Back when I first watched it I wondered how much the roof leaks? You can see daylight around the tiles. I wondered if there was anything (pitch, or cob) he could apply from the inside to seal it up, but instant rain would probably leak through and deter anything un-fired. And even fired, the tiles themselves probably wouldn't hold up to perpetual dampness, such as a snow melting in spring. Impressive amount of work, with all that considered!
I have corresponded with this young (and very brilliantly creative) young man a few times now, and thanked him for the wonderful, positive and motivational work he is "studying" and "testing" very much in the application of "physical social anthropology." It is simple brilliant work...!!!
I would like to share some insights about some specific observations from above, and listen to others if they seem to have worth and/or merit.
This is so cool (and sooo much work!).
I could not agree more...It is way beyond cool for someone to take such an in depth examination of means, methods and materials to such an enlightened degree.
...You can see daylight around the tiles...
Seeing "daylight" through such a roof is actually normal traditionally. Further, the steeper the pitch is the less likely (hardly at all actually) there is ever with any issues of water infiltration from heavy precipitation. It would also appear that he has at least a 45° pitch roof which is even more resistant to seepage.
I have been in many vintage structures of such roofing systems and even with holes and disrepair the "sheeting effect" of precipitation under average conditions tends to just move by such "downward sloping" gaps and openings. I was rather taken back by the "cohesion phenomenon" that occurs in such roofs.
This is not to say that leaks do not, or can not occur. They can and do but are less than one would expect and are relatively easily mitigated.
..I wondered if there was anything (pitch, or cob) he could apply from the inside to seal it up...
There actually are many methods, just as you expected. There are traditional flax oil/oakum caulkins (et al), lime pointing and mortaring systems as found on many traditional roofs. The most common are "Roof Torching" methods, and the modalities expand from there.
...even fired, the tiles themselves probably wouldn't hold up to perpetual dampness, such as a snow melting in spring...
I agree, yet it all depends on the clay employed, and the firing length, temperature, etc.
It looks like he has a good body in the clay and fired them relatively well for perhaps an average terracotta. These could last as long as 50 to 150 years on such a pitch and method of hanging...
Jay C. White Cloud wrote:These could last as long as 50 to 150 years on such a pitch and method of hanging...
Wow!! Thanks for adding Jay--I find your insight extra inspiring, in conjunction with the video.
I know how long it takes to build a mud house, and I feel a little better knowing it will last more than a season--He's not as crazy as I first thought.
I love the close connection to the woods too. Such a gentle footprint to leave behind, when everything is gleaned right there on the site. Compare that to the huge amount of waste generated after a normal dwelling is built. Of course he doesn't live there, but you know what I mean... lifestyle goals!!
Mary Love wrote:He's not as crazy as I first thought.
No...this young man is anything but crazy...He is actually very inspirational for so many reasons I couldn't begin to list them. The first time I just saw him start a "drill fire" told me of the level of talent and skill he has. He is only going to get better, and has so much to offer in the way of "basic" tangible skill sets...I am trying to get him to join Permies.com and start contributing in direct conversations with folks. I agree fully with you also about what he roll models...Its just excellent!
He has a blog, and these are nice, yet I feel as an educator that "blogs" can become too "insular" and not inclusive enough to broad conversations and academic discussions on subjects. Not to mention the level of "nice" challenging methods that can take effect in well moderated forums such as Permies.com.