Monday, 15 February 2016

A little roofing adventure

We're just back from a few days spent at our older daughter's in the Welsh valleys.  Most of our visits there have the focus of a particular DIY task - this time it was the repair of the roof of their stable block.  No, they don't have horses, but the former owners did, and left a stable block in a pretty tatty condition which is soon to be home to a range of pottery activities. However, part of the felted roof has been leaking so badly that the underlying plywood panel has rotted and fallen away. Ultimately, the objective is to put on a roof of profile steel sheets, but we agreed that a useful interim measure would be the replacement of the rotted timber and some partial re-felting.

This was a job for the Land Rover, as the scaffolding tower was needed for access, so the trailer had to be towed.  The Landie is getting used to carrying lots of my tools, but this time space had to be reserved for younger son's dog, who is staying with us at present. Stock items included nails, screws, battens and two rolls of heavy roofing felt, left over from the days before we gave up on felt on our own stable and took the profile steel route.

Here's the stable block. The main problems centred around the valley between the two roof elevantions, where a small scaffolding tower went up. Some other patches of missing felt were replaced from the ladder.

The best part of four panels (each 8 feet by 4 feet - still manufactured imperial in all dimensions except thickness - 18mm!) had to be knocked out to get rid of the rot.  The most difficult part was working on my knees on the ladder and not falling through the roof.  That would definitely have slowed things down.
We bought the plywood from a local builders' merchant on Friday afternoon, and on Saturday morning I set up the electric circular saw and did most of the cutting up on the roof, having had help to drag the full sheets up from the ground. It was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle but generally went well and I soon had the first layers of new felt in place.
This was another job that was hard on the back and the knees, but at least the risk of falling through the roof had receded. I was lucky with the weather, too, as the first rain came as the last battens were going on.
So, will it stand up to the rest of this winter?  We hope so, and intend to have the steel roof on before next winter's storms.