Another layer of shingles


I couldn’t understand it, the shingles looked fine and were in good shape. There were no loose shingles, or spots where roofing nails had worked themselves out. According to the home inspection when we bought our house eight years ago, our house had been reroofed only a few years earlier with 40-year shingles. So why were we having problems with leaks, and why couldn’t we find them and fix the problem?

A few months ago, Terri came down from putting something in the attic, and told me she thought we had a leak. It had just rained, so I went up to check it out. She was right, there was a wet spot on the roof of the attic. As I checked out the rest of the attic, I noticed a couple more spots that looked like water was sneaking in. I couldn’t understand it since the roof looked good and wasn’t that old. I had noticed previously that there were a few spots where there had been some leaks. But I figured that it must had been prior to the time it was reroofed.

So I contacted my friend, Donald, who does all sorts of carpentry work, to help me find the leak, or leaks. After it rained this spring, I climbed up into the attic to mark the locations. Then Donald would later climb on the roof while I would be in the attic trying to guide him where the problems were. He would take out old rusty nails and caulk where we thought the leaks were being caused. We’d think we had the problem solved. Then after it would rain once more, I’d climb up to check. The leaks were still there, frustrating Donald and myself completely. After a rain a few weeks ago, and seeing leaks once again after thinking we had it fixed, I gave up. Even though the old roof was a little over ten years old and looked good, we decided to go ahead, pay the price, and put a new roof on our home.

I was at work the morning they started roofing our house. I got a phone call from Donald. “Mac, now I know why we couldn’t fix those leaks. There’s another layer of shingles underneath those shingles on top!”

Another layer of shingles? No wonder we couldn’t find those leaks! The water could be coming from who knows where and running down that bottom layer of shingles and coming out at those spots we tried to fix. And unless you took the top layer off you would never know there was another layer of roofing shingles below. The 40-year shingles were laid on top of old shingles which should have been removed, but probably weren’t in order to save money. So, the roofer ended up removing two layers of shingles, instead of one. We also ended up replacing several pieces of roofing plywood damaged by water through the years. Yes, it ended up being a costly project, but it is fixed. I also now realize that some costly repair work to replace windows due to water damage probably came from water running off that inner layer of shingles.

But the roof looked good. And it did look good, on the surface. But just underneath was the problem. There was old roofing that should have been removed, but it wasn’t. It was just covered up. Eventually, the results of what was actually underneath that surface layer became evident.

But isn’t that often the truth about life? Often, our lives look good on the surface to those around us. You know, good job, good family, good friends, etc. But just underneath the surface, there’s a problem. I don’t have to be specific, because you know what the problem is. And you do a good job of covering it up. You really look good, on the surface. But now there are starting to be leaks. You’ve even tried to patch those leaks in various ways, but they haven’t worked. You know you have to do something. If not, there will be some major and lasting structural damage to your life.

In the Bible, it states, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7) God sees what’s underneath. He knows the problem. He knows how to fix the problem.

By the way, I went up in the attic one more time after all the rain this past week to check for leaks. No leaks. What a relief! Donald and the roofers did their job. Imagine how much better you’ll be when you let God do the repair work in your life. Let Him begin His work today.

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