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Vanquish That Snow Melt
Dated: January 9 2017
Bring on the snow here in the Treasure Valley! Sure, at this point we are all tired of the “Snowpocalypse” or “Snowmageddon” (or whatever you decide to call it) and on our fourth snow day from school the unrest is setting in and that cabin fever can no longer be contained. GOOD NEWS! There is an opportunity for you to get outside! As a home owner in this record setting snowfall there are some important items that need to be addressed to protect your hard-earned investment.
As per the following… I speak from experience:
Ice Dams – They are in fact real. There capability to show up anywhere on a roof is uncanny. Keeping snow clear from the edge of your roof can make a tremendous impact on their development. Clearing out eaves and valleys where the roof lines meet can also assist with water drainage as the surplus of snow on your roof begins to melt. Not only do ice dams accumulate with the melting of snow when the exterior temperature heats up but also at lower temperatures when the heat from your home melts the under layer of snow residing on your roof and slowly creeps its way to the edge.
Melting your ice dam hack! Extra pantyhose? Fill those up with ice melt and lay them across the ice buildup in your gutters. At first contact, it will start to melt the ice making way for additional water runoff. Avoid placing your filled stockings on your shingles however, as they can damage them.
Drainage - Now that you have water moving where is it going to go?! Ours ended up in our garage. Don’t worry, it has been remediated. To prevent this, make sure that water can get to the downspout along your gutters. This may require a hammer and chisel (be sure to not put a hole through your gutter) to remove some of the ice that your stockings have already started to melt. In addition, make sure that the downspouts have not collected a nest of snow and ice at their elimination point. If there is build up here it will prevent the water from escaping resulting in a back flow and rushing back up over your gutter and draining in areas less alluring (say, your garage). Driveway drainage tip: be sure that your driveway contraction lines (the little grooves in your concrete slab) are cleared of ice and snow. All driveways slope away from the home (well, they are supposed to) and by keeping these clear it will assist the water to run away from the house rather than back toward your garage.
More on Drainage - Now that you have gotten your downspouts clear and the water flowing, what happens if the water is no longer going anywhere and pooling by the foundation of your home? This too will require your attention. When water freezes, it expands; when it melts, it contracts. Allowing this to happen at the foundation of your home can lead to some serious long term problems and repairs. If you see the water backing up or pooling here some method of remediation must occur to move the water away from the base of the home. Gutter extensions can be made, alterations to downspouts and if resources are low, a good old fashioned board will do the trick. Remember, gravity can be your greatest asset or your worse enemy. Don’t let it be the latter.
Happy snow removal! Be safe out there!
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