When the roofers were replacing the crazy roof, they mentioned that the chimney (the bit sticking out of the roof) was in truly awful shape – crumbling into nothingness. Given the very high cost of the roof, though, we couldn’t afford to pay them extra to take it down. Every day since it’s been like hundreds of bricks looming over our heads, constantly stressed that it was going to fall and take part of the roof (or one of our heads) with it.
So on a sunny day in early May (2019), Sergiu found his way onto the roof with the mission (thankfully, not impossible) of taking it down brick by brick.
First step: get onto the roof. This proved more difficult than it probably should have… We stopped at Home Depot to invest in an extension ladder. I was planning on renting a pick-up truck from Home Depot, but their trucks are not long enough so they wouldn’t allow me to carry an extension ladder on it.* Argh!
Thankfully, Wassaic is the coolest town with the best people. We headed up to the house confident that one of the amazing people at the Wassaic Project or one of our super wonderful neighbors would lend us a ladder.**
Super awesome neighbors to the rescue. Armed with a ladder, Sergiu proceeded to (hopefully) find a stable enough portion of the porch roof on which to set it.
Eventually, he made it to the top. We grossly underestimated the size of that chimney.
I mean, Sergiu’s kind of short, but that chimney was so much bigger than either of us thought.
The boys and I hid in the house, listening in terror to every creak and crack – unsure whether it was the chimney falling down, Sergiu falling down, or some combination of both. I couldn’t take it anymore (about 3.75 minutes later); the boys and I headed over to the Wassaic Project’s “Art Nest”*** hours.
While the boys made brilliant art, I obsessively ran outside to make sure Sergiu had not fallen to his doom. About an hour later I almost had a heart attack because he was missing from the roof. He actually was just all done, but hadn’t thought to call and tell me (Sergiu doesn’t text). I named six new gray hairs after him that day.
1.5 hours is pretty good for about eight feet of chimney. It helped that there was virtually no mortar between the bricks anymore, and that Sergiu did not need any hammer or pick to get the bricks free. They just came right off in his hands, it was absurd how structurally unsound that thing was.
It’s a miracle the whole damn thing did not tumble through our roof months ago.
*It is truly difficult to acquire an extension ladder. Amazon has a few, but they are very expensive. Home Depot has loads, but delivery is prohibitively expensive and Sergiu was not game for trying to just stick it at a diagonal through our Camry 🙂 Local hardware stores without websites are not particularly helpful, and Wassaic is outside of most’s delivery zone (though we later found out that the one in Amenia would have delivered if I had planned it better – also they are super friendly and helpful).
**It’s a really long trip from Brooklyn (with two kids), and the chimney was the sole purpose of this particular trip. We had to hope.
***One of the first things about Wassaic that really motivated us to buy this house.