Preperation for roof work

The old chimney and sewer vent

One of the first projects of real serious note for this renovation is to install a new roof. The existing roof was installed about 5 years ago and should have lasted much longer than it has. But we fear that the material that was used was of poor quality and started loosing the mineral coating a couple years ago. In the fall of 2006 I mopped on a coat of mobile home roof coating to protect it (darker shaded roofing) and now it is time to get an entirely new roof. The building, which is 22’ wide by 60’ long, has a chimney and sewer vent line protruding through the roof. The chimney will be eliminated by installing new furnaces that vent out the sidewall and the vent line was abandoned in the fall of 2006. The project today was to remove the old chimney and vent line so the new rubber roof will not have anything protruding through it. The chimney, which came with the building in 1913, is regular brick and about 16” square. It was lined some years ago with a galvanized liner, which was not needed when the boiler was fired with coal. Prior to taking this picture I had removed the storm cap from the top of the chimney as well as a small communication antenna that was clamped to the chimney.

The old chimney and sewer vent are gone

Since our plans do not call for the removal of the chimney from the interior spaces I was able to use a 2 pound hammer to break the brick into pieces and drop it down inside the chimney. I was able to get a little over half of the brick inside the chimney before I ran out of room and used a bucket and rope and lower the remainder down to the trash dump box. The mortar on the chimney was fairly solid above the roof line, but I could tell there were some serious issues below the roof. When I would hit the brick above I could feel the chimney rock a bit so I knew I was going to find a serious issue below. When the furnace was converted from coal to natural gas the proper thing to do is to line the chimney as the flue gasses from natural gas eat away at the mortar. Since this wasn’t done there was a lot of deterioration to the mortar and the brick itself. So much so that when I got below the roof line most of the brick could be picked out by hand. The pictures stopped with the removal of the brick and cast iron vent pipe as the weather was threatening to rain on me. And it did, prior to getting the roof patched we had a downpour of rain that soaked me and all my tools. But I was able to patch the hole temporarily and get some rolled roofing over it before any damage was done to the insulation and plaster below.

Patch in place

My second trip to the roof to finish up the patch was not interrupted by rain. The picture above shows the sheathing patch as I installed it in the rainstorm. I began by removing the temporary rolled roofing patch to get down to making this a permanent repair. I trimmed the OSB sheathing back to allow the patch to fit flush, then I filled in a couple nailers to help support the sheathing patch. It was a simple matter then to apply some roofing cement along the edges of the patch and nail it back in place, which is shown in the picture below.

Roof patch completed

With this repair completed the roof is now ready for the professional roofers to go to work. We will try to have a couple pictures of this process once they begin work.

The roof is ready for the new rubber material

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