Thursday, January 10, 2008

Man versus Nature

Today's topic is how we deal with the man versus nature issue here in Park City during the winter. First, how do you know if nature is winning? You can tell because the plowed snow is starting to obscure the stop sign. Note the almost 60 pound dog for size reference. They do road clearing in several steps. First they plow out a lane or two so that four wheel drive vehicles with snow tires can get through. Then they come later and try and get close to the road so most anyone can get through. Then trucks come along and try to widen the road. Finally, front end loaders come along and either move the snow or load it into dump trucks to haul out of town. Remember that each of these steps puts a big pile of snow in front of your driveway.

Next, you notice the ice hanging off the roofs. Here is a nice 20 footer.

While not quite as long, this one adds some bulk.

And here is our definition of an ice dam, which will almost certainly cause leaks in the house.

This one I call, man versus man versus nature. Nature comes first and dumps a ton of snow. Then a man driving the plow comes along and finds any of the big trash cans left along the street. Then another man (the loser) comes and digs out whatever is left of his trash can.

The guys next door to us have done a remarkable job framing the house through all this. Lots of shoveling, but they have a roof on. Now they just need windows. Jasper and his buddy Dozer are in the foreground.

Unfortunately, we aren't immune. When we first moved in, we had a small leak caused by ice building up along our chimney. We put up heat tape. It melted the ice as planned. Then the water ran down and froze again, lower on the roof. We had another ice dam and another leak. You can see where the roofers cleared the snow and ice. Today we added more heat tape, hopefully getting the water all the way to the ground.

When we have a lot of snow, the skiers get all excited and happy. The bummer is that it leads to an incredible amount of shoveling, water damage, ice damage and such. Then of course there is the expense of all that damn heat tape!! You really, really have to love the snow.
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