I, up-follower

Two thousand square feet of shingles, fiberglass plus asphalt, applied in the summer sun, using some sort of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Tar! sealant. The olfactory result?

“That’s odd,” said the guy supervising the job. “Usually it’s just the women who smell it.”

I am sufficiently anal (“That’s a polite word for what you are” — Annie Hall) to look (or sniff) for things that aren’t a hundred percent. For instance, while fitting a new flue head, they knocked loose the draft diverter on the water heater. (And they’d never have known this from up top, believe me.) About a forty-five-second fix, but were I not, um, sufficiently anal, I’d not have noticed this, and eventually the gas would blow out a wall or three.

I also ran the attic fan for half an hour, not really expecting to dispel the faint odor of whatever it is, but mostly to see if anything had fallen into the blades. It was scarifyingly rattle-y for the first six minutes or so, after which a single tink, and the sound changed back to the usual low roar. Bits of debris from the new upper decking, plus one actual nail, which landed in the hall.

The guys did run the magnet over the yard in an effort to retrieve nails; I didn’t find any while mowing the front yard yesterday, and by “didn’t find any” I mean “well, there was this one complete coil that wound up under a shrub.”

There are things to do yet: replacing the little spinning-ball ventilator, and redoing the gutters. Most of the really nasty stuff, though, is over and done with. I think. Keep in mind that what I know about roofing is right up there with Al Gore knows about setting an example.


  1. fillyjonk »

    5 June 2010 · 6:29 pm

    Oh, tar and tar-like substances. The smell of those is about the fastest way to put me within a few seconds of hurling.

    I thought everyone was bothered by those but I guess the roofer’s comment confirms that they are not.

  2. CGHill »

    5 June 2010 · 6:56 pm

    Well, I lured the guy into the house today, and he got a whiff of a mixture of “tar” and sawdust.

    The turbine was replaced today, though the traditional chef’s-hat shape was abandoned in favor of a flatter model that might perhaps be harder to bang to death in a hailstorm (or, more likely, which cost $5 less, but at this point, $5 is fairly meaningless).

  3. Kim »

    5 June 2010 · 8:29 pm

    My husband accuses me of being able to smell a fart in Conroe (a small town to our north.) It has proven me correct on many an occasion when something’s burning or gaseous smells abound or whatever.
    Fie on those who ignore the nose!

  4. sheri »

    6 June 2010 · 11:31 am

    Every now and then I still find a roofing nail out there. The job was finished back in OUGHT-FOUR. Oh yeah, that magnet thing really works.

  5. CGHill »

    6 June 2010 · 11:43 am

    Well, I figured that if there were any major deposits of nails out there, cranking the lawn mower’s cut height down a smidgen would find them and probably hurl them in the general direction of me. I didn’t find any.

    I did find one in the hallway; evidently it had lodged in the housing of the attic fan, and eventually dropped on through.

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