Ice Damn-Its

18 degrees this morning, but that should be it for the snowy cold. The day will warm up to 40. We headed to town yesterday, as the snowy dirt road is much better than the muddy dirt road. I picked up some drywall and plaster to see what can be done about the upstairs…
First up, with the wasps up in the attic slowed down by the cold I headed up through a bare access hole (that I had stapled plastic over years ago), to fix the peak vents and knock down the wasp nests. I’d thought I would need to screen-wire the vents after watching from outside last fall as flies swarmed at them, but the vents were put in with their own wire fittings back in the day. The hole cut through the wall for them was irregular with big gaps, which illustrates what I’m always up against. No access for flies now because- sprayfoam. This area only gave me access to the North addition to the house, and there is no access to the other portions: that means ladders, yarg. Next was making a panel for the access hole.
The access panel is insulation board sandwiched between wood panel, suspended from the 2×4 ceiling joists. Roll-out fiberglass insulation with paper backing facing down against the lathe board is still mostly intact up there. It may look a mess, but that is what I picked up the plaster board for (not nearly enough though). The panel can be fit with plaster board to match the ceiling- when I get around to all that. Then I put in a handrail up the steep steps to the upstairs, because safety comes eventually. I’ll put a pic in of that later.
Before any other jobs get started, I need to take care of an ancient leak in the roof that runs down the inside of the wall from the upstairs all the way down to the laundry room. This exposed area was covered by the one of two drywall panels in the house. The drywall was mostly ruined by water, and I’m guessing had been put in place after “fixing” the leak, prior to cutting the holes (filled with sprayfoam just above the floor) for blow-in insulation: that would be in the 1960’s when my uncle was upgrading the old place. A dry bay of insulation is on the left, with the classic 3/4 fill. Other than never entirely filling the bays, blow-in also traps any moisture that might invade the envelope of the house leading to rot. In this case the insulation was a mix of wet and frozen in the center bay, that I removed. To the right is lathe board faced on the other side with the only other drywall panel in the house, in the bedroom I’d just fitted the access panel closure. This is also a joint of two outside walls meeting- where I could see daylight, so more sprayfoam. But none of this is the problem. This is just a mess caused by the problem above…
I cut away a portion of the gable ceiling. The right side is where I’d laid in some rockwool last summer in a dry joist-bay, which is still dry. The left side was rotted out and dripping down into a plastic container I’d put on the floor, and was nearly overspilling. I cut out all the rotten wood, the old cedar shingles, and the tar/sand shingles, and arrived at the new steel roof. This is a section where two pitches of roof converge, on the N side of the house. An ice dam holds back a whole mess of snow and melt and ice. I’ve been up there a few times in summer to tar the surface gaps; oh well.
I scrounged around and found my old painting pallet from 1998, it is clear acrylic sheeting, and cut it to overfit the hole. I slid it up under the tar/sand shingles, and over the top of the old roofing at the bottom. I went to squeeze some caulk along the edges, and the tube exploded out the back end, so I troweled it into place then sprayfoamed the gap at R between the 2×4 trestle and the acrylic. The water is running over the acrylic panel nicely, but I still don’t know where the leak is, this is just where it breaks through. Fixing a leaking roof from inside the house isn’t really a thing anyway.
Our 6 inches of snow is nearly melted away, and a big rainstorm is forecast for tomorrow- so we’ll see whether my roof fix continues to hold up so things can dry out.

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