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Repairing chipped Eichler wooden roof beam

4 replies [Last post]
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Joined: May 28 2003

We had a new roof put on by Able this past summer. There were a few
"dings" to the house that I was hoping they would repair. Now I guess
that's not going to happen, so...

1) They chipped off part of a wooden roof beam near one of the down
spouts. In addition to the exposed wood, there is some exposed
grout (or putty) and some exposed metal (it looks like there is a
layer of metal above the wooden beams). Is it bad to leave this
area exposed? If so, how should it be fixed? Outdoor putty or
grout? Paint? Also, they placed new metal down spout connectors
around the house. Will these rust if they aren't painted?

2) They left a large stain on our driveway. I believe it was from
roofing chemicals that they spilled on the ground (they claimed it
was radiator fluid from their truck). In any case, they tried to
clean it with water and some kind of chemical wash - but it didn't
help. Short of getting the driveway replaced, does anyone have
suggestions on how to get stains off of a driveway (or know a
company that can do this)?

Thanks
gornish@alum.mit.edu
Palo Alto

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Joined: Oct 10 2003

Funny, when Durafoam came out to do our foam roof last fall, they also chipped away some of the roof beam to get downspouts right up against the wall. I was going to wait until this spring and just paint the exposed areas over with exterior paint. I think it's bad in the long term to leave those areas exposed, but I think ( I hope!) it can wait till the weather is drier and warmer.

So, I am also curious what else people would recommend doing.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Hopefully Johnathan Cooke will jump in on this one. He is a contractor and does a lot of Eichler related work having to do with beam repair and siding replacement, and many other things. He posts under the name of renman. I do know that you will not want to leave that wood unprotected, as it could be subject to rotting over time, as water penetrates it.

Cathye

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

First, I'll admit that my carpentry skills are roughly equal to those of Homer Simpson.

The repair to the beam would depend upon the damage. If the damage is fairly superficial, you can use any of a number of wood putty products to fill the voids. Then sand it, and prime the bare surface before painting it. If you don't prime bare surfaces (wood or wood putty), the exterior paint won't adhere as well. Water based primers are easier to clean up and not expensive.

If the damage is extensive, just remove the entire beam and replace it. No wait, don't do that. Call a carpenter. Good luck. When I needed some assistance replacing all my doors (switched to solid core) last year, I couldn't get any of three carpenters to return my phone calls.

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

Hi everyone,
I just returned from some sublime skiing conditions, and I think I might have a couple suggestions for you that may help
Beam Damage:
If roughly 70% or more of the beam is intact, the guidlines for the structural pest control board (and most bldg depts follow this one)
superficial repairs are ok. If over 70% is damaged, you may have to replace the beam. :( If not repairs are easy to do. The steel that you see on top of the beam is a strap that they used to tie intersecting beams to walls or other load points.
If the damaged area is wet, don't attempt filling until it dries. We like to use a two-part wood filler product (made by Bondo), as it cantains wood fibers, is rated for outdoor applications and sets up in 10-20 mins. Many professional painters like to use regular automotive Bondo; which is fine, but I believe that if you are filling and area more than 1/4" the repair should be done in 1/4" coats (to avoid cracking). The nice part is that it is paintable, fairly workable material and the repair will not rot. Also,
I suggest that you probe the area with a sharp tool to double check that no rot is present. It usually does not occur right away, but at 30% saturation, it can become an issue.

Down spouts:
If the sheet metal is galvanized, it takes a while to rust and rot, say 15-50 years(depending on conditions) but it is a good idea to paint them, because if they are immersed or subject to constant moisture, they may rust faster, Aluminum is no problem.

Driveway Stains:
As a vintage motorcyle owner, I have tried everything to clean concrete, and, so far, Amway concrete cleaner (yes, Amway) works the best. (Unfortunately, you may have to sit through a marketing presentation to get some.............) :(

Good luck!!!!

renman

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