Tag Archives: roof

Draining the Porch Roof Again

We had the roof of the porch flood a while back and I realized then that the leaf mulch had blocked it.  When I saw it was filling up again, I knew what to do.  That is not just remove the mulch.  It is also to be ready to film it properly.  Here is the start of the draining process along with the various belching noises the downspout makes, and the water covers the opening.  It takes for ages to drain, and I couldn’t be bothered to film the whole thing.

Conference Center Cables

The roof of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh has a terrace area which is only got to see on the last day I was there.  The structure has cable bracing built in to it.  Some of this is conspicuous when you are on the roof, but it also came down into some tie off points alongside the main conference levels although outside the halls.  The convergence of the cables seemed rather interesting and, while I only had the phone with me, I figured I would try and get some images that emphasized the multiple strands and their alignment.  Stuff like this is fascinating to me – like the end of a suspension bridge.  Very cool.

Top and Bottom of the Conference Center

The conference center in Pittsburgh was my destination for a rail conference in June.  I was there for several days but it was only on the last day that I managed to get some time to head up to the roof area of the center.  It had some interesting gardens with views across the roof structure and some art installations.  It also had a great view across the river.  The top wasn’t the only interesting spot.  There was a route under the center too which I found on my first day there when I was struggling with how to actually get into the place.  It was not very intuitive which, given the nature of the place, seems rather odd.  I saw a few people riding bikes through this lower level, but I never went down there.

How Much Can Grow on a Thatched Roof?

Plenty of the houses in Longparish are thatched.  One of them has a roof line that drops very low to the ground on one side of the house with the door and windows on the other side.  That must be the side that gets more light.  The back side of the house seems to be very shaded with the result that there is a lot of growth on the roof.  It was covered in various lichens/mosses.  I wonder whether they degrade the thatch or actually provide an additional layer of insulation.

Roof Replacement – Old Style

A previous post included some shots of the village of Longparish in Hampshire and many of those houses were thatched.  As we walked through the village, we came upon a house that was in the process of having its roof replaced.  The thatcher that was working on the roof was gathering more material together while his apprentice was up on the roof itself.

He chatted to us for a while as he worked.  He talked about how long it takes to replace a roof and how everyone wants to do his job when it is a sunny day but not so much when the weather is less appealing.  The roof can have a life of about 20 years, so it seems to last as long as roofs do here in the Pacific Northwest!  The ridge section has a tougher life, and it needs replacement about every ten years.  Apparently, some customers will spread the cost by having one side of the roof done at one point and the other half in ten years time.

The new thatch is quite light colored and, as it weathers, it turns a lot darker to give the finish that is more familiar.  There are little stakes that are upset to hold the material in place.  He was preparing a few of these as we talked, and he explained just how many thousands of them were needed for a whole roof.  It is a substantial job to replace.  Given how many houses in the area are thatched, I wonder how many craftsmen can be supported.  He had come quite a distance so maybe there aren’t that many thatchers left or else he does such a good job that he is demand far and wide!

Rooftop Growth

We were taking a walk around the arboretum in Seattle.  It is owned by the University of Washington I think (if not, let me know in the comments) and it is laid out with various areas to spend time if you choose to stop walking for a while.  There is one open-sided building which could be used for a picnic of you were so inclined.  What caught my eye was just how much there was growing on the roof of the structure.  If you were looking down on it, it might be totally camouflaged!

Re-Roofing Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral was something I would easily recognize from a distance.  It has, for many years, had a copper roof and this gave it a bright green color.  It was very distinctive.  When we were in Chichester this year, we walked around the cathedral grounds and they were working to replace the roof.  Apparently, copper had been used in a previous re-roofing because it was cheaper.  However, it was not an ideal material for the roof as it was not heavy enough and had moved in the weather allowing some significant water damage to the wooden structure underneath.

This is now being repaired and the roof material replaced with the leads that had been used prior to the copper.  The project is underway in phases and has made good progress.  Some of the exposed roof sections are already done so the remaining work is under scaffolding.  However, there is still signs of the green roof.  Soon the cathedral will look something like its original configuration.  I shall miss the green but I imagine those looking after the cathedral won’t miss it so much!

Where to Park Your 747?

Evergreen Aerospace Museum has a couple of 747s as part of the campus.  They are retired freighters from the now-defunct company that provided a lot of the backing for the museum when it was established.  One of the 747s is sitting out in front of the main museum building.  The other one is slightly more dramatic.  It is parked on top of a water park that is next to the museum.  The waterslides come from within the fuselage.  Getting the plane up there must have been quite something to watch.  Now it is an eye-catching way to let everyone know where the water park is.

Surely Not More Window Cleaning

wpid7989-C59F9748.jpgI imagine you are wondering how many posts I can get out of the theme of window cleaning.  Well, here comes another one.  I think this will be the last one though, not least given our departure from Chicago.  This time I found myself looking down as a couple of guys were heading out over the edge of the building roof to clean another line of windows.  Watching people descend the side of the building is one thing but the first step over the edge always seems more precarious.

wpid7987-C59F9745.jpgAdditionally, the guys attach their lines to something solid on the roof.  However, I was not so impressed by the choices they were making.  Hooking on to an air conditioning unit did not seem quite as solid as whatever I would choose to base my survival on.


Convertible Delivery Trucks

wpid6163-IMG_1482.jpgThe number of bridges and underpasses in the city mean there are plenty of signs showing vehicles what the height restrictions are.  As someone who drives cars that will fit anywhere, I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to these signs.  I don’t even have a honking great SUV so there is never any problem.  If I was a truck driver, I imagine I might be a bit more aware of these things.  Then again, maybe you assume the height they post on the sign has a bit of wiggle room built in.

wpid6161-IMG_1481.jpgWhatever the story, someone got it wrong the other day near us.  I was walking across the pedway to go to Michigan Avenue when I saw a guy getting a step ladder out and looking at the top of the truck – or at least what used to be the top of the truck.  Half of it was gone and a few of the cross struts for the roof could be seen hanging down inside the vehicle.  I guess they got it wrong.  Either that or the sunny weather made them turn the truck into a convertible!