Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fixed the porch

My friend and I who have built homes together in the 1980s and before, went out to a remote location where a friend lives in the forest at about 4000 feet elevation on the side of Mt. Shasta. I used to own 2 1/2 acres there in the 1980s and we used to get up to 7 feet of snow at one time on our A-Frame I built then starting in 1980.

This time we were repairing a porch that collapsed when the dog jumped on and was just too much weight for the nails in the wood to hold as the wood I guess had rotted after being under snow for 8 or 9 years through the winter here.

So, we brought cement lag screws and sheaths that would expand into the cement drilled holes we drilled with a cement drill. We used Redwood up against the house and cement block because Termites don't eat redwood (but eventually it can rot with enough wetness in one place).

So, though it too several hours to finish we had fixed it so it would last 20 to 30 years (if the wood in all places could last that long). So, realistically some of the porch tops and step tops will have to be replaced within 10 years but the job we did might last 20 or 30 given the right weather events without 7 to 10 or more feet of snow for 4 to 6 months. (One never knows in this kind of area especially after what happened in the 1970s and 1980s.)

For example, in the winter of 1992 there was 12 feet of snow in the little city of mt. Shasta for several weeks to a month before warmer weather arrived to start it to melt. IF you have ever been in 12 feet of snow it is pretty bad in a town because you have to get the snow off the roof so your roofs won't collapse and you have to throw it up often several feet unless you live in a 2 story house. Either way if you slide off the roof while doing all this you can easily smother to death in the snow too. So, this much snow in a city is very dangerous for the people who clean snow off roofs and elder folks who cannot afford to pay someone often have a fatal experience of one kind or another when this happens.

So, if you go up on your roof in this much snow (anything over 5 to 10 feet deep on the ground) be sure to take your cell phone so you can call if you fall off or get injured in the snow so someone can dig you out before you smother to death.

Some people swear by snow shoes in case they fall off their roofs while doing this. However, store bought snow shoes now all have spikes coming out where the ball of both feet are. So, if you are going to do this maybe take old plastic trash can lids (if they are strong enough) if you are going to do something like this. However, even something like that might not work and might cause you to fall off the roof. I'm thinking tying a rope to a tree or a car or truck bumper and roping up so you absolutely cannot fall off the roof without a rope to pull yourself up  might be the best solution to this problem. However, then you need to know about ropes and how to tie off to your waist above your center of gravity or something and all that. Anyway, just be careful whatever you do when this much snow comes down where you are.

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