Sealing up the workshop’s eaves (by )

I keep moaning about how the workshop roof leaks, causing rain to drop down on all my nice tools and supplies. But that's not the only problem with the workshop roof!

The workshop is basically a set of walls, with the roof resting on top. The roof is a large, flat, box with the bottom open (exposing the rafters that give it strength), slightly larger than the outline of the walls. The rafters rest on the tops of the walls, and the roof hangs slightly over the walls.

As you may have guessed if you've been following that, this means there's gaps all the way around the edge of the roof. Howling winds blow through them. These holes are enormous at the ends of the building, where the roof overhangs further; twenty centimetres high and occupying most of the length of the walls (interrupted only by the rafters themselves), but I've pinned up sheets of plastic to temporarily block them until I get around to cutting lots of rectangles of wood to properly cover them with.

Along the longer walls of the building, the gap is more like a centimetre, but again more or less the entire length of the building (which is somewhere around ten metres).

And the worst part is, the rear wall is close to a row of trees, which are covered in ivy. And the ivy has found the gaps and keeps oozing its way into the roof.

Evil ivy oozing in through the eaves

And as well as being faintly disturbing, the ivy also drops foul grime down onto my stuff.

Ivy drops foul brown stuff on all my things

So, although stopping the roof leaking is a long-term project I work on when I get entire days to spend building the ladder to get up there, I've been fighting the ivy when I've just had a few hours here and there. I've been cutting bits of thin wood (left-over cladding) and nailing them in place over the larger holes, and then liberally applying left-over bits of sealant to all the edges (I suspect the ivy attacks a gap if it sees light, so hopefully this will make it lose interest). The black marks on the ceiling are damage made by ivy I've torn out:

Sealing up the eaves 1

There's no less than three different colours of sealant there - two different cartridges of brown "frame sealant", one light and one dark, and some leftover bits of white stuff from the bathroom! Unbelievably, it looks miles neater than the mess of cobwebby, grimy, ivy that was there!

I have to climb right up into the eaves to get most of the gaps, however. This picture is not particularly clear, but there's a thin plank of wood that I've nailed down to the top of the wall in order to cover the two-centimetre gap between the top of the wall and the vertical wooden beam at the back, then I've run sealant all around all the gaps and joints:

Sealing up the eaves 2

I quite like working with sealant (I've been sealing gaps in the bathroom, and replacing existing manky mouldy sealant - and doing it neatly, unlike the ghetto job I'm doing in the workshop), and it's nice to think that I'm keeping out all those draughts and grubby plants! I want to properly seal all the gaps in the workshop - and then introduce an extractor fan over the welding bench at one end, and an air inlet vent at ground level at the other end, with a small heater under computer control so I can regulate the temperature and keep the humidity down in here!

I've also started varnishing a bit of scrap MDF that, I have realised, is exactly the right size to make a shelf to go over my workbench (not the welding bench, the one where I have the column drill). That will give me a place to put loads of things that currently sit ON my workbench for lack of a shelf. Also, I'll be able to fit a decent light to the bottom of the shelf; right now, when I work at the workbench, I cast a huge shadow over whatever I'm doing.

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