basement that's directly underneath, and I hope it's gone for good, too.

1 comment:

  1. The drawback to being a single/ female homebuyer! I've tried to do as many of those types of projects as I can, but sometimes I just don't have the strength. I would love to have my boyfriend do all of the demo projects around my house, but I can't expect him to put so much effort into something that isn't his.

    It's awesome that you got out there and tried though!


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