A nice, tidy roof

Before I swept yesterday. The darker part is rainwater stain.

At least 17 years passed in which I never swept the roof of the dining room/kitchen. It was too much trouble because there was no easy way to get up there. But that changed a couple of years ago when we installed a steel stairway.

And that altered everything, access-wise. And then last spring I hired a painter who came with a pressure-spray machine. He blasted off years of grime, and laid a coat of red, waterproofing paint.

Before the restoration and waterproofing, the roof was brown from grime. It was so dreadful that there was something like algae growing around the edge. I’m amazed cacti didn’t sprout as I’ve seen quite often on roofs in Mexico, usually when they’re clay tile.

Before the stairwell was added, the only way to get to that roof was by ladder, and the ladder had to be set almost vertically, so it was a perilous challenge for an increasingly elderly dude, i.e. me.

You’ll notice a circular stairwell that goes up higher to the second-story roof. That stairway was on the upstairs terraza for 16 years until I had it moved to its current location so the upstairs terraza could be covered completely by the steel-and-glass roof it sports now.

And just visible on the second-story roof is our solar water heater, the second we’ve owned. The first wasn’t worth warm spit, and the manufacturer gave me a refund after about four years. The current one, a different company, has been there five years or so, and it’s defective too. Sometimes it forces scalding water through both the hot and cold faucets.

Yesterday, after bolting out of the upstairs shower stall, screaming, I climbed up and disconnected it entirely, and that’s how it’s going to stay. No more solar.

We’ll remain old-school. It’s not like propane costs a fortune.

14 thoughts on “A nice, tidy roof

  1. Solar water heaters sound like a good idea, but I have seen them sending geysers of boiling water onto roofs daily, and that can’t be good for tiles or waterproofing. Propane is very inexpensive down here. My connection to the natural gas line up north cost more than what I pay for delivered propane lakeside.

    Good explanation and pics. You could do a good job writing instructions for IKEA.


    1. Kirk: You’re the first fellow I seen who’s mentioned those geysers. Yep, and mine does it too. At times we would be sitting upstairs, just below the topmost roof, watching Netflix, when whoosh! We could hear it from up on the roof. Additionally, I was mystified when we started getting hot water from the cold taps until I finally figured it out. The solar unit is fed from the nearby tinaco, and the pipe is connected at the same spot the tinaco sends water downstairs where it then goes in two directions. One feeds the water heater, and the other feeds the cold-water taps. Water from the solar heater would go back to its source, i.e. in reverse, where it then headed downstairs. Why it backs up is a mystery, but it does.

      No matter. I’m sick of messing with solar water. From now on, it’s just a useless thing sitting on the roof.


  2. That’s an interesting palm tree at the end of your roof. I have never seen one with a stretched out head like that. I say palm tree because of the mass of dead leaves/fronds below the head. Are there any around that have been cleared of the dead fronds? It would be interesting to see one.


    1. Phil: That’s a fan palm that I planted over a decade ago when it was about one-foot-high. Now it’s about 25 or 30 feet tall. It grew, to put it mildly. It’s one of the few wildly growing plants in the yard that I do not regret planting. As it grows, the fronds below die and droop. For a good spell, when I could still reach them easily, I cut the dead ones off, but those days are long gone. I keep thinking of hiring someone to cut the dead ones, and maybe I’ll get around to it one day.


  3. Washingtonia filifera. Host of pigeons and scorpions. I once saw a five-acre lot excavated. There were roots from that palm tree all over it. The trunk is not a solid mass, but is more like fiber, more like sugar cane. Don’t plant it!


    1. Señor Gill: I think our altitude — and the accompanying cool temps — is the main factor that we are not a scorpion zone though I think I’ve heard of at least one person spotting them (or one) here. It’s another story at the beaches, and even San Miguel de Allende has a good crop of them. We spent the night in a guesthouse there once and spotted one in the bathroom.

      But here at the Hacienda, nah. Knock on wood.


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