Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Advice for young home-owners dealing with heavy snow

Okay, some folks have houses and have no idea how to deal with heavy snow and winter.

Some advice -- of course depends on how heavy the snowfall is:

On the first snowfall...and after ensuing snowfalls:

Shovel around your house. Move the snow about one foot away. So there should be a one foot snow-free leeway around your house to walk on, and for your pets to walk on when they need to go outside and pee. Of if you need to walk around the house. 

Do this especially if your house is prone to flooding and if you live in a snowy area. Pile the snow at least a foot away or more. Throughout the winter after more snowfalls, the leeway will get smaller if snow lasts on the ground and snow will be heavier to move at that point. In the beginning, give yourself enough room because more snow will fall later on and you don't want to be pushing a pile of snow away from your house.

Shovel the fallen snow off your driveway and push all snow about one foot from the blacktop and into the grassy areas. Make a little path also for the fuel guy to walk in when he comes to deliver fuel.
If there is a hydrant in front of your house, shovel around it and down to the red mark -- just in case.

If you have a very heavy snow and you're afraid of the roof falling in from heavy snow, crank up the heat in the morning so the heat goes through the house all the way up to the roof. In that way, the snow starts to melt and doesn't collect on the roof.

Before snowfall, make sure your gutters are clean so the snow can drain off your roof. Make sure the gutters are clean because you don't melted waters seeping under the shingles when the snow on your roof begins to melt. Make sure water can freely flow and make sure it flows freely into your grassy area an away from the asphalt.

After snowfall, if there has been ice or a cold snap, tap the gutter pipe near your house to break up any ice that might be blocking the flow of the water in the gutter. You don't want black ice forming near the gutters or near your house when the snow starts melting on warmer days. Best to have the snow water flow gradually all the time than suddenly form thick chunks of ice. More manageable. And either put salt or sand near the gutters so the ice will melt of have traction. 

Knock down icicles around your house with the straw end of a broom, especially near the gutters. People always fear ice below but rarely ice above...but falling icicles are dangerous.

As the winter continues, make sure you continue to push snow to the end of the black top. As winter continues, you may not be able to get the snow to the 12 inches mark on the grass but try to keep the snow about six inches away from your house. All around the house. Best way to prevent flooding basements. And remember to keep a pathway around the house for pets.

If you have a tree near your house, buy a plumbing snake and do some rootng of the main pipe (through the toilet) before winter snows. Sometimes the ice and the roots clog the man pipe, especially if one lives in an old house. BUY the snake. It's cheaper, in the long run. Especially if you have kids..because they will always throw things into the toilet and you'll need a rooter anyway. In my country of Westchester, Roto Rooter costs around $600 a visit. Some guys can do it cheaper for $180 or so...yeah, best to buy a snake.

That's all. It helps prevent the usage of sump pumps, helps prevent moldy houses (caused by flooded basements and soggy shngles), helps prevent doggy poo in front of or inside of one's house, helps prevent accidents.

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