Leaky Roof

By , October 2, 2010

During the last storm, the roof started to leak. It’s not a big deal, it does it at least once a year. We expect it, and know how to deal with it.

We pull out a ladder to reach the roof, throw a line over the roof peak and tie one end to a tree in the yard. One of us dons the safety harness we keep in the shed (this time, Michelle did it) and shinnies up the slick metal roof and secures to the line, holding a very important tool.

roof cleaning tool

"The Tool," specifically for cleaning the seams of our cabin roof (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

The man who built the homestead built the tool to fix leaks in the roof. The cabin roof is sheet metal, tightly nested together and carefully caulked. However, dirt, tree needles and debris can get in under the seams where the sheets meet. These wick rainwater under the sheet and into the cabin, creating leaks along one wall. He built the tool at just the right angle to slip under the seam and clear out the space beneath, where the crud hides and wicks.

cleaning the roof seams

Michelle cleans the seams while I very helpfully take photos from the ground (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

All we need do to stop this is to work the edge of the tool up under the seam, and swipe downward toward the ground. The tool pulls the sodden debris out of the seam, the wicking stops, and the leaks go away.

It’s simple enough that one would think we’d do this ahead of the autumn storms, and we should. However, it’s easy to set it aside for more urgent tasks when wet weather approaches. And, it usually takes a very heavy rain, after a long dry spell, to cause the wicking, so a lot of times it’s not even an issue. When it becomes one, thank goodness we have The Tool!

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