Took a break from making pots for the far-too-far-off first firing of the new kiln to address a leak in the roof of my summer studio. The shed that serves as the studio was a half-assed affair 13 years ago when Doug built it out of found materials, but it has served well enough. Earlier this summer I noticed some water was getting in when it rained hard, and then when it rained at all. What with the kiln rebuild, my classes, making ware, & just...life, the repair kept getting bumped to the bottom of the to-do list but I finally made it up the ladder, and good thing, too!
The asphalt paper we used for the roofing material had been torn, maybe in a windstorm. A big flap of it was loose, letting water in under the remaining part. That got wet & stayed wet in our massively rainy summer & fall, and became host to an extremely yukky nest of black ants. The wood got punky in some spots & the ants just chewed highways in others.
I'd have taken a video of the ants boiling up out of the wood, but I was too UUUURRRRRRGGGGHH while pinwheeling away in revulsion & also trying not to fall off the roof. So, maybe video next time. By a weird coincidence, you know how Amazon occasionally screws up & sends you something you didn't order? Just a couple of weeks ago, a spray bottle of clove-based ant & roach killer arrived. I don't have roaches & didn't know I had ants, but I saved it anyway. It came in handy! I brushed away all the nasty ants & as many of their nasty eggs as I could, then sprayed the whole area with this clove spray.
I've covered the whole thing with a heavy tarp - it rained last night & will rain tomorrow, & that patch of roof needs to dry completely before I shingle over it. If I can't get more than a one-day stretch of no rain, I may go up with a heat gun & try to dry it while hopefully not setting anything on fire. What it really needs is the roof pulled off & the plywood replaced, but that is not in the cards this season - maybe in the spring.
This calls for a song: