The Victorian House

The Roof Over Our Heads

We tore the roof off of 2017! No, I mean that literally.

It starts with an uncertain question. “Is that water damage?” Followed a week or so later with “is it getting worse!?”

Plaster Ceiling with Water Damage

Our closet with the curved wall was the recipient of water damage from a leaky roof. As a whole, the roof is still in good shape and has many years of life left in it. Welcome news! The turret though had been done in a ‘hip and ridge’ technique, which is prone to leaking. Our roofer removed the problem area, made repairs and added ice and water shield, and then seamlessly patched in the new portion with matching shingles. It’s not the most exciting before and after, but it’s an important change to have made.

One cool thing from the repair: I had wondered if our roofline had been altered over the years, or if the turret was always supposed to slope up to a top point. Turns out it was always like that! Those are some very old pieces of wood under the roof shingles. So cool.

Patching the Roof on a Leaky Victorian Turret

Patching the Roof on a Leaky Victorian Turret

We hired Kelsey and Sons. They fixed the roof at our old house too, and we have friends and family that have used them over the years so if you’re looking for a roofer, there’s my recommendation.

Hip and Ridge Roof Replaced and Patched in on Victorian Turret

We also had a squirrel problem! Not related to the leak.

At the back of the house, the huge elm tree growing from the base of the neighbor’s garage had become a wildlife bridge to our attic crawl space. Our chimney has copper flashing around it near the base that the previous owners added to keep squirrels from climbing to the top (can’t scurry up a slick surface), and we know they kept up on trimming that tree for the same reason. We’ve lived here since 2013, so it was definitely our turn to schedule some tree maintenance. We’re worried that the branches closest to the house were not cut far enough back though. Pruning the tree was not inexpensive and we were hoping that it wouldn’t need to be done again for several years.

Tree Trimming

Eleanor was taming horses in Minecraft a while back and as she asked me what she should name one, I heard noises. “Dammit, squirrels!” I shouted, which is also now the name of her horse. I like it. Sounds like an old-timey Thoroughbred.

I thought I heard chewing and scurrying sounds again while I was working on the linen closet and was mad about the squirrels still being there, until I realized I was hearing our guinea pigs cavort around their cage. Hopefully the squirrels have been evicted.

Hello, Tree Trimmer!

And here’s hoping the roof was the sole source of the water damage in the closet. (It’s gotta be. Right!?) I’ll have to repair the plaster once I’m sure it isn’t getting worse. There are several spots that need fixing — the one in the top photo is the worst, but there are a few other cracks and areas with bubbling paint.

Dammit, house!

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  • T
    January 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    We had the same problem with squirrels accessing our attic by swinging from the trees to the roof. These Oak Park squirrels are something else

  • Mary
    January 19, 2018 at 5:24 am

    I, too, have been taming horses in Minecraft lately. I believe “Dammit, Squirrels” will be making an appearance in my stable soon (alongside Dumb White Horse)

  • Alicia
    January 19, 2018 at 8:29 am

    I love seeing posts like this. The not-so-glamorous projects are the ones that we all have to deal with whether we want to or not :-)

  • Vanessa Bailey
    January 19, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Yes and I need a $2,000 garage door pretty soon. Dammit house!

  • infinitequery
    January 19, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Oh Boy! We are in Virginia with Polar Bear weather and a pipe in the attic burst on my tempur-pedic king sized bed and turned it into a giant water soaking super sponge,that and the 3 year old acacia hardwood floors looking like weirdly warped ski runs-the wall to wall wet insulation and insurance adjusters-variouuuuuus contractors for sheetrock, drying ,mold? I got mold already? I’m 77 with my 81 year old Husband no longer walking-incontinent and Alzheimers and they want to move out furniture and the two of us. I know it will all get back to normal eventually but very scary at the moment. Oh very cold due to huge hole in attic and the Christmas tree -still up-is the only thing cheering me up. May leave it up forever. Happy 2018 everybody and beware of frozen pipes. Nightmare x 2…….