Up on the Roof

Due to some unfortunate goings-on with my technology, this post is coming to you from a different and unfamiliar device. Let’s see how we get on shall we?

For the last couple of weeks my farm workplace has been the roof. Yup, having resolved our immediate fencing needs, started a few renovations, (and resumed riding my pony), the next stop on the aspirational to-do list for 2016 was painting the roof.

View from the roof

View from my rooftop workplace.

Only before I so much as pried the top off a can of Resene paint, I thought I’d better check what needed sorting out up there. When the sweep did his big repair to the flue he noticed an area near the chimney which looked like it might be starting to rust, and pointed out that some of the flashing was, well, not all that flash. We also knew from the pre-purchase building inspection that some of the roof nails needed resetting.

The lovely builder who did that pre-purchase inspection popped around to have a look and confirmed his original findings. The roof is generally in good condition. A couple of areas of surface rust were easily fixed with rust conversion primer. Apart from the flashing replacement, the main work was to replace about 200 old spring-head roof nails which had worked loose over the last 30 years.

After spending part of a day on the roof helping the builder I decided that I could take out and replace nails with the best of them. I’ve always wanted to do a building course and this seemed like a great chance to learn a few skills. So there I was for a  couple of weeks, sweating, hammering, and doing a bit of pop riveting in places where there was nothing solid to nail into.

Roof renailing

After re-nailing, before painting.

That was late last year, and since then an arm sprain (some people fall on their sword; I fell on my arm), and a busy social calendar, kept me off the roof for a while. In the end I was very grateful for the hiatus. All the water we use in this house is collected off the roof. Painting said roof requires disconnecting the guttering before applying paint, and then waiting for a couple of decent downpours to flush any nasty chemical residues before starting up collection again. Northland has had only two rain events since the end of December, so I’m thankful we’ve been able to collect all of that water. I’m sure otherwise we would have either needed to buy water to refill the tank, or taken to drinking and showering in gin.

As of last week work is back in progress. Having completed the new bridge, (bar the decorative flourishes), Deborah and I clambered up to wash down and paint the first section of roof last Thursday. Yesterday I applied the second coat. Both house roofs are to be the same colour, and after everyone squinting at paint charts we decided on a neutral mid grey. It is a practical colour from a paint longevity perspective, and fairly unobtrusive in the landscape. After two coats though I am rather wishing we’d gone for something more exciting. It might not blend so well into the countryside, but it would make the job so much more enjoyable to be slapping on bright orange or ‘the navy blue of India’*.

* I once painted the hallway at our old house lipstick pink which was quite a test for the equanimity of the Forbearing Husband. He passed with flying colours.



    • The annoying bit would be having to climb up and pour the stuff into the water tank first.

  1. The section of newly painted roof looks awesome. Now we just need some decent weather to get on with the rest of it! This weekend, sadly, doesn’t look promising…

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