Letter to the editor 4, July 30, 2020


Up on the roof

Dear Editor,

Please thank Brian Gallagher for writing about his roofing adventure. I'm certain that it was enlightening for many readers. I however just kept going, “Uh huh, uh huh,” in my head as I read it. I'm also certain the he learned, as I did in the past, a few things as well such as 210-lb asphalt shingles are those whose weight is 210-lbs per 100 square-feet of coverage, termed a ‘square’ in the trade (roofers talk funny huh?).

Shingle are packaged in 1/3 square packs. That means a package of 210 shingles weighs 70 #@%& POUNDS!!! Anyone who struggles with getting their own corpulence up a ladder may have a major obstacle doing it with a 70-lb package of shingles on their shoulder. I've seen the pros do it with one on each shoulder. Perhaps balancing the load makes it easier but you better have a good quality ladder.

Another tidbit weekend warriors pick up concerns attaching the shingles.

Nailing with a hammer is so passé. Nail guns are now de rigueur. You can rent them at many places. The hurdle is the fact that the nails for that tool are sold in boxes containing enough to re-roof three houses and cost as much as the shingles! Anyway a blue thumb can be worn as a badge of honour.

To those who have taken inspiration from Brian to aspire to attacking their own renovation work while staying at home I would recommend caution. Some tasks are seemingly easy. Roofing, as Brian has demonstrated, is as easy as falling off a roof...literally...when you faint from heatstroke. Other tasks might seem daunting but there is always YouTube to guide you. But if you are planning to do your own plumbing or electrical work best inform your insurer of your intentions before the fire or the flood. If you call after the fact they might simply hang up on you. Oh, and make sure you have 911 on your Speed Dial.

Alfred Epstein

Les Cedres