So the good news about our leaky roof got even better yesterday. Right after lunch, I got a call from Mr Thépot's office. The woman on the phone said they would be sending a couple of guys out to fix the roof problem. Expect them at 4 p.m. In fact, they showed up a little early. We hadn't expected to see them before today, and maybe not before Monday. So this was great news.
The guys climbed up onto the roof and and inspected the chimney and flashing to try to figure out what the problem was. The only thing they could find didn't actually have to do with the metal flashing around the chimney, but with the mortar "skirt" around the base of the chimney. You can see it clearly in the photo on the right. And look at that blue sky!
The guy in charge said the mortar seems to have separated, or come unstuck, from the chimney itself. Water must have started seeping into the tiny crack between the chimney and the mortar. It's true that light rains haven't produced leaking inside the house, but heavy rains certainly have.
While one of the two guys applied a lot of cement around the base of the chimney to fill the narrow gap where they suspect water was getting in, the other one removed some roof tiles along each side of the dormer on the front of the house and cleaned leaves and other debris out of the sheet metal channels that take rainwater running off the tiles down to the gutters on the front of the house.
Now we have to wait for a good rain to fall again to see whether the fix has been effective. We're supposed to get that rain early tomorrow morning, and even more late Saturday afternoon. Forecasts are for even heavier rain on Christmas Eve — but forecasts can change. The roofing crew told me they are going to be on vacation for two weeks starting Saturday. So we're on our own until January if the fix hasn't worked.
P.S. About the bad news I mentioned yesterday — sorry to be so coy. What our neighbor C. told me when I ran into her at the bank was that she has sold her house and is leaving Saint-Aignan. She'll be moving down to the Bordeaux area next March. We've known her for 16 years now, and she's been a very good neighbor. So it's really sad news for us rather than bad news. More tomorrow.