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Friends, has this ever happened to you?

I started hearing a thumping noise last night. Didn’t think much of it. Probably just a piece of loose soffit. It’s come undone before about 10 years ago and if I recall correctly, took about 10 minutes for the handyman who had a long ladder to pin back up. Except for the nasty, anonymous note one of my neighbors put up, demanding that I “fix it immediately, some of us like to sleep!”, it was no biggy. The damage to the house was minor. The damage to my relationship to this neighbor was irreparable. I know who left the note and did not offer to help me fix it. But I digress.

The sound got more insistent this morning when I woke up. “Oooo, that sounds expensive”, thought I. But my imagination is always much worse than I think. So, I fired up the coffee pot, jumped into my clogs and checked it out.

This is what I found:

Needless to say, my imagination completely did not keep up this time around. Not only is the siding gone, so is the vapor barrier. I can almost hear the heat escaping from the house singing, “I’m free! I’m, free!”. If only that we’re true. Sadly, PSEG does not discount the natural gas for “The wind ate my siding” excuses.

In the annals of unemployment during the worst recession/depression since the 1930’s, this is one of those unexpected expenses that people like me dread. Insurance will probably cover this, but I have a hefty deductible and the bit of padding I built into the reserve fund has just taken a big hit.

It goes without saying that politicians are out of touch.

24 Responses

  1. Oh yes. The wind damage to my home in Northern Virginia last spring was similar to yours, but not as extensive. A segment of that top metal thingy hung by single nail as it twisted in the wind making crunching sounds before crashing loudly and repeatedly against the siding. The noise drove me out of my doggone mind and sleepless for a couple of nights. Fortunately, my neighbors left their outrage to my imagination, while I waited for my trusted roofer and siding guy to arrive and pinch me for about $500.

    • I’m a little concerned that the wind is going to rip more of it off. It’s still windy out there. Probably too dangerous for a handyman on a ladder to tack down what’s still loose. Hope the adjuster checks it out soon so I can get it fixed.

  2. But my imagination is always much worse than I think.
    but not this time RD.and those are the times we dread.

  3. that is some wicked wind.

  4. How long have you owned, is there a builder’s guarentee that might cover some of the damage?

    Since trouble seems to come in threes watch out for something else to fail. How old is your water hearter and washer?

  5. I am so sorry, Riverdaughter!! What a depressing experience. And that it’s happened so far above you that it can’t be easily tacked together — cr@p.

  6. Please tell me that the pieces that are gone are over on the neighbors front lawn! If yes, tell him/her it was a force majeure.

    Was the weather particularly bad last night?

    • It was very windy yesterday and last night. In fact, the wind finally died down the afternoon. I know that it was this wind storm that did the damage because just about a week ago, I was on that side of the house and there was nothing wrong with the siding.

  7. Maybe you can find the pieces that blew off. That type of siding is remarkably resilient. Perhaps if you found it all it could be nailed back up when the wind dies down. Somebody handy could do that pretty easily if you had the siding pieces. Do you know what make of siding and what color? Maybe you can find a few replacement pieces. Otherwise,….don’t want to think about it.

    • Ya’know, this just looks like a job for a professional. It’s not just the siding, it’s part of the roof line, fascia, and vapor barrier. It’s pretty serious. It’s a good thing I have insurance because I couldn’t afford to get it reapaired otherwise.

      • RD, I am not suggesting that you do this yourself, but if you could find the pieces and they could put new soffit/fascia piece and vaporbarrier under siding, it might not be that expensive and be under your deductable. I feel the big problem will be finding the right siding pieces for an inexpensive fix, otherwise……

        • ???
          I’m confused. If I’m going to be shelling out money for this anyway, shouldn’t I get the best repair possible using the absolute newest materials? When it comes to structural stuff on my house, I don’t think it’s a good idea to scrimp. That comes back to bite you in the ass when you sell. The inspectors will know. Better to do it right now and avoid further damage. I’d find it hard to believe that the siding companies couldn’t find a match.

  8. Good for you having saved money for a rainy day. Many people fail to do that or can not do that. When this happens to them, it is just another couple swirls around the downward spiral.

  9. Were the winds up to 50-60mph? I have trouble imagining anything slower could do that.

    • The winds were pretty strong on Friday. But maybe it wasn’t the speed but the direction? I don’t know. I didn’t see anything like this after Irene but Irene was mostly rain, not wind so much. Yeah, the wind was bad here on Friday. Nearly swept me off my feet in Philly.

      • Once this problem on your house has been solved, will you have a bit of leisure time and energy to think about whether things like this happened to other houses and structures in the area? Would it be interesting to find out if it is easy to find out? And if it did, one wonders whether this happened to some houses of all ages, or only to houses made after a certain time, or just what . . .

  10. I hate this kind of thing, RD, and I’m so sorry. It’s like the old Western movies, with the bad guy firing bullets at your feet and telling you to dance.

  11. Oh, and I agree on the professionals, if you can. I don’t like the idea of water damage to the window frame area immediately below the siding that got ripped off.

    Assuming it doesn’t screw up the insurance situation, you might consider some kind of temporary fix just so the siding isn’t flapping around. If another strong wind catches that edge, there could be more damage. Maybe something as simple as a “blue tarp”?

  12. You’ve said before that you live in a “townhouse”. Isn’t exterior damage the responsibility of your condo association?

    • Not in this case. I have a “fee simple” association arrangement. I’m responsible for repairs like this. All my association pays for is landscaping, pool stuff, snow removal and garbage pickup (which has its own set of rules that’s about a mile long). The next development over has the kind of association that does that other stuff but their association fees cost a lot more.

  13. I’m rooting for Money Ball at the Golden Globes tonight — my Brother In Law, Christopher Tellefsen edited it. And it’s been nominated in several catagories!

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