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Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration (Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration)
Senior Member
Username: Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration

Post Number: 74
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Sunday, May 31, 2009 - 06:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm going to respectfully dissent from Old School's opinion that you should work on your roof. Looks to me like a terrific Monson (ME) slate but, as we see all too often, the flashings are shot. Before you even get started you're going to need a hook ladder or two, some staging, the proper tools and the "intestinal fortitude" to go up on a slippery stone slope and do some serious work. The mastic coating on the chimney and visible valley speak to the seller's thriftiness, a lack of competent slaters in your area, or some combination thereof. Also consider the fact that many conventional roofers don't do this type of work. I promise you it's not always as simple as "They're a bunch of buffoons." This isn't rocket science, but it is a dynamic operation. A lotta moving parts, as they say. And when you miss or accidentally fudge one (like the step flashing around the chimney, for example) you're in deep trouble. You mention a goal, I think, of doing a "decent" job. This really a Pass or Fail type of thing--done right or not. We're not nailing up a piece of the soffitt that fell down or fixin' the porch railing where "good enough" is good enough.

I take all this back--of course--if you've got some background or experience that you didn't mention. And I'm not puffing up my chest and claiming that what I do is brain surgery, but there's a reason 'This Old House' doesn't have episodes or articles encouraging homeowners to replace flashing details on their slate roofs.
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 136
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Thursday, May 07, 2009 - 06:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A mitred ridge is a bit harder to install and it is a good sign. Not everyone can do it well.

It is not the chimney that we were looking at, but the roofing cement sprread al around the base. "Flashing" does not come in a can. You will really enjoy Joe's book on slating. He is very pasionate about it and it shows. Everything we are saying is very well documented and explained in the book and I know you will be able to do it well. Just don't be shy and ask us questions.
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Walter_musson (Walter_musson)
Senior Member
Username: Walter_musson

Post Number: 154
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 07, 2009 - 05:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's extremely rare to find a chimney flashing thats in that poor a condition.
I'd reflash that and redo the tarred valley as the first order of business once you are closed on the house.
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Jonma (Jonma)
New member
Username: Jonma

Post Number: 6
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Thursday, May 07, 2009 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks very much for the input Walter and Old_School!

What makes the chimney stick out so much to you guys? The home inspector actually said the chimney looked great! haha

Also, what do you make of the mitered ridges? Is that a good sign? Bad? How well do they hold up vs. metal ridgecaps?

And my copy of The Slate Roofer's Bible is on its way... I'm pretty excited to read it, all the reviews have been fantastic!
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 134
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - 06:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The reason there is no ridge cap on the one hip is that there never was one. I looks like they added the metal ridge after the fact. those ridges were mitred into place as they put on the original slate. I can see some of the tar in the valley on the front picture.

I you have enough confidence to ask us for help, I would almost bet you could read the slate bible and do it yourself. If no one is around to help you, jump in and when you get stuck, ask us and we will be happy to advise you.

What Walter said about the chimney!
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Walter_musson (Walter_musson)
Senior Member
Username: Walter_musson

Post Number: 153
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That chimney needs to be completely reflashed too.
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Jonma (Jonma)
New member
Username: Jonma

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - 01:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi!

I'm a first-time home buyer and the house I'm currently closing on has a slate roof. The roof is missing several slates and seems to have been repaired in a few locations with lots of tar.

My budget isn't all that large, so I was hoping someone could recommend an experienced slate roofer in my area (Holyoke, MA) who might be available for some consulting type of work. I'd be doing the repairs myself, as I don't think I'd be able to afford to hire someone to do it all for me.

I realize that properly roofing with slate requires highly skilled and experienced roofers, but I'm hoping to at least do a decent-enough job myself to protect the roof until I can hire a professional down the road. The roof is gorgeous, and I would really hate to see it deteriorate any further.

Thanks!!

-Jon

PS: Attached are some pictures that the house inspector took and included in his report. I don't have a picture of the heavily tarred valley which is on the back of the house, but I can take one if anyone would like!

roof detailfront of house

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