Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What isn't on the roof anymore

We had two major snowstorms last week, one within a couple of days of the other.  The accumulations were significant, and we were in the bands of heaviest snow in the province during the second storm.  All of this resulted in some very significant accumulation of snow on the steel roof of our house.  Then, we had a couple of days where the temperature actually went above freezing.  When that happens, the steel roof warms up, and the snow starts to melt on the bottom.  That, dear readers, is a recipe for a roof avalanche!  The snow that was on the roof, is now not on the roof.

Overnight, we heard some thunderous noises as huge chunks of snow began to slide off the roof.  In the morning, our usual peaceful woodland view out the living room window had become this:

A little while later, it was like this, as more chunks fell:

The next morning, it was like this, and you can see where a large chunk came to rest against the glass.  I was quite worried about glass breaking, but we seem to have escaped that problem for now.

Likewise, the dining room window went from this... this!  And now we can scarcely see anything out that window except for snow!  As you can imagine, this will take many weeks to melt completely, depending on the type of spring we have.  I imagine it will be at least the end of April, if not well into May before we see the end of this.

Fortunately, the front of our house has little metal ridges that prevent the abrupt drop of snow, so the front didn't have this phenomenon.  The snow has melted on the front, and the water goes into the gutters and is carried away.  We don't have to worry when we walk out the front door, about a huge lump of snow falling on our heads.  When I carry hay to the sheep by going out the back door, I do need to be more careful.  

Unfortunately, there has been some significant damage to the screened-in porch.  It seemed not too bad at the start...

...but by the end, there was some major bowing of the supports on the screening on the front side, and it will need to be repaired in the spring when this mess melts.

Here you can really see where the screen and its framing has been pushed in.

Every winter is different here - some have great heaps of snow and others have limited snow but are extremely cold.  This year has been a mix - some extreme cold, but more recently, extreme snow.  We are not sure how to prevent a recurrence of this problem in another snowy year.

These chunks of snow are extremely large and awkwardly shaped, and difficult to break even with a metal shovel.  Marc has tried, without much success, to move some of the chunks pressing on the screening supports.  This isn't something you can just push out of the way. It's huge, it's heavy, and it's potentially dangerous.

This winter has a been a learning experience in our new home, and we'll have to see what we can do to improve the snow drop from the roof for future years, or at least re-direct it a bit.  

Linking with All Seasons.


Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

Good Grief! That is terrible!! There must be some way of preventing that happening!! Our son has a house in town with a metal roof and the snow that came off the front smashed their patio table. We have metal roofs on our barns, guess we have not had that much snow lately. Hubby is always saying we need a metal roof on the house as we had such wild winds and lose shingles but I am always saying I can show him what could happen. Do you have a basement that could fill with water when all that snow melts??? Hope not!

jeannettestgermain said...

Oh. that is ...I have no words for it. Am so sorry - your NEW home - The frame of your window looks bowed - I know snow can have an incredible strength. The good part is that no one got hurt. Hope you have runoffs when it all starts melting.
Hope you still have electricity and heat? Thank you so much or celebrating the one year anniversary of ALL SEASONS with us! Hope you are able to leave the house for groceries:( Have a safe week, Claire.