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March 2009
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Roofing Repair Project Act 2

I have mentioned that remodeling is biblical in nature as a result
of one problem begetting another. For those in more wet climes, it is
the appearance of more alligators in the swamp you are trying to drain.

To recap. We started with a leak around the inside of the bathroom
door, which led us to the roof leak, which led to needing to remove the
AC unit, to remove a section of shingles, to replace rotten underlayment, to repair the roof leak. But to repair the roof, we must repair the patio cover, so our roof repair will be correct.

In Act 1 we discovered our water leak. I mentioned the patio cover which is composed of 4×4 beams nailed to the eave fascia/rim joist on one end and bolted on a beam on the other end. The house was painted right after this was constructed, which for the purposes of this illustration is a great thing.

This is a quick drawing of the construction detail of this assembly.
On the top right is the 2×6 fascia also known as the rim joist that joins the rafter tails in this type of construction. On top of the rim joist is the bottom of the roof sheathing which is attached to the top of the fascia, allowing the builder to establish a straight line for the edge of the roof. This also helps stiffen the roof. In this particular instance the drip edge is created with a 1×2 piece of trim.

On the left side is the beam (4×12) that holds the patio cover materials(4×4’s). The 4×4’s were bolted to the beam with 1/4” lag screws, and nailed through the fascia with 2 -10d galvanized nails.

Over time, the beam tipped away from the house. It is not too clear in this photo, but it was about a 10 deg. tilt.


As a result it pulled the 4×4’s away from the fascia. Some of these were almost falling down and a couple did as a result of the setup of fixing them.

I mentioned above that the sheathing is nailed to the top outside edge of the rim joist. Not only did the beam pull the 4×4’s loose, but also pulled the rim joist with them. Here you can see this much clearer with the dark line from the original paint job as well as the separation of the rafter tails from the rim joist. The weight of the 4×4’s also pulled the rim joist down away from the sheathing.


Repairing the Patio Cover

First, I used a nylon strap to pull the beam tight, limiting its movement away from the building as I began to remove the lag screws from the beam. I also clamped a 2×4 to the underside to prevent the 4×4’s from falling down while I was doing this.

There are two beams so I was able to work on one section at a time. After clamping this together, I started to unbolt the 4×4’s from the beam. The heads snapped off below the surface, so I needed to use a sawsall on the underside of the 4×4 to cut the lag screws to loosen the 4×4’s. 58 of them for those that count.

After loosening the 4×4’s, it was a matter of using a BFH to tap the 4×4’s back into the rim joist and move the rim joist back into position.  Up, down, back, and forth. I also installed a string line so I could monitor the straightness of this as I went along.

After a few hours of up and down, over 3 days, I used 4- 3” exterior deck screws drilled and counter sunk through the rim joist at an angle to pull the 4×4’s tight to the rim joist, as well as moving the joist back in place in relationship to the sheathing.


I was also able to fix the mess on the leak side of the roof as well.

Having gotten these reattached, I straightened the beams as much as possible and drilled and anchored the 4×4’s to the beam with long lag screws. One can walk on this now if need be, and not worry about a wind gust sending pieces of this into the pool. Now we can return to the roof repair.

Monday afternoon, MD Cooling and Heating will bring a crane to remove the AC unit, Tuesday, my boys from Collum Roofing will do the tear off, so I can remove the sheathing, repair the rafters and install new sheathing and blocking for the roof jack for the AC unit.