Thursday, December 13, 2012

Icing penalty

photo of heavy snowfall
© harrington
Take the amount of snow above, double or triple it, and cover the roof(s) of my house and garage. That's how much snow has been melting for the past couple of days and freezing during the past couple of nights. My house has a gable roof that slopes north/south. The attached garage, located on the south side of the house, has a gable roof that slopes east/west. It collects all the snow melt from the south half of the house roof and then the east-facing half of the garage roof adds its own flows to the gutter at the edge of the front entrance. This week, that gutter managed to collect enough freezing snow melt to fill itself full of ice. Since the weather forecast calls for freezing rain and snow tomorrow and/or Saturday, and the front steps and handicap accessibility ramp in front of the house have become suitable for practicing ice-climbing, this afternoon's chore was ice removal. The gutter drains into the front flower bed. Salt is rumored to be contraindicated for happy flowers and other plants. Hot water, brute force, hammers and chisels were successful alternative deicing stratagems. Whoever designed my house and placed in on the lot must have learned site design and architecture in Mississippi or Florida. Otherwise, the alignment and drainage patterns would have been designed to limit the negative impacts of snow fall and rain fall. I expect that one of the major features of My Minnesota's climate will continue to be that, even with global warming, it's going to snow during the season unsuitable for road construction. If snow would fall only on the fields and in the forests, and not on the roads, the driveway or my ineptly aligned roof, I could learn to like winter lots more. For the record, I don't consider this posting a rant as much as it is an expression of my concern that we humans don't have the ability to learn enough, fast enough, and to act on what we learn promptly enough, to successfully adapt to climate change. Minnesotans have been building houses for quite some time. I still see many roofs, in addition to mine, with overwhelming evidence of ice dams. Why is that?