Posted by: thediygeochemist | April 17, 2010

looking back #6: DIY

I am an ardent do-it-yourselfer. I’ve done lots of little projects, a fair number of medium-sized projects, and two rather daunting ones: reroofing my house and redoing the main sewer line between the house and the street. The following post shows life during the former project.

* * *

June 4, 2007

Forget bodice rippers…around here, we have something even more shocking: a jeans ripper.

Yeah, you read that right. The culprit is also known as my roof. Today I shredded (beyond repair–I’d patched quite a bit before) my second set of jeans since starting this project. Now, these aren’t brand new jeans, but they were more or less intact when I started using them!

People say you need knee pads when roofing. Maybe I will, once I start actually nailing in shingles. For now, during tear-off, what I really need is, well, a butt pad. I have foam gardening pads, but they don’t slide around the roof like I need them to. It would be really nice to have one of those sit & slide gardening things except…yeah. Not a good idea on a slope of 40 degrees.

The most disgusting part of roofing happens when you’re down to the tar paper (or, alternatively, installing new tar paper). That stuff is black. It makes your rear totally black. It goes completely through your jeans and makes your underwear gray. Yecch.

When I was in Lowe’s a couple of days ago, the checker looked at the contents of my cart. “Doing roofing? By yourself?” I nodded in the affirmative. “Let me see your hands,” she said. I held them out, and she looked at the stubby fingernails with roof tar embedded underneath. “Yep. Those are working hands, all right. My kinda gal.” You know, I’d never thought of it before. I guess I’ll start wearing my black fingernails like a badge of honor. (Note that I wear gloves while working. But–you guessed it–the asphalt stuff soaks through the leather.)


  1. That’s super impressive! Wow.

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