Start at the top
In Mexico, flexibility is not a just virtue, it is a necessity. We planned to renovate the casita and live there during the renovation of the main house. Between the many changes I’d made, and our builder’s other commitments. delays occured. But the rainy season waits for no one. Stains on our ceiling indicated a leaky roof and by but by March, I was getting nervous. Merida gets some rain all year round, but from May to October, heavy downpours are frequent. So, in April, we moved into the casita, one big room with a bathroom.
In Merida, most roofs are flat. A white substance applied with a paint roller is the most common way to seal them. After the first coat, they lay a durable membrane over the surface before applying a second coat. In Canada, this same tough membrane discouraged thistle roots from tunneling under the fence and popping up into my garden.
Normally, waterproofing only takes a few days, but our roof was a mess and it stretched into a few weeks. It was twelve years since the last coating, and that was a shabby job. We have many enormous trees. Fallen leaves turn into humus, seeds sprout tiny roots which penetrate the surface, and a roof garden was trying to establish itself.
In January, my neighbor thought I had bees on my roof. He contacted an Apiarist, who captured the bees and relocated them to a rural home. Thousands of bees had excavated half a meter down through a column of cement. I was lucky to have caught it before any structural damage occurred.
It is common here for pipes to run along the roof surface. Water is fed down either by gravity or a pressurized system. Since we plan to divide the property, they all had to come down, along with a tangled mess of old phone and electric cable that had been painted over.
Once they removed and repaired everything, they scraped and cleaned the surface before applying the waterproofing layers. After reinstalling the water pipes, we could move back into the main house.
Finally, it was time to begin work on the casita. That will be my next post
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