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post #1 of 14 Old 10-10-2019, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

I didn't know where to put this thread; whether humour or safety forum, so I decided on My Place.

I took some time off work to replace the shingles on my roof. This is the third time changing shingles and I don't know why, but the shingles seem heavier and the roof seems to be higher. My house is a side split, and the lowest part of the highest section is 19 treads (19ft?) on the ladder. The peak is another 4 ft above that. After removing the shingles I realized to my dismay that I had to replace the decking. I bought a polyethylene tarp to cover at night. I weighted it down with bundles of shingles. Now I've got the decking done but, I've gotten behind and I'm running out of time-off.

So today, I thought I would make an early start. My wife left for work (roofing's not her thing), and I trudged up the ladder. I went up and over the peak and noticed that we had had frost over night. As soon as I lifted my second foot to clear the shingle bundle, I took-off down the polyethylene, like standing on a Crazy Carpet on an ice hill. I picked up speed as I approached the edge of the roof, I had to jump the bundles weighing down the bottom of the tarp. Luckily, it was only a 2-1/2 ft drop to the next section of roof; also it had shingles and not tarp, but it had all my tools from removing the shingles like a shovel, garden fork, air line, and the old ridge vent, AND I was going 20mph. I had to hop, skip and jump my way through that at top speed to keep balance, and then I had to apply full brakes before I ran out of roof again. For a split second, I was looking at which tree branch to aim for to break my fall, but I stopped just in time.

I took a break until it warmed up. I got that section of roof done just as the sun went down. When I came in and told my wife what happened she laughed her head off, so maybe this thread should be in humour.

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post #2 of 14 Old 10-10-2019, 11:24 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

Frost, yeah, tricky little devil.

We were roofing a 4/12 ranch house, eight, maybe nine feet to the roof edge. Three of us climb up on the roof to check out conditions, sun was shining, burning off the frost really quick. Our boots were warm and cut through the frost the first trip onto the roof, we decided to go for it. We climbed down, put on our belts, grabbed nail guns, hoses., etc. Climbed back up, I was third one up, took three steps and, you guessed it, off the roof I go. Knocked the extension ladder down and caught my legs on the dump truck on the way down pitching me horizontal onto the concrete drive. Landing on my side with the breath knocked out of me and not in the best of shape, my coworkers on the roof with no ladder to climb down. I hear the garage door opener start lifting the the door, I think you have got to be kidding me, I fall off the roof and now I'm going to get run over by a car! It turned out that the neighbor accross the street was watching us and called the home owners letting them know I had falling off the roof, Thank God.

After laying there for awhile, I got up and went home, sat in the recliner for awhile and the pain persisted and I stiffened up. I was stuck in that chair, I couldn't get up no matter how hard I tried so we called a couple guys to help me up, off to the emergency room I go, feeling every bump in the road like they were a foot deep each. Get to the hospital, run me through the MRI tube, didn't break anything but they said you are going to be sore for awhile, gave me some meds and home I went, three weeks in bed before I got back on my feet.

Everything is fine now but I did have a stretch were I'd step in a hole around a foundation or unsuspected elevation change and three days in bed.

Frost, I respect it quite a bit now.

Seeing that concrete as I was approaching it and the sound of that garage door opening, stick in my mind. I was lucky compared to many others that I know who have tumbled off a roof.

Live and learn!
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-10-2019, 11:30 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

I am glad it was funny instead of tragic, it is amazing how little ground separates the two.

I hope your guardian angle also watches over me.
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-11-2019, 07:58 AM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

Yikes. I did the Fred Flintstone with my feet one time on the roof cutting limbs with my pole saw when I stepped on the round handle hooked to the pull cord for the limb lopper part of it. Thank God I caught myself as I would have landed on the AC condenser. I cut the cord on that thing after that.

I saw one of my contractor's workers do the same on the steel roofing on my wellhouse. New slick steel roof panels with pollen on them. He luckily caught himself before going off as well.

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post #5 of 14 Old 10-11-2019, 12:00 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

I'm having part of my roof replaced as soon as the contractor calls back-(been a week now with no word,after accepting his estimate of $4K )...
It's rained and we've had high winds up to 50 mph gusts since Tuesday here,a stalled Nor'easter just south on my area has kept it drizzly & miserable with highs only in the low 50's..I imagine the roofers are now backlogged ,so I'm not going to start calling to find out when they plan to show up here till next week--they also need to pull a permit..

I hate heights ,always have,and I still don't know how I managed to build the 20 x 40 quonset hut alone in 1992,all but the first two arches that a friend helped me erect after assembling them on the ground,and hoisting them up with a 16 foot 4x4 post attached to a square tube in my trucks trailer hitch ,using a pulley on the top of the post and a hand cranked winch bolted to the pole..
Those arches are like wet noodles ,trying to hoist one up without it folding up into scrap metal was darn near impossible..after we got two full arched stood up without wrecking them,I decided to do it piece meal,one section of an arch at a time.

That required making a scaffold platform on my truck's bed,I bolted it to the bed and had to use a 10 foot ladder to get up on the platform..I made a railing,so I would feel less terrified about falling..it took me 3 weeks to erect the building,and tighten 4000+ bolts...

After I got the entire building up,I was starting to gain confidence after being up so high for that long,and I got brave,and tried walking from one end of the building to the other on the top....I made it about half way,when some morning dew on one arch made it slick enough for my boots to fly out from under me,and I began sliding off one side !.

I was horrified,couldn't even scream,and I knew I was likely to be in for a hard landing at the least--if not end up with busted legs ,arms or ribs (or all 3),and I also knew all those bolt heads would rip my skin off on the way down--so I tried to roll ,into the deeper part of the arches where much less bolts were,and I slid down on my butt like a kid on a playground slide,feet first..the arches are stamped with horizontal corrugations that felt like a wash board on my way down,and when I hit the "seam" where two panels bolted together--the bolt heads tore my pants almost completely off!...however,that also almost stopped my slide,so when I hit the ground feet first,I was able to absorb the impact with my knees & legs..

Then I toppled over face first,and my pants were around my ankles--and I was bleeding from my butt area pretty badly--luckily I was able to get back up,put what was left of my pants back up,and made it to the house...

My mother was horrified when I came in the house all tore up and bleeding..had to take a shower,and tend to all the wounds,I had a stripe down my back side from one of the bolts where it stripped all the skin off--it hurt very badly,and I had to put peroxide on it daily..took me about a week before I dared to go back out and finish up the rest of the work on the building..

I refuse to get on a ladder now,I'm just not stable enough even on level ground,I get dizzy easy and as far as getting up on a roof,I can climb up a ladder and get off it onto the roof,but I cannot get back ON it to get back down,especially if its a ladder that barely goes over the edge of the eave,if it sticks up several feet past it I "might" be able to muster up the courage to get myself down--but I'd rather pay someone else to be up there,I'm not cut out for that job...never was,and even less so now that I'm 61..
I was about 34 when I built the quonset and was barely able to do it then!..


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post #6 of 14 Old 10-11-2019, 05:22 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

Where are the cameras when you need them so you can send video to AFV and get some reward for such antics??? Glad you are OK, could have been a lot worse!

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post #7 of 14 Old 10-11-2019, 07:26 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

Hydronerd, you must be fairly young. If that was me I would have tripped on the shingle bundles and done a header followed by a roll down to the second level and a full slide down onto all the tools. I probably wouldn’t be here now.

Glad you made it through that unrehearsed episode of American Ninja Warriors.

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-11-2019, 10:44 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

Tractorholic,

Huh, same age, I was helping our brick mason set up some scaffolding in a breezeway today, three sections, he feed me four sheets of 3/4" OSB to lay on top of scaffold planks for the painter to paint the ceiling. Set up two towers side by side over steps using outriggers, nine planks total. We'll put safety railing up Monday prior to being used.

My other guys were setting up a 28' rolling tower so the electricians can change light bulbs in a theater on campus.

A couple years ago I was addressing some exterior issues on an eight story dorm using a 125' lift, up there by myself which I preferred, on a boom that long when one guy moves the basket moves with him and if you are not expecting it, kinda sucks.

It goes with the territory of being a carpenter but I like those flat roofs a lot better than the pitched ones in residential work.

As long as we are all here to tell a story, life's good.

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post #9 of 14 Old 10-12-2019, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by APinNY View Post
Hydronerd, you must be fairly young. If that was me I would have tripped on the shingle bundles and done a header followed by a roll down to the second level and a full slide down onto all the tools. I probably wouldn’t be here now. <img src="https://www.mytractorforum.com/images/smilies/happy0193.gif" border="0" alt="" title="laugh" class="inlineimg" />

Glad you made it through that unrehearsed episode of American Ninja Warriors.
After shingling for ten hours and climbing the extension 30 times I felt pretty old!!! I was burnt out all day yesterday.

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-12-2019, 11:27 AM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

When I was sliding down the steel arches of the quonset ,I knew those sheet metal panels were like super sized razor blades,so I avoided trying to grab onto them to try and stop me from sliding--I figured I'd be less injured if I just slid down,and tried to make a landing like a kid coming off a slide,but the pants getting snagged on the bolt heads foiled that plan..on my way down I was thinking about that joke ,the definition of gross--sliding down a giant razor blade,and using your balls for brakes !..


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post #11 of 14 Old 10-12-2019, 01:07 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tractor-Holic View Post
When I was sliding down the steel arches of the quonset ,I knew those sheet metal panels were like super sized razor blades,so I avoided trying to grab onto them to try and stop me from sliding--I figured I'd be less injured if I just slid down,and tried to make a landing like a kid coming off a slide,but the pants getting snagged on the bolt heads foiled that plan..on my way down I was thinking about that joke ,the definition of gross--sliding down a giant razor blade,and using your balls for brakes !..
You indeed have lived an incredibly difficult life. I've read many of your stories; very humbling. Mice, vehicles, employment, shooting range adjacent house, etc.

Have you ever caught a break?


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post #12 of 14 Old 10-12-2019, 01:46 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

53 years ago, at age 13, helping to re roof my dad's place up north, I was using a circular saw to cut new roof boards. The round extension cord for the saw, was draped over the roof edge. Roof was a very low pitch roof. Not paying close attention I stepped on that cord, and my foot instantly rolled over the edge. Nothing will stop you in this situation. I flipped sideways, over the edge, hit the lift gate on a stake truck I had backed up to the house, flipped again over its edge and down into the concrete stair well beneath it. The trip down was about 18 feet in total, interrupted by the steel lift gate, and ending on the bottom concrete step in the basement.

Got a concussion, fractured skull, a good sized gash, and my back totally screwed up, I had several weeks of recovery. I guess both lucky and unlucky that lift gate was there to break half of the 18 foot fall to the basement stairs.

I still get on my roof, mostly to clear debris and leaves from gutters, but always, I mean ALWAYS, maintain firm foot contact with the surface. My assumption has been that if I slip, what can stop my path over the edge. And no, I do not use extension cords on the roof. If I was forced to, I'd have a safety rope and harness on me.

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post #13 of 14 Old 10-12-2019, 01:52 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

Just last week my latest roof project was a pre fab chimney sticking 12 feet above my 12/12 pitch roof. (Has to be to meet code) Let me tell you, unless you have plenty of roof jacks and planks, only a fly can reliably move around on a 12/12 pitch roof.

I opted to rent a 35 foot towable (JBL) boom lift for that work. What a great machine that was. Easy to set up, easy to use, and I got the whole thing installed and even painted in about 4 hours.

For anything other than work on the eves, that boom lift is the way to go, or hire real roofers.

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post #14 of 14 Old 10-12-2019, 03:09 PM
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Re: Funny (maybe) Roofing Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by steddy View Post
You indeed have lived an incredibly difficult life. I've read many of your stories; very humbling. Mice, vehicles, employment, shooting range adjacent house, etc.

Have you ever caught a break?
I admit it sounds pretty bad--but I have had some good things happen to me too,not recently though...it's been challenging for sure,not to go insane when one thing after another goes wrong...
My health is my biggest drawback now that I'm getting old and my body never was exactly "great" to begin with..very discouraging,when you find it either difficult or impossible to do things that you could before fairly easily..
I'd be putting a metal roof on my house if I was able to,and save myself 4 grand...but that ain't happening..


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