Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘snow removal

Even Icier

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If my experience yesterday on the south side of our house ends up being typical for any of you who happen to also be in the Twin Cities area that received rain over Thanksgiving weekend, I recommend that you check your roof for ice beneath the snow. There were areas where the frozen crust was two inches thick on our roof. That adds a lot of weight.

I knew there was an annoying frozen crust beneath the snow around here because it has made both plowing and shoveling a complex and frustrating endeavor, but I had no idea the result on the roof was so pronounced.

I struggled mightily to break through the thick frozen layer beneath the multiple inches of snow yesterday by turning the Avalanche Deluxe head on its side and chopping out small pieces at a time.

Using the head with the plastic film, I was only able to slide down the loose snow that was on top of the thick crust, but that still moved more snow, faster, with one stroke upwards than I ever did when trying to pull it all down with my old rake.

I’m just as pleased with my purchase today as I was after the first use on Saturday.

The only disadvantage of the ease of pulling the snow off the roof is the resulting large amount of densely packed snow on the deck, steps, and walkways that then needs to be shoveled away.

That project takes a lot longer than the time it took to bring it all down off the roof.

Shoveling it off the deck was made appropriately more laborious by the chunks of ice slabs mixed in with the snow.

I am very thankful for the forecast showing a few days with sun ahead and no days with precipitation in the next week to allow time for the raked roof to respond to the new exposure with some serious evaporation.




Written by johnwhays

December 16, 2019 at 7:00 am

Evolving Perspective

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I do it every year. At the beginning of the snow season, when I plow and shovel snow, I take great care to maintain order. On the gravel, I lift the blade to avoid pushing rocks far into the grass, in hope of saving my mower blades extra abuse in the summer.

By the house, I pile the snow away from the swinging bench and brush the snow off the seat to create an inviting place to sit and watch the activities of birds and squirrels.

There is a reason for every decision, and order abounds.

By February, the importance of those decisions has shifted significantly, and the new focus is on moving snow at any cost. The rocks are an unfortunate consequence of the newer priority of just getting this snow out-of-the-way. The bench becomes a place to store snow, not a place to sit.

It is my perspective that has changed about what the value of these things are. I care about some details up to a point, and then I no longer care.

I had the ladder out yesterday, scraping the latest covering of blown and fallen snow off the edges of the roof. It’s a laborious effort, balancing on my arches on that narrow rung of the ladder, while holding my arms over my shoulders to maneuver the rake on the end of the three 4-foot aluminum pole sections. Back and forth, reaching up, pulling back.

While taking a pause to rest, I became mesmerized by the steam rising off the roof where the sun was heating up the dark shingles. It was well below freezing, yet that solar energy was melting the snow as fast as ever.

I pulled out my pocket camera in hopes of capturing the wonder of the phenomena that had so captured my fancy that I was happy to remain even longer on that precarious perch, soaking up the scene.

I have no idea how I also captured the corner of my sleeve. How did it even reach up into the frame? It doesn’t make much sense to me.

Notice how the impact of the angle of solar intensity is evident by the melt occurring on the right, versus the roof slope on the left.

Most of the year, I would fret over physical abuse to the shingles, but this time of year my perspective has evolved. I’m willing to drag metal across the granules of shingle in order to remove that insulating layer of snow that will create ice dams that lead to bigger problems.

I am not one to rigidly cling to a single way of seeing most things. Everything is always undergoing change, including my perspective.



Written by johnwhays

February 16, 2019 at 10:47 am