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I was recently telling a story about a guy that worked for me many years ago when I was in my early 20's doing sub work on new homes and wounderd just how many crazy things has been seen in the roofing buziness?

This was in the winter on a 9/12 pitch and we needed to sweep the snow off when we got there. The house was a two story that was on a hill which scared the heck out of you when looking down. I told the guys to find a way to tie off in case they went sliding. The guy took a steal cable and tied it off to his waist (with nothing to protect him from the thin cable) and ran around on this cut up roof like a monkey. A vending truck came buy and we decided to get a coffee and when he climbed down he had about 6 feet of cable left!

Back then saftey wasn't a big issue, at least not to my young @#!!
If you fell off the roof you were fired before you hit the ground and re-hired if you could go right back to work.
 

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I've got 5 that come to mind, 2 from the same idiot.

This man is a typical runs his mouth all the time know it all that got fired from his job and has been unemployeed for 2 yrs, I race with him and allowed him to help me a few times for a cheap labor rate that I still paid too much for-anyways:

First story, his elderly neighbor needed to have her roof replaced so him being a god sent offered to do it for nothing. He then comensed on telling me how hot it was the days he tore off a single layer and then installed the new "peel and stick" shingles-SERIOUSLY!!! After walking around the subject so I did'nt let on he was an idiot, he confirmned that he ripped off the celfane sp? strip that keeps the shingles from sticking to each other in the bundles. I dont know how he did'nt slid off with sections of roof and when asked which house it was he pointed a few houses down from him, roof was still on it,l so I dont know the validity of it but still makes me laugh to this day thinking about it.

Second story-same guy, helping a buddy shingle his barn roof. They were tearing off and not tied off and he happened to get hung up with a bundle making it's way down the roof. His exact quote: "I looked like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, once I knew I was going I made a run for it and was running sideways across a never vertical roof and jumped into the hay rack down below when I ran out of roof." That's sounds about as far fetched as the first story, but still makes for a good chuckle even imagining somebody trying that.

Last story comes from my roofing sub whos been in business many yrs. They were going to start a tear off/reroof for an older boy who told them his story of when he roofed the house years ago in his younger days. Roof was a 10/12 pitch and he was doing the roof by himself, he threw a rope over the peak and tied it to the hitch of his truck and the other end to his waist. While he was working on the back side of the house his wife decided to go to the store shopping, she jumps in his truck and takes off not knowing he's tied to it. Old boy says he was working away then next thing he knew he was getting drug up the side of the roof he was working on then tumbled down the front side all the while his wifef does'nt know yet he's attached. After she drug he about 300yrds down their lane she finally heard his yells to stop. He did'nt break anything but had some severe road rash from being drug down their driveway. So he had to hire out the rest of his roofing project to finish it up so he could recoup.

Another guy here in town was on a crew roofing in the winter on a 2 story, he fell/slid off the roof and landed in a snow bank on the side of the house, then got back up on the roof and started working againg like nothing happened.

Another time my grandfather and I were felting a roof on a 7/12 aaddition we did. We were 2 courses from the top when he slid down the roof ripping off all the tar paper and was able to drive the claw of his hammer into the sheathing right at the rake so he did'nt go over the edge. After a short breather we started felting again, this time I was rolling out the last course at the peak, and this time the paper I was on ripped and down I went a sliding. I was able to claw hammer off a good 3' from the edge, but while I was hanging onto my hammer I told him we're all done for the day, lets go home. So we did LOL. That roof just did not wanna be covered that day-period!!
 

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Had a friend in Peoria, big roofing contractor, he hired a new sub crew, gave them the address, on and off 2 days tops, he told them he would check on them about noon.

At noon he went to the job, nobody there, he began to get pissed and went to the truck for his cell phone. While sitting in the truck on the cell phone he noticed the crews truck about a block down.

You guessed it........The maggots tore off the wrong roof.

Bob
 

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I sent one of my guys to a house that he worked on one week prior. He said he knew the house. Sets up ladder, climbs ladder, man leans out window with loaded pistol and starts to question him why he is at his house. Obviously the wrong stree(missed it by that much).
Not my crew, but heard it from someone whorked the project. Man was on the roof nailing the flashing drip, loss consciousness and fell 2 1/2 stories into a forcithia bush. No injury, man woke up, climbed the ladder and went back to work as if nothing happened.( Smack does some strange things).
Personally I was climbing around on this guys walls that bordered his porch. I went to step down and purposely meant to side step a figurine. Lost my balance and into the Azahlia bush. Damn that hurt, but I got up after rolling out of it like I meant to do so and started back on the conversation I was having. Best part, the visit was for the contract signing. To this day, I've never fallen off a roof, came close once or twice usually for not thinking(always the reason) but never totally off.

I find that the best thing to do is not loose your head after you stumble but to follow the lead and use everything to your advantage.

Burned by hot asphalt many times but once because of the pump spring wasn't pulling the valve closed (running the kettle) so the asphalt filled the gutter and then rained down on me. Didn't know what the hell was going on until I looked over my shoulder then proceded to shut the pump off. I was 19, then and that was 21 years ago.


How about watching an idiot step down into a cavity onto the ceiling thinking it would hold him up. You see, he watched the forman walking what looked like the same thing but he was on the outside block wall.

Had one idiot without my seeing him start to lift up on a sheet of plywood as I was forcing it up with my leggs from the seated position. Needless to say he slipped off the wood that we were on and throught the ceiling.

Worked one job with a guy that swore he could hand nail shingles faster than neumatic gun nailing. He lost that bet.

Same project a dormer that had shingles and layers of bur on it. As we were removing them we realized that the roofing waws the only thing holding the wood together. Told everyone to to walk the framing but this idiot just wasn't paying due respect because he ended up straddling the beam on his nuts(ouch!).


How many times have you seen a roof mopped directly to the sheathing? How many times have you walked into something like a rope hook or ladder or ladivator on a rack?
How many times has anyone smashed their finger(s) because the material slid or they slid out of position. It's inevitable that we do the dumbest things only to say to oneself dumba$$.
 

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When I was 17 I helped a friend of a friend replace a barn roof with galvalume sheets. Two guys on the ground would push a sheet up onto the roof line and hold it with notched 2x4's until two guys on the roof grabbed it, dragged it into place and fastened it. I worked 12 hours on Saturday for $50 and wound up drinking most of it up that night with some of the older guys (in their early twenty's). On Sunday the work started dragging pretty quick because most of the guys had stayed out too late. About 3 hours into the day, while me and another guy were picking up another sheet, a sheet got loose on the roof, slid down and hit a guy that was walking away from the barn right below the shoulders - almost cut him in half. He was dead when the ambulance got there. He was 23 years old. Never had much of a taste for roofing after that.
 

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Pipeguy - anybody ever tell you that you know how to throw a cold bucket of water on a good party! That story brought turned my chuckles into a shiver in a hurry.

On that note, I only did roofing for 1 summer about 20 years ago when I was 18. I was working for my girlfriends dad who if you looked up the word ******* his picture would be there.

We had a guy name Kelly whos nickname was bounce, if you have seen the show American hotrod the guy named Bluebear could be his twin brother.

We used to have a thing called the bear. It was so hot on the roofs that you always wanted a drink, and if you kneeled down and gulped down too much cold water too fast the bear would get you, you could pass out when you stood up.

Bounce every few weeks or so would get eaten by the bear like clock work, his eyes would roll back in his head, he would stumble backwards and fall off the roof, I saw him do this at least a half dozen times that summer, it really was the funniest freaken thing I ever saw. He never seemed to get hurt and he never seemed to care. He thought it was funny too. He would just wipe himself off and climb back up and the boss would just shake his head.

For some reason, bounce was only aloud to be on the roof if we were doing a one story ranch type house. When we worked on those ridiculous victorians using roof jacks, the boss kept him on the ground doing alot of the ground work.
 

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Good lord, that's a story that brought the other to an abrute end!!! Sorry to hear about that.

On the lighter side my girlfreinds dad from back in HS was polish and I found out where they got the pollock joke from.

The man was an excellent welder by trade, but carpenter he was not. They lived in a mobil home in the country and he decided he was going to build a house for the family. Well they started digging the foundation and they got too close to the trailer and it started to tip into the hole. So they jerry rigged 2 4" straps and 2 3/8" chains with winches to the big trees in teh backyard and pulled it back into a somewhat level stance....and it stayed that way for 8 yrs-happened before we met but i defiantely heard about it after they found out I grew up doing construction trade with gramps. Fast forward 3 yrs after my gf and I were together and her dad was starting in building again. Had a guy come and set the block and then started building. Little did I know he'd been stock piling lumber off construction sites with left over bits of 2x6's and 2x4's. His home was build to be an open floor plan with a loft over half the house for the rooms. The walls were build by setting the 2x6's on top of each other then nailing little brace boards on either side of the butt joint and then cutting the two peice stud to length. I never said a thing, figured it'd be better than opening up a can of worms-he was a terrible alcoholic and knew everything. Anyways, GF and I broke up later but I stopped by 1 day to see how he was coming since the exterior looked "somewhat completed." He was up on the roof so I climbed the ladder to shoot the breeze. The whole time on the roof andtime that "country breeze" would blow across the feilds the house would start to sway, so my conversation was short and I crawled back down.

He invited me insde to take a look and reluctanly I agreed to come in. First thing I noticed walking in the door was a 2ton come along hanging about 9' above the floor that was tied to an eye bolt on both the north and south walls. He explained that after everything was erected the walls started to bow-he could'nt figure out why and I never mentioned the 2 peice stud walls just MIGHT be the culprit, so he had to put the come along in to pull the walls back together and was planning on encasing the contraption in oak to disguise it. WTF, now that's some funny ******************** right there and I dont care who you are!!! Then he used the blue electrical boxes for switches and outlets, but instead of installing them so they'd be flush with the finished wall, they stuck past the wall surface by an inch. The kitchen counter had a 8" tall section of PVC pipe sticking through it, when i asked what that was he expained it was for his beer cans, then took me into the basement and showed me the pipe exited into a 55 gallon drum. I'll give him creative points for that one!!!
 

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Heh, heh! Some pretty good stories there Gent's. I have dozens of them, but the one I'll always remember, was when I was working in Ft. Collins, CO for an old salty roofer named 'Shorty the Roofer' in 1980. I was doing a low slope #90 when I encountered a bunch of angry wasp's that built a nest in an electrical entrance. They swarmed my roofing budy and I and we jumped down on a lower deck to escape them. Then, ol' Shorty the Roofer comes pulling up to the job and asked why we are hiding on that there lower roof. "Wasp's in the weather head" I yelled out. "I'll fix them" said Shorty as he came up the ladder with a can of wasp spray. Now, Ol' Shorty was OLD, and he wore really thick glasses, and couldn't see very well with them. Without them he was blind as a bat. He snuck up to the weatherhead, aimed the can, pressed the button, and MISSED! All the angry wasp's came out and swarmed the old fart, who by this time was swinging and yelling every cuss word known to mankind. One landed right smack on his nose, and when he swiped at it, he knocked his glasses right off to the ground. The old fart was now blind, swinging madly, and going in circles right on the edge of the roof. What was a funny chuckle now had the makings of a major injury. My buddy and I jumped back up on the upper deck and literally had to gang tackle the old fart to keep him from going over the edge. I counted a dozen stings that night, my buddy had just as many, and Ol' Shorty NEVER even got stung!


Best regards
 

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On a roof in Henry Illinois, Mark says he has to use the restroom so I tell him where it is, Customers gone to town.

Mark was about as crazy as they come but he always did somthing unexpected.

About 45 minutes went by and no Mark. So I told the fellas to keep roofing I'm going for the maggot.

As I enter the hall I see Mark coming out of the bathroom drying his hair, The a$$hole took a shower!

Bob
 

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Glasshousebltr said:
As I enter the hall I see Mark coming out of the bathroom drying his hair, The a$$hole took a shower!
Bob
That is crazy!

Grumpy - there ain't a lot of rocket scientist types up on roofs banging nails, these stories prove it!

Along those same lines, the summer I spent roofing we also did steel siding on residential homes. I was working for my girlfriends ******* father and his son worked with us. Nobody would ever accuse these guys of being too smart that's for sure.

I can remember one time driving home on the NY Thruway with me and the ******* father in one pick-up and the son and another guy in his, they start racing each other and goofing off blowing off steam, as one thing leads to another, what started as a Mcdonalds wrapper being thrown out the window by dad to block the view of the son through his windshield, ended up escalating to the point over about 20 more miles where they were both getting infront of each other and reaching around the cab to grab pieces of construction debris and tossing it back at each other. This consisted of 2x4s with nails sticking out and triangular pieces of razar sharp steel siding. By the time it was over, the son had a flat tire and the dad had 2 pieces of steel siding sticking through his grill, one piercing his radiator which was leaking badly.

I can't even imagine the damage to other cars that passed over all that crap they threw around behind them for miles. And people wonder why I can't stand ********.
 

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My buddy and I were running shingles one day. He was pulling shingles off a pile and placing them, I was running the nail gun. When the shingle was in place he'd say shoot. Well, I swear he said shoot and then moved his hand to check the placement one last time. We both saw it coming, but couldn't do anything about it. In any event, I nailed his hand to the roof.

My story is that he was about to fall off, and it was the only way I could save his life - - - and I'm sticking to it!
 

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I dont know if the story is an urban legend among roofers, but a roofing sub was telling me a story about a guy that was sliding off a 2 story and as a last resort did just that, started pecking nails through his hand into the decking to keep from going over the edge.

Either way, good story and gives ya the cringe factor even if not true. Think I like the story better than hearing about somebody actually doing it though LOL. So'd ya use a roofing shovel to pry his hand up or the standard ol pry bar?? Hopefully eh roof deck allowed the nails to come free with his hand and not stay stuck in the sheathing :eek: OUCH!!!!
 

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I was on my way to Lacon IL to finnish up a glass room and I saw a nice looking peace of property and began to talk about it as we passed. Looking over my shoulders I noticed the tall pine trees and commented on their beauty. Returning my attention back to the road all I could see was MACK in big letters.

As I jurked the wheel to the right, while screaming aloud, I noticed my side mirror vannish with a crash swish sound.

After regaining control of the truck I looked over at my help who sat there expressionless in the passenger seat. I thought "Dam this fella has nerves of steel" About that time Dan let out the biggest "Beeouch" scream I've ever heard in my life........he was in shock.

Oh yea.....one more thing.....I could see the dirt on the lower channel of the dump truck bed as it passed.

Bob
 

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My big brother was always pulling something stupid. This time, he didn't think he'd get caught. He was doing a silver coat on a huge flat roof at a Kimberly Clark plant. Since nobody could see the roof from 3 stories down, he took a roller and painted 'F..k KC' in huge letters on the roof. Well, guess who just happened to fly over the plant in his private airplane that day? Yep, the CEO of Kimberly Clark. I think my brother was about 20lbs lighter in the ass-end after that episode.

Best regards
 

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How about the day a hammer fell off roof. I called down to new guy and asked him to toss it back up. He said sure, and before I could blink, he had reared back and let fly as if from deep center trying to get a runner out at home. I screamed "duck" and everybody hit the deck. Hammer was found 3 houses away.
A fellow working for us kept complaining about the large detour around a house caused by the attached green house. Couple hours later, he pulled toe-board up and sent it through curved glass panel on same green house. "I didn't know it was there" excuse really didn't fly either. (-$795.)
Long-time worker on one job was told not to throw walk-boards down. Said he knew what he was doing. Tossed it anyway, lenghtwise like a large spear. Neat, the way it tagged a ladder rung and went flying through ladder, through picture window, and living room wall. (-$3250.)
I hadn't been at this line of work long, when while on a roof for some repair, I noticed a soft spot. Told foreman. When owner showed up,he went to spot and started jumping lightly on spot to show owner. Owner had to go into kitchen to finish that conversation with foreman!
How about the day I sent my son-in-law to paint new tin roof. According to him, the 2 yellow Labs must have been playing on deck while he was on roof and somehow got into the paint. Result 2 Black Labs, black deck, etc. Did I also mention the PET DOOR and indoor RESULTS. The husband, who probably didn't have as much to do with clean-up as wife, still gets red when I mention it. Wife thought it was a trip. She stills laughs about it. She said Szxz happens!!
While doing new tin roof on a site, new addition, My panel maker made a comment about all the BB's he have found on floor. ( our equip was inside addition). I looked up and,(skip sheathing), instead of seeing a dark attic area, it looked like a star-lit night. GC's kids had had a field day in there. When I told him to also figure another $65. per hour to patch his new roof he had a baby. TO this day, mention BB gun in that house, it gets REAL quiet and the, now 30 year-old kids still slink on out.
( Come to think about it, last two were in that Va. county I'm getting a phobia about.)
Rain caught us short one day. I told one helper, Not a newbie, to cut 12" strips from end of roll of felt and nail them upside down on hip so nails wouldn't be needed on finished side. I was tarping and felting elsewhere. He said "took care of it boss". Next day when I went to continue job, found he had ran felt over hip about 3' and nailed hell out of it!
Came around the house one day to hear: " You stupid Bxzzxzx, it's only a MzxzFcczv bush. I'll Fxzx buy you another fzxx bush, you dumb Bzxz. etc,etc, Shut up woman, I'll jack your jaw,etc. He couldn't understand why I fired him and I understand why I never got a referral.
Boss was in bushes and said to keep eye out for lady of house. I said sure. Sounded like everything was coming out OK, So I saidc" yes ma'am, he's right here in the bush. Lots of noise in bush, mumbling, etc. Boss's head comes out "Where is she?" "She left". Cussed me out, called me bad names. Looked like he had spilt a large drink in his lap.
On a sub job once, for some reason, couldn't get dump in drive under 12/12 beside house. Asked L.O.H. to put car in front because of trash in drive. She refused. Next I know, she's driving over large pile of T.O.. Long story short, she made about 8 trips through T.O. during day. Sent bill to Roofer for $562. in flat repairs for the day. ( She did end up eating it too!)
Helper hollered for my help one day. Had to cross through t.o. and as I put a nail in one foot, L.o. H. popped around corner to see me hop and bite my tongue. On thrid hop, got other foot. Said S.O.A.B.
She like to busted a gut laughing and said she would have started cussing on first nail!
Butch and I were working on gutter. Lot of ladies by open window playing bridge. Butch said darn, I cut it wrong. ( or something). We went into repair mode instead of blame mode. Boss all of a sudden starts screaming " What the Fzzxz is that. You Stupid xzx zsas
zxaax,etc, What the Fxz is the biddy gonna say when she sees that Fzxzxup? Needless to say, ALL the biddies were standing behind him by time he finished. Butch and I left him to them, and he didn't even say hi to us for next 2 or 3 days!
Had a newbie on a bur years ago. When Jack said he needed a bunch of 12" strips of felt, newbie said he'd cut them. Asked if he could do that? Sure, been watching you all day. Shortly afterwards he handed us several long pieces, nicely cut, to do curbs. Later, Jack stopped in his tracks on way to ladder and called me over to ask, " What the xzcxz is this?" Roof was full of paralell cuts about 30' long and about 12" across! Newbie, with a hook-blade, had cut clear through 3 plies and bases sheet! He was able to make it to ladder and leave before Jack caught him and tossed him off roof.
Years ago, when I was new, I told boss I could sweep 12" snow off 12/12 so we could roof it. Set ladder at gable and only managed to clear one 2'wide strip from ridge to gutter before I called it quits.
Only took 3 seconds to figure that out!
Worked with a guy once who talked all the time!! He even said he could forget what he was doing while talking. As he said that, he walked right off other end of building holding dumb end of chalkline. Way the reel spun, you would have though I had hooked a mackeral!! Came right back up and asked if I saw what he meant by getting distracted?
 

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That's too good tinner!
BTW I always wore Vietnam era combat boots, they had a steel plate in the sole that protected you from nails.
 
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