2006-05-07: Roof DayI spent most of today working on the roof of my trailer. For those who don't know, my trailer's front porch roof has a history of hinging itself up and flipping itself on top of my roof. Naturally, this is not a behaviour I wish to encourage - it was supposedly going to stop last time, but I listened to folks who were convinced they had a better grasp of physics than I, and it wasn't secured properly last time.
First thing I did, was discover that of the two metal support legs for my front porch, one of them was where I expected it to be (lying on my roof), and the other had been blown so violently by the wind that it had landed on my neighbor's porch roof. It was bent in a few places, and clearly wasn't in any kind of shape to be considered a structural support. That particular thickness of metal should never have been considered one in the first place, but the powers that be in my trailer park are convinced that flimsy, thin, hollow bars of aluminum are how God intended porch roofs to be secured.
This lead to a need to find a suitable replacement. I checked at Home Depot, which revealed to me that a direct replacement simply was not available. I wound up buying a pair of 10' boards, which I pestered Brian to weather treat while I worked on the roof's trim. The trim is held on by a number of metal posts, which are themselves screwed into the wall of the trailer. Well, it seems that time has not been kind to the posts, because their screw holes are uniformly stripped out. Even moving from a #8 to a #10 screw wasn't enough to secure it with a hold that I'd consider really firm. I intend to look into outdoor adhesive; if I can glue the posts to the site where it's supposed to be attached, it may approach the strength of a proper screw hold.
I also took the chance to check out the fastener supports. The existing metal support legs were secured by C-shaped bits of aluminum, held into place by metal screws. While I take no issue with that in metal in good condition, the roof is in fairly poor condition and the screw holes had sustained some damage. I decided to take a power drill and bore them out to 5mm, then secure them with rivets rather than screws. It's possible that the rivets may end up being weaker than the screws they're replacing, but I doubt it. The screws were just barely holding in the metal to begin with, and the metal legs will only be used to secure the roof when it's being folded down.
The real work will be done with the 10' wood supports, once the roof has been flipped back down. The concrete feet which used to be used to hold up the back fence (before it got blown away/down in the wind storm that flipped the roof the first time), are still quite good, and will fit the 10' supports. I bought a few brackets to secure the wood with, and I'll be using a ladder to climb up and screw the permanent supports in place. Once that's been done, I may or may not leave the original metal support leg in place - it might be kinda pretty, but at the same time it won't be needed by the time I'm done with this project.