With the freeze and snowfall this past week, we had over a foot of snow on our roof. Our house has a roof with a fairly low pitch, and with the threat of rain turning the snow into heavy slop, I was a little nervous of a failure.
There were stories in the paper of problems homeowners were going to face with the thaw. Typically water will freeze in your gutters, called an 'ice dam', preventing water from draining through your downspouts. I don't have separate gutters as the drains are built into the roof. I was up on the roof Christmas Eve shoveling off the edge of the roof to expose the drains. They were indeed filled with ice and I chipped away around the drains hoping they would be the first to thaw.
Then it snowed Christmas day. I carried a shovel in my truck in case I got stuck driving over to my parents house. The shovel was put to good use when I helped my brother and father finish clearing the driveway for the arriving guests. I forgot my shovel at my parents when I left. Fortunately I have a spare.
Then it was back up on my roof that evening to clear the roof edges. I also shoveled off most of the snow from the garage figuring it was in the greatest danger of failing. Every so often I would pause to look around the neighborhood, quiet and snow covered on Christmas evening. It really was beautiful.
My driver picked me up for my UPS shift on Friday, and promptly got stuck on my street. We chained up, but still couldn't plow our way through the heavy, slushy snow. Someone on our route loaned us a shovel a few days back, and I ran back to grab my shovel to help dig out. We got stuck a few more times, and we also dug out a few other stuck cars. The day ended early, so I went back up to the roof to clear the rest of the house. Of course I left the shovel on the truck.
I don't own three shovels, so I was down to a garden hoe and rake. Neither worked terribly well, so I opted for a four foot 1 x 4 piece of wood. It worked pretty well, but the snow was wet and heavy by then so it was slow going. But the weight of the snow convinced me it was that much more important to get it off the roof.
We also have an aluminum patio cover with very little slope. I had forgotten about it until I finished with the roof, and briefly thought about leaving it alone and accepting the risk of collapse. Who wouldn't want a shinny new cover from this guy? But the hesitation was brief (very brief Farmers Insurance!) and I was able to clear most of it off with the garden hoe.
The melt has begun in earnest, but our house is surrounded by a tall drift of snow from the roof clearing. It is a bit of a climb for the pooch to get out to do her daily business. The wet snow also isn't nearly as fun to frolic in.
With no more freezing temperatures on the near horizon we can put away the chains, stop shutting off the water main when we leave, repair the damage to pipes and windows, and just get back to the stuff of daily life.
And you may get your Christmas packages delivered soon.