Ice dams… AGAIN.
Weather was beautiful, as forecast, this weekend. Beautiful in Minnesota this time of years means about 40. 40 freak’n degrees, a 55 degree improvement over Thursday morning. We had meltage people, real meltage, which meant at our house, we once again had water dripping into the house.
The lad and I spent part of the afternoon raking off the roof, pulling snow down on our heads. The ice dam we have on the front of the house this year, it’s beyond impressive. I’m guessing and this is no exaggeration, that it’s 12 inches high. It is, the three gorges dam of ice dams. I’m sure there are many cultural and natural artifacts on the roof that are being covered by this sucker. Not the least of which is the insulation and drywall in my living room.
Ice dam removal, which is accomplished with steam, currently runs about $300.00 an hour in the Twin Cities. We have about two days of work. These ice removal dudes are the types of folks who would sell bottled water in an earthquake for $10.00 a bottle I’m sure. Bas. Tards.
The fellows down at the hardware store tell me the poor mans solution is to fill a woman’s stocking with salt from your softener, and lay that across the ice, apparently it will melt a channel through the ice to allow the water to come through.
Two problems with this.
The rate of melt is slow. Really slow, to the point that April will come sooner than any channel making me wonder, what’s the point.
The other thing is, there’s no garter belt big enough, that I know of, to keep the stocking up on the roof and since my wife only wears fishnets, the salt falls through.
And then, I wake up.
Of course my support hose would work as well so maybe we can try those.
This whole experience is really putting a damper on the love I’ve occasionally felt for my house. While I was playing with the snow on the roof, Mrs S was downstairs repairing sheetrock in the basement from other water damage.
Water damage that I’m not all that certain isn’t going to be a repeat this spring. Now that I’ve been pulling snow off the roof all winter, there’s a spot in the front of the house where the snow pile is approaching 5 feet high, again no exaggeration. I can stand on it, which BTW, compresses it nicely, and the roof line is at about eye level. Since science has proven that snow is in-fact water, this water has to go somewhere, and I’m afraid that somewhere is my basement.
When I’m standing on the Sank-A-Horn mountain and looking at the roof, and the attached Three Gorges Dam of Ice is staring at you in the face, you, or at least I, get a little primitive. Here is where bad ideas come from, men left unsupervised.
Call me stupid.
Thank you. I am.
Seems to me that if steam can get the ice off a little old fashioned muscle would work as well. Last year I had a drill that I used to drill holes in the ice to weaken it and make it easier to break apart. The holes did not make it easier to break apart, but were somewhat therapeutic to make.
Feeling a little frustration in my heart, I went after the ice with a shovel. My son, who is growing up so fast now, and really becoming a full grown man, suggested that I try something else, and proceeded to hand me, a uh.. well, a full sized axe that he found in the garage.
When I mentioned that he is becoming a man, I mean he’s coming up with bad ideas too, and of course I didn’t recognize them as such.
“Perfect” I said.. and took the thing and went Lizzy Borden on my roof. Massive chunks of ice were flying off the thing, I attacked it top ways and side ways, whacked away. After about an hour of chipping, which for some reason was only 5 minutes on the real clock I had to passed the axe to the kid, who I should mention was salivating at the idea of chopping on the house.
“I’m too old for this.” I handed him the axe and stepped off the snow mountain to watch. He was doing exactly what I had been doing. Balancing on a snowbank, in front of our new front windows, swinging an axe with full strokes at my roof.
What, could possibly go wrong, he was wearing safety goggles for goodness sake.
Here’s what could go wrong, and it did. Mrs Sankary could come out of the house to see what all the pounding was and catch my son mid-stroke.
She had audacity to suggest that this was not our finest hour and recommended that we cease before we “you do something you can’t hide” and pointed out that for all our efforts, we’d made very little progress on the ice.
“You know, I told him it would work, but sometimes he has to learn on his own dear, don’t you agree?”
If you’ve ever been tagged by snowball in the ear, you know that it is, the worst possible place to catch one, the snow gets in your hear and hurts, goes down your shirt and you freeze and well, I had it coming so I couldn’t get mad at him.
But I will, at the time of place of my choosing, get even.
That’s what we old guys do.