Exterior

We will detail projects that impact the exterior structure or appearance on this page.

Always something to fix…

Ker-SNAP-POPshhh…

Hmmm…that can *not* be good.

***

Sooo….a couple weeks ago I had the Left-handed Fargle-snorker up on the square to hang a new banner.

Had to take the old banner down:

The Fargle-snorker at work

The Fargle-snorker at work

And then roll out a new one:

Rolling out the new banner for The Cupola

Rolling out the new banner for The Cupola

Almost done:

The new banner almost done

The new banner almost done

It was quite windy that day so I had to be careful about letting the 10 foot long canvas banner get away. Basically, I loosely tied it on, then worked my way back to the other end tightening everything up.

As luck would have it, I was tensioning the last knot/line, but I had to stretch a bit to reach it. Overreaching when elevated is not a good idea, especially when you have the tools to avoid doing so.

So I grabbed the bucket controls and nudged myself into a better position by swinging the bottom boom “over the top” just a little more (the folding booms are an art in themselves to get yourself positioned, though once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy).

Just as I let off the lever, “Ker-SNAP-POP…”.

That was a strange noise…

Now these old trucks make a lot of strange noises, but I wasn’t even sure where this one came from. A quick check to make triple sure I hadn’t hit anything with the boom or bucket (I hadn’t, I’m pretty careful), a visual look over the truck (nope, not on fire), and I just had to shrug and get back to work.

I finished my knot and swung the boom around to begin the descent onto the truck.

When I went to swing the bottom boom back “over the top” is when I found out what the noise was. Hydraulic oil shot out the hinge between the booms, which at that moment, was pointed straight up in the air.

“Hey look! Old Faithful! Except with light oil!”

Sigh. Blew a hose. That’s going to be a pain to fix.

These cylinders are equipped with “pressure relief” type valves at each end of the cylinder. The result is that they won’t “bleed down”. You have to use hydraulic pressure on the other side to force the “down” side to vent. This does a couple things…it makes general control much smoother, and it keeps booms from falling if you blow a hose. A very good thing.

In this case, it was on the “up” side and I could force the boom down gracefully (due to the pressure relief valve), and the only oil to leak was from what should return to the tank out of the compressing cylinder.

Now I’ve got to get the hose out, and get a new one made. Probably ought to replace a couple others in there as well. I expect this one blew due to wear and sun exposure right at the bend in the boom and there are probably others that should be replaced.

It would be kind of embarrassing and inconvenient to get stuck up in a bucket with a boom I can’t move…

It’s probably a 40 foot long hose though (sigh). I’ll take pics on the operation to get that sucker out of there.

And knowing me, I’ll probably take this excuse to tune up/repair anything else I find along the way that needs it (like painting the booms…and the bed…and ??)

Anyway, got the sign hung and parked the truck, to await some time to get out the big wrenches.

At least I got the sign hung before the Fargle-snorker broke.

At least I got the sign hung before the Fargle-snorker broke.

Always something to fix.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

Rain Dance?

Sooo…I needed to fix the downspout on my building and rolled out the fargle-snorker Saturday morning.

Felt kind of silly to work on a rain downspout. I mean, is it *ever* going to rain again?

Had a short window to get it done as I wasn’t quite up to getting up before the crack of dawn, and by 11am it would be too hot to work in the direct sun.

Below, you can see the facade on the red building is shifting outward. Note the crack at the back and then near my building (blue building) it is pushing the downspout pipe away from the building:

The facade has shifted on the red building, pushing my downspout off.

The facade has shifted on the red building, pushing my downspout off.

This is the other end of the red building’s facade, where it comes close to my building. Note the outward shift pushing the downspout away.

The view of the facade shift from the other end

The view of the facade shift from the other end

A closeup showing the shift. The paint mark from when my building was painted (long ago…don’t know exactly when) shows that it has taken a while to get to this point.

A closer view

A closer view

This is looking down at the red buildings roof flashing and facade right were it connects to my building, clearly showing how much it has shifted since this roof was installed.

Where their roof flashing and facade connect, showing the shift away from my building

Where their roof flashing and facade connect, showing the shift away from my building


.

I cut a piece of flashing long enough to wrap around the pipe one and a quarter times, coiled it up, and inserted it into the downspout. I then let it uncoil inside the downspout, and pulled it up onto the drain for a firm fit.

Fixing the downspout...

Fixing the downspout…

I then zapped a couple sheet-metal screws in…

Zap a screw or two in

Zap a screw or two in

Another screw or two, holds the flashing insert into the downspout…it is not connected to the roof drain, as when or if the facade shifts or falls off the building below, it will take the pipe out but not rip my drain off the side of the building.

Connecting the pipe to the flashing...

Connecting the pipe to the flashing…

The new flashing "collar" in place.

The new flashing "collar" in place.

I then shoved $20 worth of spray foam into this crack to seal between the buildings where the flashing cannot. Didn’t get a pic with the foam yet. Next week I’ll make sure it was enough foam, then I’ll add some flashing over the foam on the roof side to keep the sun from decaying it over time.

I filled this crack with spray foam...

I filled this crack with spray foam…

We had to quit about then, as the intense sun and high temps were making everything metal way too hot to touch…the standpipe, the flashings, the truck, and tools. Just leaning on a flashing would burn me through my t-shirt. We went to 107 this day. Youch!

The reward for all that work…rain! This was the next morning. Apparently working on a downspout in the intense heat is something like a rain-dance…blessedly without me even having to get naked!

This, was the reward!

This, was the reward!

None of this is really going to help the little red building with its water problem…as its roof has a low spot right before the edge that collects water…this spot is probably 20 feet across. Pretty much any water the hits the section of roof is going inside the building through the screwholes, seams, and of course…the big nasty rust holes.

None of this helps the red building...as it has a holy roof.

None of this helps the red building…as it has a holy roof.

I would love to see this little red building saved…it’ll make a great shop of some sort…even a barbers shop or a hole-in-the wall tamale place. Perhaps an art workshop even…but it needs a new roof and the facade reinforced…and soon…

Rust holes...

Rust holes…

Lots more to do…but every bit that moves us forward helps. I really need to pull that roof drain and enlarge the hole through the wall to the roof, and probably add another drain or two. There is simply not enough drainage on that roof…

I have no leaks under light rain, but have several with very heavy rain, most likely because the rain is filling up on the roof…as it gets deeper any little imperfection becomes a leak.

Anyway…more later. Thanks to my friend Mike for the assistance and shooting some pics!

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

Fargle-snorker’s got a job…

Y’all may remember my philosophy that if ya own tall stuff ya ought to own the tools (or know somebody that does) to work on it?

The Left-handed Fargle-snorker is a result of that tendency…

Got a job for the fargle-snorker this weekend.

Got a job for the fargle-snorker this weekend.

Turns out I’ll have need of it this weekend.

Our building on the square is backed up by a smaller building. That building has shifted away and it’s facade is tilting outward a bit.

The gutter drain pipe is loose from the roof drain.

The gutter drain pipe is loose from the roof drain.

That has pushed the gutter pipe off the drain on my building and (if we EVER get any rain again) the water from that hits right in the crack from the building shifting…and that all goes inside.

This would be really annoying to get too without a bucket...

This would be really annoying to get too without a bucket…

I can’t re-attach the pipe, as it is now too short due to being pushed away by the other building’s tilting facade, but I can add a piece with flashing and sheet metal screws to bridge the gap.

I'll have to insert a piece...this is a tin pipe so I can do it with flashing and sheet metal screws

I’ll have to insert a piece…this is a tin pipe so I can do it with flashing and sheet metal screws

I’ll have the Left-handed Fargle-snorker out Saturday to do that. Maybe I’ll be able to see what’s going on with the shifting of my neighbor’s facade…basically whether this is a long term shift, or if there is something dangerous and structural going on.

The neighbor's facade is tilting outward and has pushed the pipe away.

The neighbor's facade is tilting outward and has pushed the pipe away.

The crack needs to be sealed, as any water in there MUST go into either his or my building, and if it freezes in the wall it will damage things as well.

The red building has shifted up there.

The red building has shifted up there.

I’ll get the pipe fixed this weekend, and see what the crack looks like. The crack/shift is really not my responsibility but if there’s something easy I can do to prevent damage to my building as well as his I’ll try to do it.

Close up of the shift, it's also tilting outward.

Close up of the shift, it’s also tilting outward.

Should have some interesting pictures next weekend! Of course…it’s supposed to be well over 100 still/again so I may not have much time to get it done.

When the tools are too hot to hold ya gotta give it up and work inside.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

Done enough for now…

Alternate title: “A Tale of One of Two Towers” or “How to Use a Chop-saw from a Bucket-truck…”

In last week’s exciting episode, we did a bit of work on the tower. This week we moved it even further along.

Our scaling project is nearly complete. I’ve still got a lot of trim to do, the area around the windows to work on, and primer and paint, but I’ve got enough done for the moment.

The tower was looking rather dilapidated and that was imparting an “attitude” to the entire square. I didn’t like that.

My immediate objectives were to make the place look a lot better and to stop things from falling off the building.

We have accomplished that and so much more.

Sooo…off to the pictures!

Oh…a bit of a story on this one…see, my wife is not quite ready to run the saws yet. She’s never done that sort of thing (I grew up with it), and with nice, sharp, flesh-rending equipment it is important that you do it right.

I’ll teach her…when she’s ready…but she’s not asked me to yet.

Anyway, what do you do when every shingle left to mount needs a cut and there’s nobody handy to run the saw?

Well, I set the saw up in the window so I could reach it from the bucket truck

Well, I set the saw up in the window so I could reach it from the bucket truck

This worked out well…the wife still providing the blanks and running other parts and materials for me, but I could make the cuts without exiting the bucket.

A couple hours of work or so...whilst I'm up there

A couple hours of work or so…whilst I’m up there

Occasionally coming back down to make a mess:

Occasionally coming back down to make a mess:

And the shingles are done!

And the shingles are done!

The obligatory 'this thing is really tall' shot

The obligatory ‘this thing is really tall’ shot

The 'distance' shot

The ‘distance’ shot

I was careful to catch most of the junk that came off the tower and put it in a five gallon bucket (okay, LOTS of 5-gallon buckets), but there was a LOT of material and some got away. We were left with a mess on the awning.

Stuff on the awning

Stuff on the awning

MORE stuff on the awning

MORE stuff on the awning

So…time to clean up the awning then. We don’t want this stuff blowing all over the square. There was also a bunch of broken glass, apparently from several replaced windows in the past…about 40 pounds of it, that I removed from the awning.

No help for it but a broom and a bucket...and some careful movement of the boom to avoid hitting stuff (signs, wires, lightposts, flags, small dogs)

No help for it but a broom and a bucket…and some careful movement of the boom to avoid hitting stuff (signs, wires, lightposts, flags, small dogs)

Nothing left but a bit of dust! There were 5 buckets worth (2 full of nothing but glass!)

Nothing left but a bit of dust! There were 5 buckets worth (2 full of nothing but glass!)

I still have to do trim, the shingles around the windows, and some caulking, priming, and painting, but our objectives have been reached for the moment. It looks so much better! We’ll work on the rest a bit later.

And just for a quick look-see…

From this:

Needs a bit of tinkering...

Needs a bit of tinkering…

To this:

Shingles done! Looks good, yes?

Shingles done! Looks good, yes?

Next weekend we are back at the Old Vic, scraping, priming (we hope), and preparing for guests!

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer