Friday, September 30, 2011

Scotchtown Pumphouse Roof Damage

The pumphouse at Scotchtown was struck by a decaying tree, breaking quite a few of the cement roof tiles on the side closest to the sheep pen. Upon removing the damaged tiles, it was revealed that the roof had been leaking long before hurricane Irene struck it. She may have actually done Preservation Virginia a favor in the revealing. As the photo reveals, the plywood sheathing and the felt paper of the 1987 structure was badly decayed. This is not a good sign, as there was no evidence of the roof failure from visually inspecting the tiles. It causes some consternation to think what might be occurring to the other outbuildings.
An inspection of the concrete tiles that were left over from the other builing roofs showed that the tiles, which were stored outside, were not in reliably good shape to use. The steel reinforcing wires had rusted and expanded, creating invisible fractures that only revealed themselves under pressure. The decision was made to entirely replace the roof sheathing, rake boards,and trim boards. New felt paper and 30 year asphalt architectural shingles(color-"Brownwood") were installed, as shown in the second photo. It took the department one week to remove and replace the roof. Material costs were under $350. The roof was just over one square in size.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Irene Trumps Restoration

Hurricane Irene was a good news/bad news event for Preservation Virginia. The good news was that the Surry properties of Bacon's Castle and Smith's Fort had no structural damage. They had eight mature trees blow down between them, and not even a garden bench was broken. The bad news is that since no structures were damaged, insurance pays none of the costs of clean-up. What does this mean to the Restoration Department? Well, someone has to remove all that tree debris. Since Irene, the department has cut up, picked up, and hauled 23 trailer loads of brush to the fire pile at Bacon's Castle, about 138 cubic yards. As you can see from the second photo, five of the Holly trees in the courtyard at Smith's fort came down. Two large walnut trees to the West of the house also were uprooted. The Rolfe-Warren branch plans to use the wood from the two walnuts to make gift shop items.The first photo shows a very large Pecan tree, which was damaged by hurricane Isabelle, that blew down at the Southeast corner of the garden at Bacon's Castle. The pecan is in such poor shape not even the wood can be salvaged. At its current pace, debris clean-up will continue well into October. When the fire pile dries out, there is going to be one heck of a weanie roast.