Too Much Snow! To Much Ice!

The freezing temperatures and repeated snowfalls have turned the landscape near us pure white.  On one hand, this is very pretty.  I loved taking snow/ice photos before and my new DSLR is giving me some great ones (click to enlarge):

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On the other hand, ice in the wrong place can be very bad news.  As snow melts from our roof (thanks to escaping heat), it runs down and freezes at the colder roof edge.  Then, this can drip to the ground, making our driveway an ice skating rink.  There are times that I think I’d traverse it easier with ice skates than boots.  A thin layer of snow just makes it more treacherous as it fools you into thinking the path ahead is ice-free.

Putting ice melt down doesn’t help as the melted ice just refreezes.  We have an ice chopper (long handled instrument of ice doom with a blade at the end), but the ice is so thick that it just laughs as we tire ourselves out.  Even if we manage to remove some chunks, more water drips from above slicking the driveway back up.  It’s a losing battle.

Still, this battle is nothing compared to the Battle for the Roof.  When that ice freezes on the roof, before it drips to the ground, it can form an ice dam.  If you’re unfamiliar with this concept (lucky you), ice dams are ice formations on your roof that block water (from more melting snow or from rain) from running off the roof.  The water backs up, goes under the roof’s shingles and, before you know it, there’s a drip-drip-drip in the house that isn’t coming from a leaky faucet.

In our case, we have a very bad ice dam on our upstairs roof.  Two water leak incidents (one before we moved in and one due to a leaky seal) necessitated the removal of some ceiling tiles.  That, plus poor insulation and their location directly above radiators, means that heat flows out of the rooms and to the roof.  There, snow is melted and it drips onto the roof below where it refreezes.  The piles and piles of ice threaten to back water up or simply damage our roof/gutters from their weight.  I chopped one ice dam back with a hammer and screwdriver (all the while fearing doing roof damage myself), but it reformed.

So, you’ll excuse me for both hoping that the warm weather arrives (so that the ice will melt) and dreading the arrival (as it will mean greater chance of ice dam-induced roof leaks).