Roof Repair

Finally got to the cabin roof repair. I took over a kid, now about 30, who I’ve known most of her life – and Sara all of her wife – to the cabin for an adventure from Port Angeles with her boyfriend. I dropped them off on Wednesday and scheduled a pickup for Thursday. I told them I’d come over prior to the rendezvous time if the weather was nice and I Paul, who was visiting from Petersburg, got on his flight back home all okay.

Everything came together on Thursday, and I got over there about 3 pm. I had a 24 foot fiberglass extension ladder with me. I learned a new trick for hauling a ladder. I wanted to try to put my shoulder through the ladder rungs and carry along my side. That sort of works, but was hard to find just the right balance point and I thought I’d just have to stop several times to rest and readjust.

Then I discovered that if I put the middle rung over my head and balanced the ladder on my two shoulders – well, it was hardly any effort at all to carry it. Once I did that, I walked all the way to the cabin without needing a breather.

The kids were there when I arrived and helped me to get ready. I put the fiberglass ladder up to the cabin eave, and the boyfriend held the ladder while I climbed up. After a few attempts to throw a line over the roof to the other side, I finally succeeded. I climbed down, then put the cabin aluminum ladder up a tree in the back of a cabin, and had the boyfriend hold the ladder while I climbed up with the other end of the rope I’d thrown over. I tied it up high on the tree with a clove hitch, and two extra half hitches, to serve as my anchor.

I put on the fall protection harness Bob loaned me, dumped a bunch of roofing screws into my hoodie pocket,  then climbed up the front ladder again with the bag containing more screws, the screw gun and extra batteries. I threaded the safety rope through the harness stopper, brought the rope tight, hung the bag on the ladder, put the screw gun inside my hoodie, and tentatively climbed on the roof. I brought the rope tight.  It felt good and secure and gave me some confidence. I climbed up to the peak.

The half of the ridge cap that was hanging down the roof was held on by a single screw. The other half had about half the screws missing. I felt like I’d got up there to do the repair just in time.

The original roofer had screwed down the ridge cap to every other peak on the roofing. I screwed the ridge cap piece that was off to every peak of the roofing on either side, then continued to do the same on the ridge cap still in place. By now I’d been bracing myself at a 60 degree or so angle for awhile, and the backs of legs were getting a little jello-y. I saw I could replace some screws here and there on the roofing that were jacked up, but decided I’d quit while I was ahead. I backed down the roof, letting the safety line out as I moved down, and felt a sense of relief when my boot felt the first rung below the roof eave.

We then untied the safety line, and went inside the cabin in the warmth of the spring sun and I had a Genesee Creme Ale left over from last year while the two of them split a micro brew they’d brought from Oregon.

A good day and the ridge cap should be good for another 30 years.

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