Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On second thought, our roof is worse than I thought…

In a previous post, I discussed some concerns about an area of our roof where two dormer eaves touch.  The weather was reasonably mild today and I felt daring, so I hung myself out some windows on our third floor for some more photos.  You should be able to open the high-resolution versions by clicking on the photo).  Try not to cringe…

Here is the first area that will require extensive work.  You can see the rotten wood making up the soffit and fascia, the water penetration, bird droppings, etc…

Taken from the front-right window on the third floor:

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The same taken from the front left window:

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This next photo is of the small roof ledge below this area.  This area has been covered with metal since at least the 1950s. 

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I think it would be preferably to replace it with shingles.  It needs repair as the part acting as flashing against the brick has pulled away (missing caulking).  You can also see some previous repairs.  Note the lovely bird droppings coming from above.  Since we took possession of the property in December, we’ve seen some starlings and more recently pigeons hanging out here.  I went up into the attic a while ago and they haven’t made it in there yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

Post to be continued…


  1. Alas, problems where water are involved are usually worse than you think. Said from experience :-(

  2. I've seen some roofs around here with areas of metal along the bottom like yours. They're usually on houses tthat are 30-40 years older than yours, the result of the removal of box guttters. Given the design of your place, I'm inclined to think that it probably didn't have box gutters.

    I'd be a little cautious about replacing the metal with shingles. My inclination, with no experiential basis - this is just a hunch - is that perhaps the metal was installed to keep the icicles from building up on the roof. The metal roofing would provide less friction, so icicles would slide off before becoming so big. Or perhaps it was to encourage snow to slide off, preventing ice dams back between the two dormers.

    Whatever the case, I'd be sure to get the opinion of more than one roofer. Too much of what has been done seems to be an attempt to solve some sort of problem.

    Also, however much you spend on your roof this year, it will almost definitely be less than what I have to spend. =)