Doing the Inevitable

I stared at the ceiling day after day, hoping the leak was fixed. But the flat white surface seemed to be changing, casting an odd shadow. Either new water continued to penetrate the roof, or pre-existing moisture started to settle in, warping the board above. There was already a paint-mismatch since the ceiling was a shade of off-white I couldn’t replicate — now the existence of a leak was even more obvious.

But then it happened: a new spot appeared, a smaller one, about a foot over. Great, I’ll have to go on the roof now. Last time, something odd occurred, a guy was soliciting in the neighborhood and offered to go on the roof and repair whatever he could find up there. I felt relieved in a sense, yet my pessimistic nature never allowed me to believe it would truly work. Of course I’d have to eventually get up there — and now I could delay no longer, I had to do what I was not comfortable doing: go on the roof.

I don’t like heights or ladders, so it felt a bit like buying my own guillotine as I loaded a ladder into the shopping cart. Usually I linger at the home-improvement store, today was quick and deliberate.

Climbing the ladder, I didn’t feel fear, but I was at a loss when I got to the top — now what? How does one transition from a ladder to a slanting roof? I’ve seen neighbors, one even in his seventies, stand on a roof shoveling snow off, so at least I knew it was possible. Essentially I crawled off the ladder and continued to crawl on my hands and knees across the peak of the roof until I reached the affected area. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a definitive hole to plug, so I patched all around the vent pipe, assuming it must be the cause of the leak.

Perhaps the inevitability, is calling a roofer.

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