Working on my house

I started last month a big project at my house. We have had a screened in back porch since we bought our house almost ten years ago. I decided to have a new floor put in, flagstone by Tim Loy, and then put up a new wall with windows and a steel door. The room is divided 70/30 by another wall. The small room is accessed from our master bedroom and will be a home office/study. The large room is going to be a game room.

It’s been a real adventure, putting in wiring, new rafters to support the tin roof and all the other work, much of which I have done before but some is new ground. By far the most frustrating part has been the roof. We’ve had small leaks in our roof over the years, but it was never a big deal because it was an outside room anyway with nothing in it that could be hurt by the water. But now I want it dried in completely.

So last week I took out every screw in the roof and put all new ones in place. Several of the screws were rusted all the way through, giving evidence of an ongoing problem. I also caulked all the seams, so I thought I had done well. I thought that until it rained. There were two leaks, which is better than the three I had before, but not what I hoped for.

So I went back up on the roof with some heavy duty metal roof sealant, flashing and determination. I went to the two spots I thought to be the culprits and worked them over. Satisfied, I waited for the next rain. Saturday I called Julie as I was on my way to the graveside and driving through the pouring rain. She had already checked. Two leaks, still! When I got home the rain was stopped but the evidence of the leaks was all over the floor. One had moved and was smaller. The other seemed to be just as it was before.

Today I went at it again. Armed with a water hose to recreate the leaks I searched for answers. More sealant, flashing and determination. Now I’m just waiting for the next rain to see how I’ve done.

The thing is, leaks are hard to find. It’s hard to know if the leak is coming from directly above the drip, or if it is traveling down the bottom side of the roof and dripping several feet from the actual hole in the roof. You don’t know if you’ve fixed it until it starts raining and then you can’t repair it until it stops raining. Then you have to wait for rain again to see if you fixed it. It’s frustrating and takes patience and perseverance. What’s funny about my situation is this, I didn’t care about the leaks two months ago, but now that I want to use this space differently I’m becoming obsessed with fixing it.

Do you ever think about how we put up with sin or weakness in our lives because we don’t think it really matters? But then, suddenly, it becomes so prevalent to us, a hindrance to our growth and it can be so difficult to remedy. We may fool ourselves into thinking that we are problem free, but the reality is that when it rains the weakness will appear again. It takes a lot of patience and perseverance to grow past something that we let fester for years. But it is worth it.

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