Getting a tarp over a roof with a 12/12 pitch

20161017_175418Monday was my last day of vacation and we needed to do a few more things to secure the roof. I was thoroughly exhausted before the day even began. When my Dad said he thought that we’d be done by noon, my mood perked up a bit.

Well, that was not even close to being accurate. The day got off to an auspicious beginning as my Dad wanted to use a ladder to climb up the roof and even the edges of the overhang. I did not think that was the best idea as we are going to rent a lift again to frame in the ends. I said we could do it then. I just always want to choose the safest route possible. He finally agreed, but I don’t think that he was very pleased.

We wanted to get two layers of ice and water shield that we bought on the bottom six feet of the roof. They were three feet wide. My Dad and a friend of his got one side done. I went to the store to get more of the ice and water shield. We then decided to start cutting these into 12’ pieces so that they would be easier to handle. Still, it was a very difficult process. One side was sticky, while the other side was like roofing shingles.

Our next task was to get two tarps over the roof. I can’t remember being more frustrated with anything recently. I feel a lot of this is my fault as I chose a house with a 12/12 pitch so you are unable to walk on it. What was I thinking?

We decided to zip tie the tarps together via the grommets. Ok, so now we have two 20X30 foot tarps that have been made into one large tarp. Again, how do we get this over the roof? Dad’s idea involved tying a crow bar to the end of a long rope and throwing it over the house. It only took about five tries, but I could not have thrown it over the house, so my Dad does get that credit. With the rope over the house, the plan was to tie the tarp to the rope and pull it over. Easier said than done. It kept getting stuck at the peak. My Dad went up the ladder a bit to try to feed it over, while I was pulling the rope on the other side. He kept yelling pull harder and I kept doing it, until I went flying through the air when the grommet pulled out of the tarp.

Shoulder injured, I laid on the ground for a while thinking what in the world have I gotten us into? Was any of this working? At this point, I was thinking no.

We were then back at square one with the tarp. It on one side and the rope on the ground. Again, the crow bar went over the roof and this time the rope was tied to the actual tarp, not the grommet. We got it pulled just past the peak and then it was stuck. Dad had already nailed one corner and we were helpless. My Dad and I were continuing to get more and more frustrated. I was exhausted and too tired to do anything. I had spent the past three days boarding the roof and at this point had no energy. It was supposed to rain and there was no way we were getting this tarp on. It was already well on the way to getting dark.

My Mom decided instead of arguing she’d go sit on a pile of wood and pray. My family has a great faith in God and that plays a large roll in our lives. She just prayed that God would either give us an idea or send someone to help us. Just then, we hear a “hello” from around the corner.

Turns out it was a friend of my Dad’s who hunts on our land and I work with. He asks “How’s it going?” We all three responded “not well.”

He asked if we had another rope as he thought if we tied a second rope to the other end, threw it over that it might work. He also held the ladder while my Dad went up and tried to feed more of it over the building.

In the span of about 45 minutes we had the tarp over the roof and it boarded down on all four sides. I wanted to cry. I just kept saying that he will never know how much his help meant to us. There is absolutely no question in my mind that if he had not stopped by, we would not have gotten the tarp over. Sometimes answers to prayers are so quick.

Today I went back to work and I don’t think that I have ever been more ready to go back after a vacation. I could honestly do a blog post about how my bruises have bruises at this point. At least now that the roof is covered, we can take a little rest and regain our energy.

It just continues to amaze me how every time we think there is no way that we can get something done, God provides and way. This entire process has been such a series of blessings, despite small frustrations.

Laura Reed

About Laura Reed

After 15 years in college athletics, the last seven as an assistant athletics director, I was burned out with 70-hour work weeks and extensive travel. I resigned my position and accepted a position in marketing at a small, vibrant college in my hometown of Unity, Maine. In the process I wanted to go back to my childhood where we raised polled Herefords, had a Christmas Tree Farm and spent many hours outside. I decided I wanted to build my own home on beautiful farmland that my family owns. With help from my Dad, the most talented person I’ve ever met, we are building my home together. I have decided to blog my experience – the ups and downs, the joys and frustrations. What was once an open field will one day be my home! The dream in my head is becoming reality. I can just see the lambs frolicking in the field, chickens in the barnyard and going running with my Alaskan Malamute!