Saturday, December 1, 2012

This Old House

The house I am renting from my friend, The Doc, is older that she and I put together, and that's old.  It seems that the inspector may have been beholden to the seller or their agent somehow, because he said the roof was OK.  If, by "OK" he meant that, "Yes, there actually is a roof on the building.", then I'm wrong, and he was telling the truth.

On the other hand, if he meant "Yes, there's a roof on the building, and it is in desperate need of replacement, because it will do you no good when there's rain or melting snow!", then he prevaricated.

A year ago last October, I spent a weekend on the roof over the original house, tarping it.  It was freezing (really, 30 - 32 deg F) and windy.  I got black adhesive all over a new pair of jeans, and generally didn't have much fun.  But, my office and bedroom remained dry under precipitation.

A couple of months ago, I took the dogs out for a drive.  One the way home, it began to rain.  About six miles out, the rain turned into what I know as a "gully-washer".  It caused me to contemplate pulling over and waiting it.

When we got home, the laundry room was awash.  The second floor back bedroom opens out onto a small balcony/patio.  It is covered with the exact same useless roofing material as the main house and the second storey back bedroom.  So, a couple of weeks before Sandy hit, I tarped the part of it that was over the laundry room.  When Sandy hit, I discovered a drip, so I put a bucket under it.  The next morning, there was about 1/2 inch of water in the bucket, so I consider the laundry room successfully tarped.

When I went through the back bedroom to tarp said patio/balcony, I discovered that  the wall that faces the back yard had turned into a biology experiment, much like the one we did in high school biology.  We were studying molds and fungi, so we set up a bunch of petri dished loaded with agar, and let them fromage over the two week Christmas break.  (It was 1965, I was in Catholic school, so it was a Christmas break, damnit!)

Fortunately, the room does not smell anything like the biology classroom did when we got back from the break.  But it definitely alive, at least in spots.  Truly, in spots.  And runs, and eruptions.  Ecchh!

So, I got out on the roof over the bedroom/kitchen addition, and tarped it.  I have no way of telling if I was successful in stopping the leakage, because I'm going to have to remediate the room to actually tell.  But I'm not going to do that just yet, I think.

The Doc wanted to get a roof put on, but her abrupt lack of employment made that impossible.  My meager retirement income doesn't have room in it to save any significant money for the project.  And the course writing gig has taken longer that I thought to get spun up.

So, for now, I work the writing gig, and once I've officially gotten the hang of it, I can start generating disposable income for such thing as roof, old bills, and back taxes.

Life is good.  Really!

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