08 July 2008

Um, Was That Really Necessary?!

Feeling very secure in the fact that I fall (sometimes quite literally "fall") into the "Queen Dipshit" club at least once per day. I would be willing to lay down serious money that there's someone reading this blog at this moment thinking what a QD I must be :) Therefore, I feel the need to nominate whomever tarred the roof fridge vent on my Loflyte into the "King Dipshit" club.

As a matter o' fact, I may just skip the nomination & jump right to the Life Membership for this particular man. And I assure you, it was a man... LOL I mean, if he were here right now, I'd walk up to him & say, "Dude, did ya ever hear of Brylcreem? Well, they had this little slogan, 'A little dab'll do ya!' K?" Better yet, "If you can't do it right, don't do it at all."

I mean, come on... TAR???

While this may not look heinous, believe you me, it was awful. I cannot even imagine people who've tarred the whole roof!! O my heavens.

Ok, enough hating on the poor guy :)

As you may know, I'm a scrapper. I'm no stranger to a heat gun. However, this heat gun would possibly heat my entire house in the dead of winter in under a minute. This ain't no crafty cute heat gun. This is a manly melt-your-quad-from-your-femur heat gun. We're talkin' major British Thermal Units!

In my estimation, I scraped up about 14 square inches of tar today. It took the better part of 4 hours for those measly 14 square inches.

You'll need to gather a few things to remove the tar. First, you'll need a heat gun. Go big or go home. This little craft Heat Gun will simply not do. The tar will come up easier with more heat. But be careful because as good ol' Dad says, "It'll burst into flames."

I have also, up until this point, failed to tell you that I'm absolutely petrified of heights. The height of Goldie requires me to be up about five feet off the ground. Mind you, I get dizzy while standing on an eight inch step. Changing light bulbs in my living room can be a white knuckled experience.

Because of this, scraping the tar posed a challenge. I had to be about 5 feet up on an A-frame ladder. For some reason, I was wearing clogs. (?) Uh, yeah... so I misfired a couple of times & burned myself. I hastily bandaged one, it'll probably scar. The other one looks like a Lyme Disease bulls-eye. Fun!

You'll also need a plastic scraper. I think a metal scraper would damage the [fairly] delicate aluminum. Oh, use a scraper you never want to see again. You'll need a scrap of wood. I used some paneling that I ripped out of the inside. It should be sturdy so you can scrape the tar onto it. Also, you'll need rags that you'd otherwise throw away. Lastly, a pair of safety glasses & gloves might not be a bad idea. And... kiss your manicure goodbye (see pics above).

This is the aluminum cap that goes over the vent hole. There are four clips that keep the cap on. Gently bend all four clips up & carefully remove the cap. If you snap off the clips, you'll be quite sad.

Here's how I cleaned up the blessed tar:

  1. Heat the tar to be removed. You may perceive a slight physical change in appearance. Do not over heat. [see paternal direction, above]
  2. Use plastic scraper to remove excess tar. You will probably need to do this several times to the same spot.
  3. Scrape removed tar onto scrap wood.

  4. Repeat steps 1-3 ad naseum, or until physically exhausted, thus unable to continue.
  5. Once you can see the metal, you'll still have a residue. Heat the residue around the screws & wipe off with rags you never want to see again. Before you wipe, make sure you aim the heat gun in another direction. Duh? Probably... but... ya know...
  6. Remove all the screws once you've cleaned around them. The one good thing about the tar is the screws will still be as perfectly preserved.

Once the vent is removed, continue to heat & wipe away the tar with a rag. It's very easy to do. The heat gun also warms up the butyl tape so that can be cleanly wiped away. This is good to know for the rest of my seams, as the tape is quite hard & brittle.

This is my temporary repair, using the aluminum backed adhesive. This is a waterproof short-term solution.

Even though the forecast for tomorrow is for thundershowers, I'm gonna shine some aluminum under my work area tent. I can't think of better way than to have fun than hold something metalic, while sitting under a steel frame shade tent, that is sitting next to a large tin box during an electrical storm. I might soak my feet in some epsom salt water for good measure.

All nice & Clean!

Blog more later? We shall see!


matchbox20girl said...

Holy crap. I mean...really, holy crap. I've got some tar on the roof of mine but I'm not about to tackle this. KUDOS to you, the Queen Remover of All Tarred Rooftops!! I seriously admire your dedication & perservation..hard work, sweat, tears, and now burns AND a ruined manicure? OUCH!

Wanna come to MO & do mine??

Shasta Girl said...

haha!! Thanks Kim! I should really be doing more every day. But, I... well... have other excuses.

I'd certainly come to MO & HELP you, but only if I may park on your front lawn. :)

Don said...

I just removed the black stuff around my roof vent this weekend. On mine there was not as much of it and it was pretty solid. I put the entire bottom half of the vent in the freezer overnight, then I was able to crack much of it off the aluminum. Still a lot of work from there. Can't imagine what you would do if entire had been roof done!

Lisa said...

You're a hoot, Michelle! Soak your feets in epsom salts... lol Glad you got the tar crap off, with only two burns?? And point the heat gun away before wiping with rags... reminds me of when I was rewiring a lamp, and my friend reminded me to unplug it first, and I was like, No Duh, and guess what I forgot to do.
Hey, while you're on your way to Missouri, swing by Texas and bring that big bad heatgun. You can park in my front yard too. :)

Shasta Girl said...

Don --

Can't wait to see your Airflyte done! It's already come so far. You're doing a great job!

Lisa --

I'm on my way!