This summer we are working almost exclusively on the renovation of our roof. That is, if the weather permits, because it has been a wet summer with many rainy days. On those days we covered the roof with plastic sheeting and went out to get more materials. This kept us busy, although it was slow going.

In half a day, you only fix a few beams, take away some old tiles, clean the area underneath and remove a lot of old rusty nails:

Time-lapse: half a day of roof renovations

One neighbour, who took the first picture of us on the roof, asked in surprise: ‘Do you vacuum the roof?’ This is true! When we have removed the tiles and battens, we clean the beam structure. We scratch away the wood rot. And then we vacuum up all the mess with our construction hoover. Under the old roof tiles lies a pile of mouse and bird shit.
And when everything is clean, we treat the beams once to kill the woodworms.
In Portugal, they still sell products that are no longer sold in the rest of Europe and are very harmful to bees. But fortunately, I have also found the slightly less harmful product, based on Permethrin.

Beautiful mosses, a little old bottle of anti-worm medicine and a pile of mouse droppings.

We renovate the roof like the original. The only thing different is the extra layer under the tiles with a membrane and vertical battens. And we are not using cement to fix the ridge tiles. This makes the roof slightly higher. To calculate the distance of the battens was a hell of a job. Despite the tests we made, we had to do it all over again twice. This roof is very complicated, and it is difficult to make everything look exactly like the original with new materials.

A test, fixing the battens again, but now satisfied!

We bought the roof membrane in Spain after extensive research. Of course, we thought of insulating the roof, but it is easier to insulate the attic floor. And we would prefer to keep the original interior panelling of the roof. So, two good reasons not to put insulation in the roof. The membrane is suitable for the possible use of insulation at some point in the future (vapour permeable). And if a tile is to blow off the roof during a storm, it won’t leak immediately, because the membrane is water-resistant. The reflective layer makes it heat-resistant against the burning sun in summer. And now it makes our roof look like a spaceship!

Sawdust test on the secret gutter.

In the meantime, we are one step further. The lowest row of tiles is on the roof. We have installed the ‘secret gutters’ or ‘abutment soakers’ beside the dormer. And now we are working on the ‘open valleys’, between the roof of the dormer and the main roof. And then, finally, we can put those tiles on.
This too, goes step-by-step, because there are a lot of tiles that need to be cut at an angle or in half.
Fortunately, Nuno has bought a nice tile saw, which cuts the tiles very neat in size.


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