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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Old Dallas Roof Story

Back in 1985 I was using a lot of college students for roofing. I ran the crew with some old timers who had worked for me several years. The foreman, Numan, was from Jordan and working on his citizenship. He learned from watching and could lift many times his size. I think he had ant blood in him.
I told the guys to tear off the multiple layers in the back and "dry in" the roof" with the felt paper and start roofing. When I got back from running a few appointments the roof was torn off but thousands of nails with pieces of roofing stubbornly clinging to the shanks we everywhere. The sun was at about 30 degrees and everyone was proud of how much they had done. I was panicking.
"Listen guys, the sun is going to start moving downward very fast and we have a lot of deck prepping to do."
Everyone saw how I was frantically chipping away at the nails and all got into the groove. But that sun was falling fast and we weren't going to make it. I had the crew get the back of the roof completely cleaned up and papered in. I drove my truck up onto a couple of bundles to elevate the headlights and we finished the front in the dark.
The homeowner/client (this house was on Harvard St, Irving, 75062) told me not to worry because there was no chance of rain. Ha! That's when it rains the worst.
for two weeks the weathermen of Dallas had predicted rain everyday and now these devilish oracles of venom were telling me to drop my drawers.
Off to the casa we all went more tired that Cooter Brown, who ever that was and even Mr. Spell Check doesn't know, and into a deep tired sleep.
Kaboom! Crash, swoosh, howling wind, the thrash of rain against the window, the devils howling from gusts of wind, shaking trees...crap (I was younger and profane when excited back then)...And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air! I called Numan and his wife said he was gone to the job.
He looked like a gargoyle up there with lightening flashing all around. Just a few seconds out of the truck and my clothes were at maximum saturation. We would have made the news.
When it slowed down to a hard rain I saw that Numan was prostrate, holding down loose felt on the ridge. He had let me down and was determined not to let the water go down into the house too.
The chirping of birds filled the freshly scrubbed air with the sounds of a brave new world. We were alive to survive another day. Yeah team...and our flag was still there..O'er the land of the free and the home of the lucky. (we had no insurance back then)
We pulled off the felt and put down new because that's what you are supposed to do. Just because you don't understand you do not a license to break the rules and commit roofacide. The moisture is in your ears too if you put seal that water in the felt between the deck and the shingles. Worse if you don't know how to roof and use 30 lb. to compensate.
One of those college kids, who looked like Christopher Reeve and now is a doctor, called me and asked if we predicted the future. I told him "no, but if you ever need a good rain dancer, we were his team."
Today, in modern times, we live by a few simple rules. Use the Internet because you can to see where the rain is hiding. Also, no tearing off is permitted after noon in the summer because the rain can fall from a blue sky. The clouds form later. Then the attorneys group in to gaggles and start weird mating dances. This is bad, real bad.
Best to be prudent, never get in a hurry, and hurry. Don't rush the job, the delivery, the crew, but once you pull that first shingle off, get it. Git'r dun.
Jon Wright Dallas Roofing

More Dallas Roof stories later.

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