Today, I started a repair for a client.
They have a screened-in patio. The roof is a flat deck that is water tight...or is supposed to be, but instead, the drywall is moldy and falling down, and a beam is washed out.
I removed the decking, and underneath removed the old roofing. The decking was rotted with pine needles and organic debris fallen between the deck boards. The build up was enough to hold standing water and soak through the roof, and leak down nail holes. (which shouldn't have been there because the installer did it wrong)
We removed the decking boards, and then the nail strips on top of the roofing, and then removed the sheet metal rolled over the plywood. Underneath, we removed the drywall to expose and locate the leaks.
Tomorrow we will replace a broken beam that rotten through, and replace the rest of the roofing material and reinstall the deck.
The interesting thing in this deck repair is the fact that no more than 2 years earlier, someone was hired to do this same repair on this same deck...
So why am I doing it today? Two reasons.
The first repair was not complete, they only exposed and repaired the of the worst of the damage and they did not repair the structure, but only repaired the finish surfaces.
The broken beam was broken previously, but they didn't expose enough to reveal the broken beam, and they did the repair so quickly that they didn't notice that the broken beam created a low spot on the roof which quickly destroyed the roof and ceiling underneath.
This is usually the case with any project. There is the damage which is visible, and then there's the source of the damage.
Anytime something is broken or not working properly, we can apply a simple statement of the Scientific Method to make sure and certain that whatever isn't working is corrected completely and entirely the first time.
The scientific method is to first reverse engineer and discover how and why something was created. Once, we understand for instance with the deck that it needs to be strong enough to hold some garden furniture and a few people, and keep the weather from coming down onto the patio below, we can understand that it needs to be sloped away from the house, water tight, and have a sure way to drain along the edges without splashing or leaking back into the structure or onto anything below.
Next, we need to understand how to put it back together. This can require a little research, as when something isn't working properly, and we take it apart, if it get's put back together the same...then it's still broken. So we have to discover the correct way to get it back together. In today's society, ANYONE can do this properly with enough videos, blogs, articles, pictures, books, TV shows, trained professionals, neighbors, OR JUST ASK ME!
Then, we get to sit back (on top of the deck or underneath) and relax and enjoy our newly repaired structure (or whatever thing it is we corrected)
Moral to the story, quit hiring the untrained deceiver to do a bad job that will relapse into a potentially worse hazard.
How do you know that you hired the right guy? Ask them the process. Make them walk you through the method of the project.
As a general rule of thumb, if someone can explain something complex in a very simple way, then they must know what they are talking about...
Only be sure that you don't pretend to know what someone is talking about when you really have no clue because you are too prideful to tilt your head to the side, put on a confused look, and stare blankly...maybe ask a question or two, or at least invite them to explain it again in a different way...
Just a simple suggestion.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I met my new client, and have the opportunity to do some more work on another beautiful home, but in the words of the cartoon superhero, Mr. Incredible after saving the world, "I just cleaned up this mess. Can't it stay clean for just a little while?"