WINTER THAW CAN BRING PROBLEMS

This winter we saw a most brutal winter that caused suffering, accidents and loss of life to a good part of our country. Jokes about global warming and climate change bring no comfort to the folks who saw their fuel bills sky rocket, watched as the snow kept falling and questioned where they would put it all. 

                                       roof covered with about a foot of snow


Spring is about a month away and all this snow will soon be a distant memory. However, before we can rejoice in that fact, we are going to have to face the possibility of flooding, ice dams and even possible roof collapse. We've seen some incredible snow here in the Greater Binghamton Area totalling over 79 inches. According to an NBC news report, two feet of snow is equivalent to about 38,000 pounds or 19 tons, putting an enormous amount of pressure on your roof!


                  Remove Snow From Your Roof Before Trouble Begins

* Ice dams typically form when snow on the roof starts to melt due to heat escaping from inside the home. The melted water runs down the roof, refreezes and clogs up gutters. As more snow melts, because the gutters are blocked, the water is forced to travel under the shingles and leak into the house. A roof rake can help you remove snow safely thereby reducing the incidence of an ice dam. Roof rakes can be purchased at your local hardware store and can be purchased for under $50.

* Don't forget to remove snow from your deck. Many times they have been installed without adhereing to proper building codes and are suseptible to collapse under the weight of melting snow.

* When you’re clearing your driveway after a snowfall, make sure to shovel the snow away from your home. This ensures that when the snow melts it won’t seep inside your home. Big piles of snow are like a mini river waiting to leak into your home.

* Ensure that drains in outdoor basement stairwells and window wells are functional. Remove snow from these areas after the storm has ended. Melting snow can lead to water damage and moisture intrusion.

* Remove icicles from gutters and any that are hanging over walkways.

* Remove outdoor flower or window boxes hanging on a home’s exterior because snow can accumulate and melt against the building exterior causing moisture intrusion.

 * Also, as you are outside shoveling, be sure to clear debris covering storm drains in front of your home to allow the melting snow to have somewhere to go. 

And last but not least, here's a novel way our friends in the UK are preventing rapid melting and flooding on their property: build a snowman! Or an army of snowmen! The snow used to build a snowman melts more slowly that the snow on the ground, reducing the likelihood of flooding. Cheerio!

cartoon lady building a snowman

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