Friday, June 09, 2006

The Upper Decks

Before we get in to today’s porch destruction and repair project here is a shot of the zigzag blocks I talked about a few days ago. This also shows a close-up of the corner brackets on the porch post.

For some reason the paint is in good shape on the brackets. This is good because that means I don’t have to spend hours on a ladder stripping the paint off them. There are 5. The zigzag blocks didn’t fair so well, though. There are several dozen and I can’t say how much time I will spend on them. My internal clock that dictates how much time I can spend on a project is getting to the end of it’s cycle. It’s odd that I can be patient when dealing with a huge project like the whole house, but on individual projects I start to get antsy if I feel they are taking too long. Remember, this nearly 3 week old porch project started as a 2 day project to replace some rotted posts. It needed to be done, so I guess it doesn’t matter, but man, am I ready to move on.

The reason for the close-up pictures of the zigzag blocks is because I’ve started to work on the roof of the porch. It’s not too bad but the parts that are bad a really bad. The original idea for today was to paint the porch deck. I stopped by Sherwin Williams and bought another gallon of Clarey Sage, a gallon of primer, and some stuff called Shark Grip (more on that later), and another pail liner and the total came to $83.00! I really need to plan better and buy this paint when it’s on sale.

I got home and started thinking that if I paint the porch decking it may hinder my ability to work on the porch all weekend. I’m not going to want to drag ladders around a freshly painted porch deck. So instead I moved on to the rotted soffit and rain gutter. The rain gutter actual fell off last year when I was trying to repair it. It had sagged to the point that there was a water fall directly over the front steps. Very annoying. Does anybody know just how much rain we get here? We don’t get snow we get rain. So I tried to fix the gutter and half way through the damn thing fell most of the way off the porch. It’s never been the same since. I did a butcher of a patch job with flashing and roof cement that never really worked so well.

Today I removed the gutter, fascia, soffit, and the top half of the 2 part crown molding. Here’s what it looks like now.

The piece of crown molding I took off was sagging already and I’m amazed that I never lost it in wind storm. It was just barely hanging on. It’s weird how the wood can be solid as a rock but the nails are just gone. It is about a 10 foot piece of trim and there was maybe 3 nails left holding it in place. I think the paint and caulk did more work than the rusty nails. It kind of makes you wonder what is holding together the rest of the house. It’s best not to think about that sort of thing too much. The important thing is, the wood was solid.

The soffit, on the other hand, was not so solid. Here is a front and back photo of the soffit.

It is just a shell of a piece of wood. These are pictures of the left hand corner above that outside column. The water just goes to that corner, runs down, and rots out everything in it’s path. I guess it’s amazing it was still there at all. The one good thing about it is that it is only 5.5 inches wide. That means that I can use a single piece of modern lumber if I need to. I don’t think I have any 12-foot pieces of clear redwood left in the wood shed. If I went and bought a piece of modern 1X6 lumber it will only be 5.5-inches wide.

That 12 foot long 1X6 soffit is the only big piece of wood that needs to be replaced up there. It could have been much worse. Some of the ends of the T&G bead board ceiling are a little rotted but not enough that I need to replace anything. I will just cut away the rot and shore it up. I do need to replace all the little triangle pieces that the crown molding is nailed to. They sat up against the rotted soffit and so they rotted as well. That’s why the crown molding was hanging by a thread. I did 3 today, and I have 3 more to do tomorrow. You can see the new ones in the picture below.

In away the little triangles acted as a rot barrier between the soffit and the outside ceiling joists. It is in good shape, thankfully. The other odd thing is that bottom piece of crown molding you see in the picture (the red piece). I didn’t remove it but the gap behind it was completely packed with dirt and debris. It was really packed in there. I had to get a screw driver and dig it all out. All the dirt rained down on my new paint job. Grrr! I’m amazed that it didn’t collect moister and rot out the molding. Go figure. The only other problem is all the studs that everything is nailed to. The boards themselves are fine, for the most part, but a lot of the nails have rusted away to nothing. It is such a narrow opening that it is very tough to drive in new nails. I need a helper monkey. Anyone know wher I can get one? You know, like a little spider monkey I could shove up in that gap to hold nails while I swing the hammer. Man, that would be so cool!


deb said...

i'm not so sure a spider monkey is your best choice of helper monkey... they have no thumbs (so they can swing through the trees with much ease)... maybe a lemur? man, they can jump! but then again, i guess they're not monkeys either...

Greg said...

Man! It's always something, isn't it?