Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Working Under a Tarp

For the past year and a half I have been protected by tarps. The manufactured home I live in is on its third set of tarps. My new home is under two, new, blue tarps. And I have tarps over a number of piles of lumber here and there.

Tarps as an economy roof of sorts are a fixture of existence in the country. It is important to distinguish between temporary uses like the one on my new house, from long term use as a substitute for a new roof like the one at my current shack. Of course, sinking a few hundred dollars a year into tarps (and blue ones only last a year here) is a pretty cost effective compared to putting out $5,000 or more for a good roof.

By far the most oft tarped structure is a trailer or manufactured home.
I've often wondered why the tarp companies don't make the tarps in roof patterns. I imagine a tautly drawn tarp roof with the patter of shingles or adobe clay tiles would look almost indestiguishable from the real thing. Especially at high speed in a car, and only glimpsing it through the untended yard.

Really it should be agains the law to sell a manufactured house without eaves for use in Oregon. Like my current home, the water runs down the outside walls and destroys the flooring and structure of the dwelling. Smart people put a second roof over the first right away or else maintain them impeccably.

The tarp on my new house admitted 3 gallons of water last week, but the crew refitted it and there was barely a drop in there after the storms of the last few days. The iffy weather has not admitted to any roof time, and it's about to get worse with the possibility of snow next week.

I've learned (I think) that if one is going to put tarps on for longterm use, the best strategy is to put two on at once, one atop the other. In this way, when the first tarp gets destroyed by sun and wind, it will still be able to act as a shield for the good tarp underneath. Once a tarps weave opens up, you might as well be using cheese cloth. The ones billed as heavy duty (often brown on one side, silver on the other) do last longer. I have 3 that are on their second year. I've also put the brown side facing up on my roof in a desperate attempt to achieve some level of solar heating this winter.

Meanwhile I'm working on the interior, roughing in the plumbing and framing the rooms. If we get a break in the weather, I think it will take a few days to put the next layer of plywood on the roof. After that it will take several days to cut the holes in for the chimney, vent and 4 skylights. Finally there would be putting the roof itself on.

After that, the doors and windows would need to be installed before I'm ready for winter. I figure that should be no later than Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Useful blog about tarps.
    Lumber tarps are usually made of mesh or polyethylene. These two materials are as durable as canvas but not as heavy. The weight is an important aspect to consider when choosing a lumber tarp, as the tarp must be applied and tied down manually.