Saturday, May 22, 2010

What is calm weather?

Wednesday night, I went shopping. I wanted to get some concrete edging. Most people use these around their gardens to keep the well manicured lawn, and their gardens separated. I wanted to put them on my roof! Eventually they will be used along the roof edges where the walls are not buried to help retain the soil on top of the roof. However, for right now I wanted to have them for extra weight to hold down the roofing layers until the soil gets put on top. I bought enough to stretch 60 feet. I was a little concerned about how much weight I was putting in the truck, but it handled it fine. That was the first load that went to the property and got dropped off.

Just one layer but the truck was down on the back springs pretty well.

50 edging blocks, ready to move on the roof.

Then I went and got the drainage layer rolls from the storage unit and brought those over and put them up beside the house. These rolls are each 80 pounds and 8 feet long. They definitely qualify as big and bulky.

6 rolls of drainage material, ready to go.

We had been having quite a bit of rain, and Wednesday, the ground was still quite muddy in spots. I made use of the 4 wheel drive on the truck.

Hmmm, the tires are a little dirty.

I also got all the rolls of plastic for the waterproofing over to the property. I left them in their boxes in the garage. Now we were set to get an early start on Thursday.

Thursday morning, mom and dad showed up early and we headed out to the property. It was foggy, but there was very little wind, which was important for two people trying to spread 20 foot by 100 foot sheets of plastic over a house. We got out to the property and I looked in the neighbor's field. It was just after dawn, and there was quite a sight.

Dead weeds from last year were glowing in the sun.

Looking closer, we saw that these were all webs of some sort. We didn't see any spiders, so we weren't sure what made them. But with dew on the webs, they were quite lovely, as you saw in my previous post.

We started by sweeping and blowing off some of the stuff that had landed on the tarps since they were put in place. We also measured off 10 foot increments and marked the tarps, so we knew where to put the plastic sheeting (at least where we were going to try to put the plastic).

Measuring and marking 10 foot increments.

We had to move all the bags of sand and other materials we were using to weight down the tarps, out of the way so we could work. So it all got moved to the front of the roof. We cut the grommets off the edges of the tarps, so they wouldn't push through the plastic sheeting in the future.

When you have scissors, make sure to walk, and carry them to your side ;-)

Then we started laying plastic sheeting. We left it folded up as much as possible, and taped the one edge down to the tarp. The tape helped hold the plastic in place somewhat.

First one laid out. How many of these do we have?

We laid out the second one before we spread out the first one. We wanted to lay out as many as we could before we started to spread them out.

Laying the second plastic sheet.

The first problem we encountered was that the blue tarp got pretty hot in the sun, and we were having to kneel and run our hands right over it to get the plastic laid out. We were getting a little hot. Then as we started to get layers of plastic laid out, we found it was getting even hotter. It was acting as a solar collector with additional layers of glass being laid over it, holding more and more heat in. It became painful. We kept working and got both full layers of plastic laid down on the first 10 feet of the roof. It was now time to start getting drainage material up there. Moving these things onto the roof was a challenge.

No, this was not fun!

As we continued into the afternoon, trying to get to a stopping point so we could go get lunch, the wind started to gust. It would be very calm for a bit, we would cook up on the roof, but get plastic laid. Then we would get a gust, and it would throw the plastic, or the drainage layer we were working on, and we would have to chase it, and get it back in position. This became quite frustrating and we were getting exhausted. We finally got enough stuff in place, and put weights across it all so we could leave for lunch. While we were at lunch, I called Adam, and my brother and asked them to come out and help us get the roof to a point where we could leave it for the day. Adam and John showed up, and helped us finish getting the first four drainage sheets in place. That covered the plastic sheets we had managed to lay down. They also helped move the sand bags, concrete edging and other materials for weighting things down, into place. I hoped we had enough to keep things in place. Matt showed up just as we finished with the roof. After Adam and John left, Matt helped me get the frames off the piers for the solar array. Now they look like this.

Ready for the racks to be installed.

I set up my camera at the beginning of the day to take photos of how this progressed:

We still have to get the rest of the plastic and drainage materials on the roof before the top soil is put up there. Now we are watching the weather forecasts to see when the next opportunity will be to try to finish this up.

We had thunderstorms and tornadoes come through the area last night. I was worried about what might have happended, but there was nothing I could do about it. Marcus was nice enough to make a stop by the house today, and reported that everything looked to still be in place. I was quite relieved.

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