Oh Holy Roof...

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A few months ago, we had a major ice storm that caused a ton of trees to fall, power lines to break, and so on. My house happens to be situated in the middle of the woods, which meant that many trees fell around my house. Thankfully, none really hit it that hard. I say "really" because one tree did manage to fall toward the house, but another tree stopped it from hitting the house "square."

Two weekends ago, I cut down the fallen tree and noticed that a few branches were still sitting on my roof, near the edge. I didn't have time to crawl up there on my ladder (besides, the point at which this happened was about 30-feet above ground), so I figured I'd get to it "in the next few weeks."

Well, on Sunday, I hoisted the ladder against the house, Amy held the bottom, and I scaled my way up to remove the straggling branches. One fell off immediately, but another wouldn't budge.

"What's the matter?" asked Amy.

"This branch must be huge - it's really heavy and I can't slide it off the roof," I said.

I was working "above my head" - I couldn't get to eye-level with the roof, because of the overhang, and because my ladder wasn't quite tall enough (it only goes to 26-feet).

So, we repositioned the ladder and I walked on the roof to get to the branch.

"(choice words edited for mixed company)," I exclaimed. "The @&#*&$@(*#&$^@!! branch went through the roof," I told Amy.

"What does that mean?" she asked.

I had to think for a second. "It means we've got a hole in our roof!"

The branch was no bigger than a nickel in diameter, and it somehow poked a hole clear through the roof - the shingles, the tar paper, the sheathing, and the particle board. By some stroke of luck, it punctured the roof in the very last row of shingles, about 2" away from the flashing (edge) of the roof. This meant the hole was in the "overhang" of the roof - not above the actual "inside" of the house.

Amy brought up a can of "Great Stuff!" expanding foam, and I filled the hole as a temporary patch, as it was getting dark. Prior to filling it, I grabbed some tools and poked around in the hole (I removed the branch first) -- no signs of moisture, mold, or any other nasties. Things were looking up...

So tonight, I went to Lowes, bought some aluminum flashing, some heavy duty adhesive, some roof patching caulk, and a single shingle square (about 4" x 4").

I scuffed the aluminum on one side so that the adhesive would have something to "bite" into. I applied a generous amount of adhesive and scaled the ladder. I cut away the Great Stuff that had expanded onto the roof and lifted the shingles as far up as I could without damaging them. I slid the aluminum under the shingle, adhesive side down. I pressed the shingles/tar paper/etc as hard as I could so that they would "mash" the flashing down to the particle board/roof.

I then grabbed the roof patching caulk and put down a big 'ole gob of sealer, and then wedged the shingle patch into place, covering the hole. A bead of the sealer on each side of the shingle, and I was done.

Whew. Hole patched, and quite well, I might add. :-)

Oh, and here's the offending branch:

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