Ramble On

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow Trouble

The snow that still covers the ground in the Beaver Run hollow came down a week or so before Christmas, but the temps have stayed low enough so that it hasn’t melted completely off, and it’s been refreshed a couple of times with light dustings. During the holiday weekend, the temperatures were getting warm enough so that the snow on the Hawksbill Cabin’s roof did melt, so we got icicles…and some trouble.

I spotted these icicles when I did a little checklist walk around in the snow. I was immediately worried because of what they mean to the roof – not so much about the weight load on the low-pitched roof, since we had that all taken care of a couple of years ago (http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2007/12/wtf-moment.html ) - but with the melt getting stuck along the roof edge and either tearing down the gutters (the lesser problem), or ice dams forcing water back up under the standing seam metal roof and wicking into the roof structure (a more serious problem).

Preemptively, I started shoveling snow off the roof as far as I could reach. I wasn’t going up there because of the footing, although at other times of the year there are some chores I have to do up there – see http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/search/label/Carpenter%20Bees for an example. When we first bought the place, we saw that Mr. Thompson had built a little staircase so he could easily get up there…we wondered why, but I think now we know – it was to get up there to sweep the snow off – we’ve removed the staircase and I use a ladder when I have to go up now.

I cleared the heavy snow off to about three or four feet back from the edge, and checked on it every morning to make sure the gutters weren’t getting refilled or blocked by the melt. These ice blocks are what I found in the gutters each morning – very heavy – and I’m afraid the damage is done, so we’ll have to get them reattached. We have already been in touch with the gutter man to get this taken care of.

We now have a hard frozen pile of snow behind the house – it’s about 18 inches tall, and solid enough for me to stand on and look over the roof. Since it’s in the shade, I don’t think it is going away anytime soon – at least not until we have a week-long warming trend.
We also gave Alan, our roofer, a call, and he came out for some check-ups. We’re going to have some more work done on the chimney – but that is the subject for a future post.