We have had a leak in one of the upstairs bathrooms for a while now. Maybe five years. It’s not a problem unless it’s raining. Let’s just say that for the four months of summer, when we are relatively rain-free, we are good to go and the buckets and pans are stashed under the bathroom sink.
With the first rains of fall, I am back to digging around under the sink for my buckets.
It’s not that we have just left the roof to leak on its own. Each summer we climb up, way higher than I like to be, to add a bit more tar, a bit more glue, a bit more of anything we think might help. Is it a leak from the skylight or is it the actual asphalt tiles? Is it from the improperly set flashing or something else?
Short of taking all the roofing off, which could reveal far more of a horror than we are yet ready to tackle, tarps seemed the next best solution because, as I may have forgotten to mention, this is a bathroom our guests use, and that would also be my mother.
The leak(s) run right through the middle of the smallish room onto a carpet that begins to get soggy and then stained. We set the buckets and pans down for specific drips, but this means they have to be moved and then replaced if you happen to want to close the bathroom door! There’s an art to dodging the dishes. It’s not something you want to have to do in the dark, even with a night-light.
What I can say about tarps is that they work for a while. We have taken to tacking them down with wood strips because the coast winds come ripping up our valley in winter and, well, rip the tarp with ripping winds. Hence maybe the saying? We realize this is a temporary solution, but are lulled each time we tack down a new tarp.
Our neighbor thinks he has our solution and is willing to give it a shot next summer when the rain has stopped. We’ll try a ‘real’ roofing trick: tar paper. Since the roof is mostly hidden from view, I don’t think anyone will notice. It took us three years just to realize the roof wasn’t even shake like the rest!
I’m willing to go along with this scheme, as long as no one insists I climb up to confer (although it is a fabulous view of the farm!). When the rains start again, I’m good if I can look up at the ceiling and only see stains from our tarp and glue years.
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