Monday, December 5, 2011

Lessons Learned from a Wind Storm

 On Thursday, winds reaching 100 mph ripped through our area. It was an incredible storm (especially for those of us who've never lived anywhere near hurricane country). There was an amazing amount of destruction. Ours, thankfully, was minimal. There were about 7 patches on our roof where the shingles were roughed up, or completely ripped off. (I have some neighbors who lost nearly half--if not more--of their roof shingles) I spent much of Thursday morning and afternoon gathering up the scattered shingles (and trash) from my yard in hopes of salvaging some of them. That afternoon, my mom called to find out how we fared from the storm. I told her of the shingles, and she offered to pass the message to my dad.

When my dad got home that evening, he called to hear my estimation of the damage, and later drove by to take a look from the street. He called me back, told me to buy a packet of shingles and some roofing nails and we would patch it up on Saturday. I invited my father-in-law to come help out--because he's handy, too, and "many hands make light work."

The lovely folks at our home improvement store were more than happy to help me find the materials I needed. (There were lots of people at that store, out buying stuff to replace the things the storm took from them--nothing like a storm to boost the local merchants!) Wondering if I'd handled the shingles wrong and snapped them in half while getting them into my car, I drove home. When those handy men arrived, we borrowed the neighbor's extension ladder and up we climbed. I was glad for the calmer winds and a blue sky. (Please note: I volunteered to climb up. I wanted to! My hubby was more than glad to stay in with the little monkeys. His vertigo would have landed him in the ER if he'd attempted to join us.)

And then, I learned a few things about roofing and roof repairs:
You've got to find any loose shingles that didn't come off and put in a new nail or three. Remove or pound in any nails that were once securing the old shingles. Make sure to work from the bottom up. Be careful not to bend back the existing shingles too far, or they'll break (especially in the cold weather!). If the package says "Standard Shingles," it doesn't necessarily mean the shingles on your roof are "standard." Color does matter, but close enough is good enough. A roofing hammer is different than a regular hammer. When re-roofing over existing shingles, use 3 inch nails, not 1 1/2 inch nails. (This was partly why we lost some of our shingles!) Roof tar may be dispensed with a caulk gun to add extra security under the shingles. The plastic strip on the back of the shingle should be removed to expose the tar prior to nailing to the roof. Nails should not be hammered on top layers because it lets the water in. Two layers of shingles is the maximum allowed. When a roof has 2 layers and requires a new roof, it must be stripped bare to start again.

After spending around 3 1/2 hours on the roof, I am grateful that we didn't lose more than we did. I saw much damage around my neighborhood, and many people were worse off in our neighboring cities. We had to cut some shingles to fit, and the color isn't exact, but I think we did a pretty awesome job. I had a lot of fun! I don't mind heights, and I always enjoy learning more about how to be a little handy.

We had one other adventure because of the wind. Our carport is a metal structure that is secured to the concrete. It has a canvas roof. The feet on the leg poles are plastic. The wind was so strong that day, that it was trying to remove our carport. The plastic feet were no match for the wind and they broke around the anchor point on two of the legs. It was violently bucking in the wind. My next door neighbor happened to be outside when I was gathering some shingles. He noticed the threat of losing the structure, and kindly offered some rope to help me tie it down. We tied it to the fence, my patio, and a tree. Later, my dad traded some of the feet so that it is now anchored to the ground again. (Whew!)

I learned much from this storm. But I was also reminded that we have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for family who knows how to do things and are willing to help when things need fixing. I am glad for the ability to learn new things. I am thankful we have neighbors who look out for us. I am grateful that we were able to afford the damage, and repair it quickly. And now that we are ready for it, Let it Snow!


Anonymous said...

I am Glad you are Grateful for your trials as well as your Blessings.
As Leo Alfman learned almost too late in the Story the "Happiness Machine" by Ray Burdbury.
Things would be very boring if the sunset stayed around forever, and the air was always calm and sweet smelling.

Elizabeth said...

Jilly Beans, you are too cute! So glad your damage was minimal and you got it fixed quickly.

We had heavy winds last week, too, only no damage here. Last year we had a REALLY bad storm where people lost half their roofs too. One of the little vents on the roof got almost blown off. It was hanging on by one screw, which Mr. Bug was able to fix. I was glad that there wasn't any more damage than that.

xo -E

mom said...

You are so cute! I now have you on my favorites list. (thanks to that handy dad of yours) By the way are you sure you want it to snow?

Carrie said...

You go, Jill! Way to get up on the roof. I learned a few of those roofing facts as well but was content to have someone tell me while I stayed on the ground. Glad all is well.