Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cheap Tar is not Always Good Tar

So yesterday, I mentioned that I found a small leak around the chimney. It wasn't enough to get me on the roof at night during the rain, so I put if off until today.

Today, I went up to take care of business, and found a couple of potential areas which could have been letting water seep in. I don't blame the guys who did the roof for me, as they used the material I purchased for them. Part of that purchase included $.99 tubes of roof tar on sale at Menards. Although it might have been good for certain roof work, it wasn't up to the job of filling in small voids around the flashing. It was actually very thin and runny tar, although that may be because it was well over 100 degrees when it was being used. The stuff I used today to go over all the flashing was $3.49/tube from Ace, and was noticeably thicker. In fact, it looked like tar mixed with small fibers. It did a great job in filling the voids and creating a smooth surface to keep water out. At least that's what I say now, since it's not raining and I can't prove otherwise.

I also added a cover for the chimney top which should keep water out. Previously, all I had was some chickenwire formed over the top to keep out birds and debris.

Come on, Mother Nature, bring it on!

Plumbing Tips for the Day, Learned the Hard Way

Two plumbing tips:

1. When the directions say "finger-tight" or "finger-tight plus 1/4 turn" or something very specific like that, they probably say it for a reason.

2. If you're going through all the trouble of replacing a toilet (or sink for that matter) and supply line(s), replace the old shut-off valve at the same time. It's $3.49 for a new 1/4-turn shut-off valve people, spend the freakin' money.

I bring these items up because I didn't bother listening to my own advice, resulting in a toilet replacement which took twice as long as it should have. I decided to replace the last remaining original toilet in the house because I'm sick of wasting water with the old one. I had the new one sitting here waiting for the past three months, but the bathroom remodel is still a month or two away. Might as well get rid of the old crapper while I have the dumpster! I decided to "save time" and re-use the original shut-off valve, even though it sprays water unless it's fully open or fully closed. Well, with the new toilet in it drips water through the packing. Ten minutes later, the water is off, the new valve is on, and the water is back on. That problem is solved. Now it's dripping water at the braided-stainless supply hose where it connects to the valve. Damn, I just tightened it down with a crescent wrench, well beyond the 1/4 turn recommendation. Off it comes so I can check the rubber washer. It looks OK, so I re-install and tighten the recommended way and it's finally done.

For now.

It'll have to come out soon so I can gut that bathroom for the renovation. At this time, I'm planning on moving the toilet location to help open up some room in there, since it's kind of a small bathroom in it's current configuration. We'll see how that goes.....