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Slate makes a durable fireproof roof, and in Pennsylvania, where slate is comparatively cheap, has been used to a considerable extent for miners' cottages. Its first cost is higher and it requires heavy supporting members, and an 8-inch rise in 12 inches is the least pitch recommended. If slate is used the roof should be simple to the extreme in order that the cost may be reduced. An asphalt-saturated sheet or a good grade of tar paper should be laid over sheathing boards before the slates are applied. In isolated houses, where a cistern must be used as a source of drinking-water supply, slate makes the cleanest watershed, but a mining town should not be dependent on cisterns for drinking water.
Two methods are used in applying wooden shingles. One consists of completely boarding over the rafters and covering these boards with felt or paper before the shingles are laid. In the other method the shingles are nailed on narrow boards laid a few inches apart. The latter method is by far the cheaper in first cost, and the shingles last longer because of the better ventilation underneath. This method should not, however, be used if the attic rooms are to be finished, as it makes these rooms cold in winter and uncomfortably warm during the summer months.
The untreated shingle roof is objectionable on account of its inflammability, and is condemned by insurance authorities and also by the National Fire Protection Association, which has issued a bul. letin condemning this type of roof covering. As clearly shown in that bulletin, burning shingles may be carried great distances by the wind or draft of conflagration, and if they alight on other dry wooden shingles may start other fires. In this manner a dozen separate fires may be started over a radius of a mile or more while the original fire is still being fought. Statistics show that never a day passes but somewhere in the United States or Canada a shingle roof is set on fire by sparks from the chimney.
Notwithstanding its inflammability the shingled roof is desirable on account of its low cost, light weight, coolness, and attractive appearance. Recent experiments by H. A. Gardner, of the Institute of Industrial Research, demonstrate that when shingles are painted with a high-grade mineral paint the deposited film has the effect of smoothing down the fuzzy surface and the mineral constituents increase the fire-retardant properties of the shingle.
Saturated-felt ready roofings are numerous in variety and composition. It is difficult to determine the exact value and relative perma.
nency of some of these products from appearance alone, and attention should be given to their durability in service. Roofings of this type are usually unattractive, and also introduce a certain fire hazard, particularly if the roofing be composed largely of vegetable fiber saturated with volatile compounds.
More recently there have appeared upon the market the so-called " asphalt shingles," which are made from roll roofing, cut up and applied in the form of shingles. The general use of such shingles, however, has been too limited as yet to warrant a definite opinion respecting their permanency or durability as a roof covering.
Sheet-metal roofings are available in various forms. That most generally used for houses is the tin roofing, which is more often used where the pitch of the roof is limited. For verandas tin roofing is almost exclusively used. In applying tin it is essential that the boards upon which it is laid present a smooth surface, and it is desirable to have them run from the eaves to the ridge, so that if any warping or shrinkage occurs the channels thus formed will be in the direction of the water flow. It is very desirable to apply between the sheathing and the tin a layer of heavy sheathing paper of good quality.
Another familiar form of metal roof is the corrugated, galvanized, or painted steel sheet, which, however, is not at all attractive as a roofing for houses.
Metal shingles and imitation Spanish tile are made from galvanized and tinned steel sheets, and these produce a more attractive effect than any other form of metal roofing.
The difficulty of protecting the average metal roof against corrosion is one that merits consideration. The various protective methods, such as tinning, galvanizing, and painting, particularly the latter, are only temporary expedients. A multiple system of safeguarding the metal sheets against corrosion consists in first covering the metal with an adhesive, nondrying, bituminous compound and embedding asbestos felts therein. Metal sheets thus protected are available in various forms and colors suitable for general roofing purposes. They are not, however, well adapted for the covering of flat or substantially flat surfaces, owing to the impossibility of soldering them together as is done with tinned metal sheets.
Other types of roof coverings are available, but are not generally suitable for the roofs of small houses such as built-up tar and
gravel roof, a method that is not applicable to sloping roofs, and terra-cotta tiles, which generally are too high in first cost, and are too heavy to be suitable for structures of this kind.
The advisability of putting house gutters on a miner's cottage depends upon whether the streets are paved and whether the yards are graded and improved with gardens, lawns, and footwalks; in other words, house gutters are a complement of a finished town.
The use of the gutter as a means of conveying water to a cistern is not here emphasized, because cisterns are accessories of isolated houses and should not be found in mining communities of the future. In addition to this use, however, house gutters help to keep the foundation dry and prevent the spattering of mud around the base of the house; they prevent the washing away of soil and permit the utilization of the belt surrounding the house for flower beds or lawns; they prevent the formation of stagnant pools of water and protect the footwalk from mud and ice. Gutters may be made of wood or galvanized iron, and the conductors or leader pipes should be corrugated rather than plain, in order to allow for expansion in case they should freeze, as they frequently do in cold climates. Gutters, conductors, and goosenecks increase the cost of the house and are expensive to keep in repair; many of their advantages are nullified unless there are street gutters or a sewer system to receive the water from the conductors. The installation of house gutters should be postponed until other conditions are brought up to a consistent standard. How . ever a short length of gutter should be placed on the veranda over the steps to prevent dripping of water and formation of ice on the steps.
THE YARD AND ITS APPURTENANCES.
Few miners' houses have celiars, so that the coal must be stored somewhere in the yard. In places where there are no alleys or where the rear yard is not accessible to a wagon, the coal house or box is placed in the front yard to reduce the cost of delivering the coal. The sight of a coal box on the front property line is anything but pleasing, and is out of place in the modern mining town.
In some places the coal house and privy have been combined. There appears to be no objection to this and it lessens the cost and reduces the number of small buildings in the back yard. This combination idea has been carried further and the privies and coal houses of two adjoining houses have been placed under one roof (Pl. III, B), the building being on the division line between the
lots. There is, perhaps, not sufficient privacy and independence to this arrangement to allow it to be universally recommended. If it is adopted the privies should be in the two extremities of the building, and it is better, perhaps, to have the entrance to the privy on the end of the building and not on the side that faces the house.
DOMESTIC ANIMALS IN MINING TOWNS,
The population of mining towns often consists of people who are experiencing a transitional era. Many of them have been accustomed to living on farms, and they often bring along with them customs and practices that give rise to insanitary conditions in a thickly settled community. Notable among these is the keeping of domestic animals.
Animals may be kept with impunity on a farm, where they receive proper attention and where everything is open and spacious, and where the aromas of the barnyard are carried away by the great movements of pure air which come sweeping across the open country. But the circumstances are entirely different when a horse and cow, hens, hogs, geese, goats, rabbits, pigeons, and dogs are crowded together on a city lot of 50 by 100 feet, and when similar conditions prevail on 20 adjacent lots. It should be remembered that not only must the yard contain the patched shacks and coops for all these animals but there must also be room for the privy, wachhouse, coal shed, outside oven, woodpile, and clotheslines. Under these cramped conditions the odors from the animal offal, pigsty, privy, steaming manure heaps, chicken coops, kitchen slops, goose puddles, and soggy ground are confined, and if the settlement is in a sheltered valley, as is generally the case, a stagnant miasma will overhang the entire community. Added to this are such nuisances as lice, fleas, and other vermin, the noise, and the scratching and burrowing in the soil of the yard.
PREVENTION EASIER THAN CURE.
In a new mining town certain restrictions regarding domestic animals should be instituted at the very beginning, as abuses are prevented much easier than corrected. Often county or State regulations supply the needed restraints if they are enforced. It might be a good plan to incorporate some of these measures in the house lease which is signed by the tenants. The keeping of hogs, geese, and ducks should be absolutely prohibited within the city limits, as it requires too much time and money to prevent nuisances from arising, in spite of the much-talked-of scavenger trait of the hog. This recommendation is made in the full knowledge of the popular use of pork, the toothsomeness of roast duck, the deliciousness of a fresh
goose egg, and the comfort of sleeping under a “goose-hair” tick. Unfortunately, the community good requires personal sacrifices.
Building permits for stables should be required, and no stable should be erected until a permit has been granted. This regulation should in no way prohibit the keeping of horses, as the miner oftentimes needs a horse to drive to and from work, especially if the town is at a distance from the plant. This measure, however, will furnish control over the location and type of building, and will furnish an opportunity of coming to an understanding about the disposal of the manure, which is very important if the fly nuisance is to be prevented.
The building of stables should be restricted to lots in the outskirts of the town, unless the lot is quite large.
In order to prevent cows from grazing in the alleys and streets, a fenced pasture should be provided by the company. Regulations about diseased horses and cows should be rigorously enforced.
Chickens should not be permitted to roam about the yard, but should be confined within a runway. The coop should be whitewashed at regular intervals.
GARDENS VERSUS DOMESTIC ANIMALS.
In attempting to abolish the keeping of domestic animals consideration must be given to other phases besides strict sanitation, chief among which is the effect of these animals in reducing the cost of living. It is also undoubtedly true that the simple pleasures derived from caring for animals in feeding, breeding them, and building coops or pens is a factor in the life of the miner that should not be disregarded.
One frictionless method of combating the practice of keeping domestic animals is to encourage the planting of gardens. The garden has a wide range of advantages. First and foremost, the products from the garden reduce the cost of living. Not only are fresh vegetables furnished during the season, but many of them may be preserved for use during the winter.
The garden is an indirect means of improving the order and cleanliness of the yard. Trash, rubbish, ash heaps, stagnant water, and disorder will automatically disappear with the advent of gardens.
The gardens furnish a pleasurable and profitable way of engaging the miner's unoccupied time. Spare hours and days in which there is no run at the mine can be spent to great advantage in a garden. There is a wholesome influence from the very contact with green growing things. The miner's family will likewise reap many advantages. Helping about the garden will keep the children out of mischief and teach them thrift and industry.