Monday, November 03, 2008

Aerobic shingle hefting

We have commenced shingling. Once your plywood (or God forbid, waferboard/OSB) is all nailed on nicely to your trusses, it's time for tarpaper and shingles. Prior to nailing the tarpaper on, you should sweep the roof off to remove detritous, stray nails, seeds (maple helicopters for the most part) and anything else that would make a bump under the tarpaper. That would cause a stressed spot in the paper and then the shingle, potentially leading to a leak. It wants to be smooth and flat as far as the eye can see. Double check for the third time that there are no nails sticking up.

We have finished about 20% of the shingles. Each row of shingles goes on in about 15 minutes (pneumatic coil guns ROCK!), but each row only marches up the roof 5 inches. So, fast yet slow. So, we keep plugging along and will eventually overcome the roof and the rain and the snow. Somehow I had it in my mind that each bundle of shingles weighed 60 pounds. After I hefted the first batch from the pickup truck onto the roof, I decided I was either really getting old or they weigh more than that. So of course, I weighed one. 80 pounds. Well, that was a relief. I'm not quite ready for "old" status.

I used to fly airplanes with a guy who ran a construction company. Even back then, he was older than dirt. At least that's what it seemed like to me, a 16 year old at the time. I suppose he was 60. He was a pretty astute business guy, and more than anything else, he outworked the competition. When he carried shingles up the ladder, he carried two bundles. Holy CRAP batman, that guy was tough. I think he did it to make sure the young guys stayed motivated. Jeez, if the old geezer boss can run up that ladder with two bundles, I guess I better do it too. He eventually gave that up after his second hernia surgery.

Since I have no employees to impress or motivate, I'll stick with one bundle at a time. Steady pace wins the race, and no hernias. We only have 85 bundles to heave up there. To save you the math, that's 6,800 pounds of shingles, not counting tar paper and moisture barrier stuff, nails, etc.

It's a good thing I'm doing this for fun, because you could never pay me enough to do it for a living.

Finest regards,


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