Melting snow is more of a danger than you may realize. And not just that it destroys the snowman your kids just built. Admittedly, it is really sad to see Frosty reduced to a puddle of water mixed with a carrot, a hat and some eyes made out of coal.
I’m talking about what snow melt can cause…
- Falling ice. The solution to saving your windshield is to not drive near power lines or trees. Since that is unavoidable, just be aware of it. If you are walking, the best way to protect yourself is by wearing a hat, sunglasses and a thick coat. Or not walking.
- Street flooding. Don’t speed through puddles. That’s your ticket to hydroplane city. And that’s a place no one wants to visit.
- Black ice (if the melted pools re-freeze). Black ice is scary because it’s either really hard to see or totally impossible to see. Especially when driving at night. If you know it to be a danger, you should just drive cautiously: slower, not swervey.
- Seepage into the basement if the snow hugs the periphery of your house. Moving the snow just 3 to 5 feet from the house will reduce problems.
- Watch that sump pump! Test it by pouring water into the pit. “Make sure the discharge hose carries the water several feet away from the house to an area that drains well. Make sure the sump pump discharge hose is on sloped ground so it drains to prevent it from freezing.” (I take this tip and the one before it from NDSU — North Dakota State University).
- The same source also advises to shovel your yard. But that would take forever. Their point is that it causes “wet soil” (aka- lots of mud). So, since you are probably not Superman, just be aware that that can make your yard really slippery as well. And if you fell, you would not be a happy camper.
- About your roof, according to the NDSU, “about 2,500 gallons of water will come from a 1,000-square-foot roof with snow 1 foot deep across the roof. This much water may cause seepage problems if allowed to drain next to the house. Hellevang recommends homeowners make sure their eave trough or gutter downspouts carry the water several feet from the house to a well-drained area.”
- Ice dams: “The warmth from your house melts the snow on the top of your roof… As this melted snow runs down the roof,…it then reaches the roof edge which is at sub zero temperature…this drop in temperature causes the snowmelt to refreeze creating the dams that you often see on people’s houses in winter. The weight of these dams can cause a problem itself…When further snowmelt collects in pools against the dams,…this water eventually runs through the roof and into the house.” (Source: eZine Articles)
So print this out and, though unfortunate, you probably have a whole list of things to do this weekend.