Saturday, September 30, 2023

Fixin' The Deck Part 3

It's the Thursday before Labor Day. The work I did in the morning session was noted here, but now it's dusk and I can I set up the laser level on the roof. The green laser is very difficult to see in bright sunlight.

The shape of the deck is such that there is no location where the laser level can hit every bit of the perimeter. To cope with this, I put a small piece of blue tape on the corner of the wall and made a line where the laser hits the tape. This is defined as "zero level".

I can then move the laser level to a different position on the roof and bring it up or down as needed to establish the same zero level. 

I made an improvised measuring stick from a piece of 1"x3". I established "zero level" at the stick in the same place as the level. I didn't bother figuring out what "zero level" actually is since it is arbitrary. I marked graduations of 1/4 inch above and below zero, 

With this tool, I can take a measurement relative to zero height anywhere on the roof. I used this data to plot the height of the roof at a range of points across the deck. And the results show that the roof does not slope in any direction consistently...grrr....

Several weeks have passed since the above measurements were taken, and I am not really any closer to an action plan. However, it is clear that I will have to remove at least some of the roof covering and address the soft spots in the surface. To do this I need to get rid of the perimeter railing. The first step is to remove the top caps from each post and drop the trim pieces at the bottom. Each section of the railings can then be removed. 

And, after much labor, transferred to the back yard for storage:

This leaves just the sleeves and bottom caps to remove:

I discovered the posts are attached to the deck with brackets, rather than lapped into the supporting structure. No wonder most of them wobble more than a trio of weebles on the waltzers!

I started lifting the roofing material outside the double doors. This area is sheltered from the elements, so it seemed like a good spot to start. 

I had to cut the roofing material at the junction with the stucco, but otherwise it was just like rolling back a carpet because the material has not been installed correctly. The idea with this material is that the tar at the underside is melted with a propane torch at install; this sticks the material to the plywood or OSB sheathing. (Note: this type of roofing is known as "torch down" or "rolled roof". An experienced installer can heat the rolled material with a torch and unwind the roll in a continuous movement). In this instance, the material has just been rolled out on top of a layer of tar paper; seams in the roofing material have been overlapped and sealed with a torch, so it should be waterproof, and probably would be fine if there was any kind of consistent slope.

Peeling back the first little bit of tar paper revealed my some very stained plywood. Since this is the one area of the deck which is actually covered with a roof, it was not encouraging. It seems pretty clear that I will have to lift or roll back every bit if the roof covering and examine the plywood, and then figure out how much of it needs to be replaced. 

Before I could lift much more of the roof covering I needed to get the deck boards out of the way. So I had to put the project on hold until a suitable labor force was in town. A couple of weeks later it was game on. It took Any Sheep and Quinn Sheep up on the deck, me down on the back patio, and several tea breaks, to relocate the deck boards to the back yard.

After that, I spent longer than I care to remember removing all the fasteners from the supporting timbers...

And put that into a neat pile:

Now I have a blank canvas:

To be continued.....

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