Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The roof inspector has come and gone. The attic crawl space, first.  There's no evidence of mold or moisture on the underside of my roof sheathing.  Which is, as I observed when he pulled back some of the moldy insulation is the original 1x board.  Obviously, my POs-1 didn't find it necessary to replace it with plywood when they replaced the slate with fiberglass shingles in the 1980s.  And, as it'd seemed to me, he saw no signs of liquid water infiltration in the attic itself.

He told me I'd need to get rid of the fiberglass batt insulation.  Yes, certainly, I was planning on that.  By taking up the T&G floorboards the electrician cut out a few years ago to install the bathroom ceiling fan, the inspector verified that I have no insulation in my bathroom ceiling/attic crawl space floor.  Yes, that's just as I'd remembered.  Then he told me I needed to add ventilation to attic space.  Well, actually, no.  I explained to him what I wanted to keep that area under the eaves as a semi-conditioned space, without wide swings of temperature from frigid winter to blazing summer.  That the 2007International Building Code allows unvented attics, as long as they're airtight to the exterior.  That I planned to achieve this with sprayed-on foam insulation.  He was adamant:  Even with that, he said, I needed to keep a 2" gap between the upper side of the insulation and the underside of the roof deck.  And extend it from soffit to ridge.  Impossible, with a cathedraled ceiling on 2x4 rafters like mine, but I refrained from arguing.

I asked him the critical question:  By any legitimate way of reasoning, might the damage I had be coverable by my homeowner's insurance?  No, this wasn't a catastrophe, it was a maintenance issue. 

Next, I showed him both a computer photo and the actual location of some water seepage I'd had in my study ceiling last May.  He'd been using his moisture meter and found that it'd dried to an acceptable level (I forget what it was), though some areas of the ceiling showed 0% saturation.

This wasn't the case for the wood cover and plaster around my vent stack at the rear of the room.  100%.  Soon as I told him what it enclosed, he pronounced, "You've got a leak around the stack.  The boot probably needs replaced."

After taking a few more readings and not finding anything else serious, we proceeded outside.  Because he was driving a different vehicle than the once he started out with on Saturday, he hadn't been able to bring his long ladder.  So he made me no close-up observation of the condition of the soffit in the back corner where I can see daylight from the inside and the birds get in and the cats want to get at them.  At first, he wasn't even inclined to believe me when I told him there was at least one hole in there big enough to allow this.  But standing in my back year, he couldn't help but notice the sparrows up there in their nest in the end of the gutter, and watch as they ducked in and out of the aluminum fasçia cladding.

He used his adjustable ladder (a Werner, not a Little Giant) to climb up to the back porch roof, pulled the ladder up, then set it on the porch roof and climbed up to the top.  Well, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.  I don't mind high places, even with only two or three or fewer inches of toehold, if I've got a nice rock face next to me.  Walking around on my high eight-in-twelve roof is beyond my balance and my nerves.  But the inspector walked it.  He verified the bad vent stack boot.  And proceeding to the area above last May's leak, he verified that I had a lot of popped nails and loose shingles up there.  They don't need replacement, he said, just readhered with some roofing tar.

His opinion is that all the work, excluding insulation tearout and replacement, should run me only around $250 to $300.  I hope he's right.

He'll send me the report in a day or so.  Meanwhile, I need to get the names of some roofing contractors and start getting bids.

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