November 12 , 1999
on the Roof
In the immortal words of the Drifters "Going up where the air is fresh and sweet..." This was the week the roof got a face lift, or at least a partial face lift.
The week started out magnificently with temperatures on both Monday and Tuesday in the 70's. (The normal high temperatures are suppose to be in the mid to upper 40's.) The roofing "crew" of two arrived first thing Monday morning to work on the soffit, fascia and metal roof. As I had stated in early weeks, we debated over doing the roof ouselves or having professionals do the work. We ended up spending more money on our roof, but it was our choice. We very easily could have put on an asphalt shingle roof and saved a heck of a lot of money. If time permitted, I might have tried to put on a metal shingle roof myself, but with the year rapidly coming to a close I felt it was worth our while to have a professionally installed metal roof.
Here are the reasons why we chose a metal roof:
- Longevity - A metal roof should last at least 50 years before it needs to be replaced.
- Environmental - A metal roof can be recycled whereas an asphalt roof is a landfill headache.
- Fire Safety - A metal roof will not catch on fire from flying embers caused by forest or brush fires. (Our area has lots of trees and brush.)
- Snow Load - Snow slides off of metal roofs. (When we get a big snow, we'll have to remember to duck.)
- Rain Water Harvesting - If you plan to store rain water, an asphalt roof is not appropriate due to the toxic nature of asphalt.
- Esthetics - Although not a requirement for a house to be functional, you want a house to look nice.
It was hoped that the roof would be completed by the end of the week, but there were a few delays due to weather and material problems. On Monday and Tuesday, Matt and Luke worked on the soffit and fascia. (I could have done the soffit work myself, but heck, while they're doing the roof they might as well do that too.)
Tuesday afternoon the truck arrived with the coils of sheet metal. The coils are 24 gauge, prefinished sheet metal that weight about 1,500 lbs. Although they appear to be small in size, looks are deceiving.
Wednesday they started fabricating the sheet metal using a machine that folds the metal into 20 inch wide panels that can be any length. They are fastened to the roof sheathing using clips. The only holes that are made in the panels are along the roof ridges. These ridges are then covered by a ridge cap to prevent any leaks. On pole barns, you will typically find that the sheet metal is nailed to the roof using nails that have rubber grommets. Although these roofs work, eventually they have a tendency to leak after years of the metal expanding and contracting. Hopefully, this will not be a problem with the use of the clips.
By Wednesday early afternoon the thundershowers arrived (yes, thundershowers in November) and the work ended early for the day. Thursday was cool and cloudy, but no rain and Matt and Luke got in a full days work.
By Friday morning they had five sides of the roof done before the next delay occurred. The truck hoist was not working and they needed to offload the next roll of steel. Matt asked if he could borrow my rusty, trusty Bobcat to lift the coil off of the truck. Well, it ended up that the coil of steel was heavier than the Bobcat. (A roll of this stuff weighs upwards of 1,500 lbs!) As soon as Matt tried to lift the coil, the back tires started to go up. Hmmmm.... They ended up bringing out a much bigger Bobcat and tried the same thing. Although it was close, the Bobcat was able to lift up the roll and we were back in the ball game This took about four hours to straighten out, so needless to say, the roof did not get done by the end of the week.
They've got at least another two days, possibly three days of work until completion. I now have an appreciation for the amount of labor that goes into putting a fabricated metal roof on a 16 sided house.