42. One step ahead

The roof is going to be a thing of beauty

4th September 2014

It's my birthday, so I  get to be the cover boy for this blog!

I spent today literally one step ahead of roofers Steve and Ashton. There's a lot of carpentry to do ahead of the roofing membrane. Usually a roofing membrane is laid straight on top of the insulation (in a 'warm deck' roof construction) but we are adding an extra layer of board on top of the insulation to be sure that the solar panels will stay in place. So I have been busy this week laying this tongue and groove board, with Ashton priming behind me and Steve laying and jointing the membrane behind him.

Traditionally, roofs rely on the simple principle that water flows downhill. One thing laps over the next thing (such as another slate) so that all the rain hitting the roof is directed the right way and eventually discharges into a gutter. A membrane roof is a bit different. Here the emphasis is on creating one big continuous surface which gathers the rain and sends it where it needs to go. This necessarily requires the  membrane-maker to do a good job. Happily I am pretty confident that Steve is doing exactly this.It's quite a meticulous task: cutting and fitting and welding all the pieces together. But Steve and Ashton seem to be enjoying a tricky job that requires a bit of care. It beats laying out big flat commercial roofs.

I didn't expect roofing to be one of the crafts in our Arts and Crafts project but I think it is: it's like making an enormous synthetic quilt. I particularly like the way the rather rough lines of the OSB timber board that I have used to finish the parapets all become softened by the roofing membrane into a continuous, sinuous, mellifluous finish.

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