I Have No Clue How To Title This One

Greetings fellow subjects. It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? I’d have a lot more to say if I let myself descend into US politics and jurisprudence, or as everyone else knows it: madness. But I won’t do that. I want to, but I won’t.

On Wednesday evening Anne and I looked at each other and remarked that the week was flying by with no explanation. She’s been working and I spent a lot of time on the community association website. Not much to show for all that.

That changed on Thursday which was warm and dry, so I was back on the roof. We’re about to get a short hot spell, so it was time to put the shade cloth back over the skylights. I got up on the roof with the various bits needed and immediately discovered another pond.

Some time back I put up a downspout protector that looks like this:

Well, there are two downspouts carrying water off the upper roof, and the other one had backed up. Not too badly — I see no sign of water in the house — but definitely still a problem.

I found that the insert I had put into that downspout had clogged, probably with cottonwood fluff blown in from all over the neighbourhood. Pulling that insert out let the roof drain, and made it incredibly obvious that I needed the second downspout protector, which would let me remove the offending insert.

First though, I put the shade cloth up to keep us cooler and get it out of the way:

There are six skylights, all now covered.

Then I took some measurements and got to work making the second downspout filter box thing:

As you can see, this one is a bit more complicated because it sits in the corner. The roofing material is rounded as it comes down off the parapet walls, so the bit in the back corner is difficult to support. I wound up creating a foot inside the mesh box to keep everything properly positioned. It took multiple hours to build and install it.

Once that was done, I had a look at the scuppers. There were two problems with them:

  • They were open to the sky, so debris from trees could fall into them and clog them up despite the covers on the roof side.
  • If they do clog, the water backs up so high that it can get into the house, at least on the side over my studio.

Here’s a scupper:

The water comes through the parapet from the other side (where the wire mesh boxes are located) and into the copper box. There’s a hole in the bottom and a short tube that the downspout slips over, and through which the water gets carried away.

I’ve cut the front face and rolled the metal down, so now the water can only get to about half the depth of the scupper before it overflows out and onto the lower roof below.

Then I added wire mesh inserts that I custom fit to keep debris out:

One refinement I might still make is to remove the mesh in the front to let water flow out more easily in the event of a clog. I’ve not yet decided about that. Clogs should be rare, but nothing is certain where a flat roof is concerned.

Also note that one of the scuppers is painted and the other is not. No idea why that is the case, but these are the things you discover on a house this old.

I spent a lot of hours on my feet, on ladders, and climbing around on the roof doing all that work. Today I am stiff and sore, which tells me it has been quite some time since I last did that kind of thing. Apparently more exercise is needed. Sigh.

No news on the window front, but that is not unexpected. I will ping the contractor and check in, but that job will start whenever they are ready to make it happen. We must be patient.

And that’s it. Everything else was boring, or political, or otherwise not worth sharing.

I wish you all the best. Keep safe, keep sane, and make sure your passport is in order.



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Jeff Powell

Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.