The In Between Roof

Note: My site is experiencing a major problem and crashes frequently. The tech folks that host my site are working on it, but say the the real fix will be to upgrade to new server software, which will take a significant amount of time. In the meantime, when I notice that the site is down again I am to contact the techs and ask for a system reboot. So sorry for the coming and going of my site. I’ll try to sneak in a new post as often as the system allows!

New post: I’m still working on the Big Roof, making progress between rain drops. But every time it rains, a lot of water makes its way into what will be the inside of the house. So I took two days and focused on the roof over container #3.

In the next photo you can see that two pitched roofs are now dumping water on top of container #3 (#3 is the red container roof in the lower right corner of the photo):


The first thing I did was to put Plycem (cement board) on the wall under the eaves of the big roof. The wall under the smaller roof was already sheathed. Then I screwed a 40-foot 2″x4″ metal carriola to each Plycem wall, pitching the 2x4s down toward the far end of the container. Then I cut carriola rafters and welded them into place between the 40-footers. It looked like this:


At 6:00 sharp the next morning, I swept all the water off of the roof and let it dry for a while. When Armando arrived, he and I rolled out a radiant barrier on top of the container. This barrier is like aluminized bubble wrap. Correction; this barrier is an aluminized bubble wrap. The bubbles themselves don’t do much insulation work, but the aluminum barrier radiates the heat back up to the zinc roofing panels. It should be plenty for our minimal insulation needs here in the mountains. Here we are placing the radiant barrier:


We also got a coat of paint on the weld joints to keep them from rusting. We used a propane torch to dry the welds before painting them.

The weather was looking a bit dicey, so Armando and I looked at each other and decided to put the hustle on installing the roof panels. We didn’t want a lot of water falling on the container. Sure, it would evaporate over time, but I didn’t want a moldy mess in the meantime.

The 20-foot panels are just heavy enough to be a lot of work hefting them onto the roof:



Cynthia wants to make sure that you see my hands…


You can see that we let the zinc panels curl up the walls a little bit. This should prevent any water from finding its way to the container roof below.


Doing the hustle...

Doing the Hustle…



We installed the last screw not a moment too soon:


Cynthia contemplates taking a shower… We of course will install a gutter and downspout to get the water away from the house.

In Other News, Armando continues to dig the fish pond. This is a muddy proposition for him; as he digs lower into the mud he has to hit every shovelful on the side of the wheelbarrow to get the dirt off. But he is making good progress:


It looks to me like there is one piece of lasagna left in the pan. Or maybe it is chocolate cake.

Every morning that Armando works on the fishpond, we have to pump the pit:

We’ve had a visitor in the trees in the lot directly behind us:


These are telephoto shots, but still, this is one big sloth!


And if you are a real glutton for punishment, here is a video of a recent drive down the mountain to a hardware and materials store in San Carlos. If you are interested in the area or want to see the condition of the roads here, then OK, maybe a viewing is justified. But I warned you, it’s just a dash cam video:

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

4 thoughts on “The In Between Roof

  1. That will be a torrential fall of water once you get the big roof up! That will be a substantial gutter you’ll have to put up there. Lots of fresh water!!

    I took the ride with you down the mountain in bits and pieces. Looks like you took “Ruta 71” down to Las Uvas, where you took a left to get to San Carlos. Gorgeous drive! Thanks for the ride!

    • Hi Steve,

      I’ve seen warnings about using runoff water that has passed over a galvanized roof. I’ll have to have it tested…

      It’s funny. On some maps of Panama there are route numbers, such as the ruta 71 that you mentioned. But in our almost six years here we have yet to see a road sign with a route number on it! For locals, it’s simply “the road to El Valle.” Thanks for taking the drive with me. Fred

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