Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ice dam? or damn ice!

Hey look, we've still got power! We weren't sure we would.

Remember that dripping sound in the walls that I mentioned a few days ago? Well, we woke up to some clear proof that we've got a big of a drainage problem, and it's only gotten worse throughout the day today. After getting about 9 inches of snow and sleet over the past 2 days, the precipitation changed to rain about mid-morning today. Problem is it was still below freezing outside, and it just has nowhere to go. Hence, ice damns in the gutters, and plain ol' damn ice everywhere else.

A peek outdoors shows the extent of the problem. That icy glaze on the house? That's a problem too. Because it shows that we've got about a quarter inch of ice on all of our already snow-laden surfaces. Like, you know, our roof. As we watched the news and saw images of roof collapse after roof collapse, we began to wonder how our roof might be doing. We've been using our hay shed as our 'canary in a coal mine' -- that roof is flatter and the construction is fairly shabby (we know, we built it!), so I figured as long as that stayed standing despite 4 feet of snow and a quarter inch of ice, we were pretty safe here in the house. Of course, we did make J sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor last night rather than in his loft up by the ceiling. You know, just in case.

But anyway, The Map Man finally couldn't take the suspense any longer and crawled up into our attic to take a look at the roof. Everything looks great up there -- no major leaks and all the timbers look sounds and sturdy. We have a lot of criticism about the way this house was built (I honestly think the builders were on something seriously potent when they put it together), but the roof isn't one of them. It's a really good roof. There is a bit of wetness at the edges where the ice dams are causing water to back up under the shingles, but there's nothing up there to make us think that we're not in good shape to survive whatever else Mother Nature wants to throw our way this winter.

We means we can sit back and enjoy the beauty of the ice. And really, it is beautiful! Look:

It's a little easier to appreciate it when you're not worried about it bringing down the house on top of you!

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