Friday 14 September 2012

Rotten Roof Repairs

A bee's nest behind a bit of rotten fascia board is what started a larger-than-we-thought-job this week. The painters had been prepping some of fascia when they noticed how rotten a section of it was under a chimney. I went up, stripped off some of the slates and investigated.

Rotten fascia was hiding some deeper problems
The fascia and soffit were both weak with wet rot but as I took back the slates I could see that the wall plate and bottom end of the rafters were rotten as well. 
Not trying to sell a tool but the Fein Multimaster is amazing for this type of work
So I then started quite a major repair for this little bit of the roof. Firstly I removed all the rotten wood, cutting sections out. When I cut the fascia out I used the Fein Multimaster to cut it on a 45 degree angle so I could easily fix a new piece back in, This tool is incredible for doing this, it would be a lot harder by hand and cause more disruption to the roof.
some rooten timber around this chimney
I started by adding in a section of wall plate. I used oak as that is what the original was, I used a good sized half lap joint to make sure the two pieces were fixed together and bedded it on a layer of mortar. I then cut a rafter end with birds mouth and added it into the roof. I made sure it was long enough to sit on the first purlin up in the roof so it would be structural rather and fixed to another rafter and also to carry the soffit and fascia when I add that later. I decided to double this rafter up around the chimney as it will make the lead work easier at a later date.
New rafter added and a new section of wall plate half lapped in place
With all the structural work done I cut a new bit of soffit and fascia to fit. When adding wood like this it's essential that they are added at an angle so if/when  the wood shrinks it doesn't leave a big gap. I replaced more fascia that I had originally though as it was rotten quite far up. I then treated all the wood before I covered it back over.
The finished repair, ready for a bit of paint
Quite pleased with the repair but it took a lot of time and it's never fun playing with rotten timber!


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