Thursday, July 11, 2013

As Levi Would Say, "Roof! Roof!"

Or, in my own words, "Yaaaayyyy! The roofing job is complete!"

I've never lived in a house while a new roof was put on it, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Thanks to a professional roofing company, the patience of neighbors, and the trust and adaptability of my dogs, Levi and Gimpy, we got through the process rather painlessly.

The work was supposed to begin on Monday but was postponed a day due to predicted storms that never happened. Materials were delivered early Monday anyway. They arrived on a truck so big it had to park on our narrow, two-lane road, blocking one lane of traffic, while the driver loaded everything onto a forklift and rode that up our hilly driveway to unload everything, which took several trips.

We'd been advised that a trailer would be backed under the edge of the carport so that debris from the roof could be pushed off into it, and we knew our cars would fare better if we parked them away from the house. That's where good neighbors came in. Along with the three drivers who rent the front part of our house, I borrowed parking space in neighbors' driveways for two days and nights.

The roofing crew arrived just after daybreak Tuesday morning. I made sure the dogs saw the men setting up outside, and I left the doors open so the dogs could watch through the storm doors and understand the source of the unfamiliar noises. That worked very well; there was very little barking in spite of a great deal of noise going on over our heads.

This is Gimpy keeping an eye on things.

The roofers, all from south of the border, were fast and efficient. There were half a dozen of them, and they worked well as a team, each one seeming to know exactly what he was supposed to be doing at any given moment. It was pleasant to hear them speaking--and occasionally singing--in Spanish while they worked. They scurried up and down the ladder without any sign of exertion and traversed the roof as easily as I walk across my living room.

While they worked, they worked full out, and when it was break time, they did that all the way, too, taking advantage of the shade in the carport. I'm guessing it was the coolness of my glass door that made it a prime place to rest.

The biggest inconvenience to me (and not a very big one at all) was having to take the dogs out one by one on a leash for two days. The backyard gates were open, nails and other materials were falling off the roof and bouncing into the grass, so I had to lead Levi and Gimpy carefully away from all of that. They really wanted to explore the mess but didn't tug too hard on the leash when I insisted they follow me to a safer part of the yard.

I also chose to do some cleanup of my own after everybody left at the end of the first day. The section of roofing replaced immediately prior to quittin' time happened to be right above my patio, and the man who made the mess would have missed his ride home if he'd taken the time to clean it up right then.

At the upper left of this photo you can see Levi peeking out the door.

This picture shows the density of loose nails in roofing debris.

Since the patio is my preferred path to take the dogs outside--and since I was paranoid about the nails on the ground--I decided to pick up and sweep up right then instead of waiting for the roofers to clean it up in the morning. I still led Levi and Gimpy away from the newly roofed areas, but at least the patio was no longer a danger zone.

The roof was finished by mid-afternoon on Wednesday, and the crew spent their last hour or two cleaning up. They were as thorough in that as they'd been in everything else, picking up, sweeping up with a push-broom, using a magnetic sweeper to find as many stray nails as they could, and piling every little scrap into the dump truck to be hauled away. Except for the new roof, there was no way to tell they'd ever been here.

But ... there were those nails. And there was my paranoia about the possibility of my dogs stepping on one of them. And there were my long-term trust issues. I went to the hardware store and bought a magnetic sweeper of my own. I may never need the thing again, but I figured I could buy ten of them for the price of a single trip to the emergency vet. 

So, first I swept the driveway--again--and then I walked to the neighbor's and drove my car back home. Then I swept a large area of grass directly behind the house, finding another couple of dozen nails, some as far as six feet away from the house. I swept close to the house in the front yard, finding some there, too, but not as many. The grass isn't as thick there. Kim came over later and did a thorough sweeping of the side yard, agreeing with me that it was fun to roll that thing along and hear the clink of a nail jumping out of the grass and clinging to it. Now that I know how many nails the first magnetic sweeping missed, I'm pretty sure I didn't get all of them on the second pass, either, so I'll probably do it at least another time or two. In the meantime, I'm crossing my fingers and letting the dogs run free in the yard again.

Who knew a pretty, clean roof could perk up a whole house? It looks great in person. If you click on the photos to enlarge them, I think you'll be able to see the difference, too.

Back of the house on Monday.

Back of the house today.

Front of the house on Monday.

Front of the house today.

I'm so grateful that the company we selected to do this job took pride in every aspect of it. And I'm so happy to check this off my list of things to worry about.


  1. Oh, it is beautiful. Reminds me of 'southern living'.

    1. Thanks, Sister-Three. It literally is southern living--though certainly not the high style that's portrayed in the magazine of that name.

  2. The new roof looks great! Nice house.

  3. Wow! It looks great! I agree with you on the sweeper! One vet bill would have been way more!!! Glad your boys are getting their yard back so fast!!

    1. Thank you, Holly! I actually found half a dozen more nails today--in plain sight. We had a hard rain yesterday, so I suppose that may have washed some stragglers off the roof.

  4. Your contractors did an amazing job, Linda! It's nice that they handled the repairs smoothly and they've finished them in time. All the loud noise during the repair was all worth it, right? Are you planning to repaint your siding? I suggest leaning on darker sidings to complement the roof color.


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