Friday, March 05, 2010

Holey Rooftops, Batman!

We didn't hear it happen, but sometime during the night of the storm (last Saturday night) the wind began to switch, the house to pitch. And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch. Just then, the witch, to satisfy an itch, blew ten tiles off our roof. What a mean old bitch!

The gash in the roof was up near the ridge.

Most of the tiles just slid down the roof and some got stopped by the gutter. Three made it down to the ground, but only one of those actually broke. Fortunately it wasn't raining at the time. There were some rain bands ahead of the storm, but once the wind picked up there was no more rain for about twenty-four hours. Ken and I tried to think about what we would do with a gash in the roof on a Sunday, and we dug out the insurance papers.

You can see some of the tiles lying on the roof and in the gutter.

Ken called a guy that's worked on our roof before; he also sweeps the wood stove chimney every year. He actually showed up on Sunday evening and climbed up and put all the tiles back in place. He added one from the back of his truck to replace the broken one. It took about twenty minutes and he was done. He asked us for thirty euros; we gave him forty and lots of thanks. We don't need to bother with insurance since our deductible is nearly ten times that amount.

Three tiles hit the ground, one broke.

Many of the tile roofs on French houses are made by hanging tiles on runners or battens that are attached to the rafters. There's no plywood sheathing or felt/membrane. So when the tiles go, the interior of the building is completely exposed to the elements. These tile roofs are very sturdy, but when they do fail, repairing them is pretty easy, unless there is also structural damage. We were lucky in that regard.


  1. What a nice man to come and fix your roof so promptly.

    Luckily the only thing we lost in LGP was our gates at the end of the passage which just blew off. Our friends nearby are going to fix it for us but they lost the roof off their barn and hangar.

  2. An "itch" song for you Walt.

    When I look out my window,
    What do you think I see ?
    And when I look in my window,
    So many different people to be
    It's strange, sure it's strange.
    You've got to pick up every stitch,
    You've got to pick up every stitch,
    The rabbits running in the ditch,
    Oh no, must be the season of the witch,
    Must be the season of the witch, yeah,
    Must be the season of the witch.
    When I look, when I look
    Yeah, I know. I'm also a Donovan tragic too. Guess who????

  3. I've never seen that type of roof. I mean with no plywood base underneath. But the tiles are a nice look for the house.

  4. Well, congrats on all of the big things: no polyps, procedure over, Ken's birthday, inexpensive roof fix, minimal freezer food loss, and Monsieur 100 kW generator in place :)) It's good to have you two back with us.

    The tiling of the roof is very interesting. I had no idea that there would be nothing at all underneath.

    By the way, my French 5 class had a great time reading your bathing instructions card :))


  5. T%hat's quite a hole Ms Xynthia left. I was kind of surprised to see there's nothing under the tiles, or at least, so it appears in the picture. Speaking of which, if you look closely at the bottom left hole, there appears to be a face looking back at you.

  6. Walt

    Tonight I was watching Thalassa from FR3 via TV5. The people from ile d'Oleron were badly hit by the rise of the sea level on Sunday. Wonder what will happen to the oysters business (one lady said that she has had enough and won't continue)

  7. jean, we were very happy when he showed up. Glad you had nothing serious down there.

    leon, I'll call you Mellow Yellow.

    wayne, yeah, roofs aren't done that way in the states, that's for sure.

    starman, good eye!

    beaver, we watched that last night, too. But I was disappointed that they spent so much time on New Orleans and the Netherlands instead of concentrating on France.

  8. Yikes! I hadn't even thought about your area somehow. Our youngest daughter was stranded in Paris for lack of trains home and got home 40 hours late. Aveyron wasn't really damaged, but we felt the wind and lost power for a few hours. Nothing compared to you! Hope everything is getting back to normal.


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