Dan's Blog

Sheltering Roofs
Monday, January 23, 2006

I keep finding water under my house. I fix roof leaks, pipe downspouts away from the home, re-grade the front yard, dig soils from the foundation and still the water is comes in. This time I figured that it seeps through hairline cracks in a tiled front porch them finds its' way through the center cores of block foundation to the excavated area in want to turn into a storage/workshop. It seeps out at the base of the foundation, mocking me.

I am supposed to know the answer to all your water problems but I keep chasing water at, above, and under my home.  The mountain folk of Japan figured that one out a long time ago. They built sheltering roofs strong enough to withstand the weight of snow and the extremes of cold.  The wood in these pictures is more than 200 years old.  It has no preservative, no paint.  These roofs extend well beyond the exterior walls sheltering them from the weather.

They figured out what roof covering worked best, despite government decrees to the contrary. What does this have to do with my house?  Everything.  By extending the roof far enough to keep rain and snow away exterior walls, the foundation, framing, and people are protected.  No chasing water under the house.  No siding failure, at least not for a couple of hundred years.  No critical need to care for gutters lest the house fall apart.

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