It was supposed to be a simple job. My daughter’s house had a leak in the roof. “No problem,” I said, “I’ll fix that tomorrow.”
It was a two-storey house in Newtown. It was obvious what the problem was: part of the lead flashing against the chimney had been dislodged and bent up by the wind, allowing the rain to get in.
All I had to do was climb up with a silicon gun, push the flashing back into place, and seal it with the silicon. Simple!
I took my ladder and leant it up against the back laundry wall. It was easy to climb on to the corrugated iron roof of the one-storey laundry. Then I dragged the ladder up after me and placed it on the laundry roof, so that I could climb up to the second-storey main roof, which I successfully did.
I clambered up to where the problem was, pushed down the bent flashing and applied a generous amount of silicon. Suddenly I heard a loud noise. My heart sank when I saw that the ladder had slid down flat onto the laundry roof and was now completely out of reach.
It was ridiculous. I was stuck. My daughter was at work; no one was home. No phone. I sat there on the top of a two-storey terrace roof feeling ridiculous. What to do?
Just then a schoolboy was walking past. I yelled out to him, “Could you please help me get off this roof?” He readily agreed, but there was a problem. Well, several problems actually. First he had to get over the fence into the backyard, which he managed to do with the help of some nearby milk crates. He then opened the back gate and brought in the same milk crates so he could climb up to the laundry roof to rescue the ladder. He then held the ladder up to the main roof, enabling me to climb down. What a hero he was!
I thanked him profusely but he said “No problem” and went on his way. I often wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t come along.
Yes, it was ridiculous. I have now sworn not to do any more roof jobs.