Saturday, September 12, 2009

Battening Down the Hatches

It's that time of year. Time to prepare for another long Chicago winter. What does this mean at Chicago 2-flat? Well, it means painting exposed wood, re-glazing some old windows, patching our hot tar garage roof, touching up our building's rubber roof with a reflective aluminum coating, securing and caulking the clay coping tiles on the parapet (finally!!),  and some minor concrete repairs.

It's all about keeping water- that natural nemesis of homes -out! And also keeping heat in and the cold -- out!


The basement front window glazing was really tired so we re-glazed and then painted the windows white to match the other windows on the building.

Eventually we are going to replace these windows, but for now it's periodic maintenance. Glazing secures the panes in place within the window muntins and makes the windows more airtight, therefore helping with conserving energy and keeping the warm air inside during the winter.

Obviously, painting wood prevents it from rotting prematurely too.


The garage door paint was failing in some places unforunately. We think perhaps the temperature was too cold when we originally painted it or there was some residue that was not stripped totally when we stripped it. Not fun, but these things happen sometimes!

Here I'm caulking cracks with painters caulk. Two coats of paint and a brass kick plate and hopefully the door will hold for a few more years until Steve builds us a new one.


Steve placing the backer rod prior to caulking all the coping tiles around the parapet. This was supposed to be done three years ago but we ran out of time before winter...three years in a row!

Honestly I can't believe we went that long with unsecured coping tiles.

Steve applied Vulkem 116 roofing caulk. We counted ourselves lucky that the $100 worth of caulk we bought a few years ago was still usable.

A few of the tubes were too stiff to use, but the rest were okay. Funny thing is, I remember balking back when we bought it. "Are you sure we need that right now?" 3 years later and we finally used it. A cause celebre.

And here you can see a full view of the roof and the scope of the job. I also spray painted the roof vents while we were up there.

After powering through a number of these tasks last weekend and feeling that "kicking ass and taking names" feeling, I was joking with Steve. I said we should change our house slogan to, "We do more in one weekend than some people do in a whole year."

Of course, after a 2nd weekend of work, we're a little more reserved now. But almost finished for the season!


Sandy said...

Great job. You have a beautiful house.

Unknown said...


I've read over your blog and as you prepare for winter, you might want to check out our blogger contest on Old House Web. We're running a best home blogger contest (for prize of $250 gift certificate to Lowe's and chance to be a paid contributor to our blog) I think you'd be a great candidate. Please check it out: