Previous in Forum: Play in a Hinge   Next in Forum: Evaporation
Close
Close
Close
9 comments
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Engineering Fields - Civil Engineering - New Member United States - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Red Hook, New York (Mid-Hudson River Valley)
Posts: 4364
Good Answers: 177

Groundhog Day, Winter Weather & Much Needed New Ice/Snow Removal Technologies

02/02/2011 10:17 AM

Hello Guys & Gals,

Last summer was the hottest on record in Upstate New York. Nothing like broiling in the hot sun and high humidity! Back then I longed for cooler weather to end the near constant heat wave. Now I find myself wishing all that warm sunny weather back, even for only for a short period of time, just to thaw out some. My mind wanders off to images of beautiful tropical sunny Caribbean Island sandy beaches, eyeballing skimpy bikinis through my aviator sunglasses, and lounging like a lizard on a hammock strung-up between two trees while I slowly sipping on a delicious Margarita. If only that dream would come true! Ohhhh no, reality check just erupted...my wife reminded me yet again to get my rear-end outside to clear yet another 6-inches of the White Stuff from the cars and the driveway. What a kill joy!

Now, back to the reality at hand. Presently, we're wrapping up a real whopper of a Winter storm stretching at least 2,100 miles in length across America from Texas to New England and affecting over 100 Million people. It's been a really nasty one, with a lot of snow, freezing rain and sleet, and a mixture of all of the above. The American Heartland to Chicago has experienced a Blizzard which the TV News Meteorologists say has been the "Storm of the Century", with some areas getting clobbered with wind gust in excess of 60 MPH. Somehow I don't think they have a crystal ball to accurately forecast future weather conditions to make such a statement. Now this storm was our tenth on here in New York State, and it isn't quite finished with us yet this morning. It's till snowing as I write this. These storms keep coming at us on a pretty consistent basis, one after another, usually about 3 or 4 days apart. Now the talking heads on the TV News are predicting that yet another storm is going to hit us in 3 days time. This will make it Storm #11! Ohh myyy, I'm looking forward to that too! NOT!

Any how, the snow is literally piling up around our ears, and we're running out of room to get rid of it all from our driveways, sidewalks, backyard decks, and yes, even our house roofs. Lots of residents in these parts are reporting leaky roofs due to ice dam build-ups on the roof eaves....there's several alternating snow and ice layers on the roofs and clogging full the rain gutters and downspouts, mine not withstanding. I'm growing tired of constantly pulling out my 24 foot long telescoping roof rake to slowly and methodically scrape off the ice and snow. Oh my aching back! Thank goodness for Advil, hot long showers, and Ben-gay ointment. In some places on the upper reaches of my roof that I can't reach I have at least 2 feet of the White Stuff (I can find some more suitable adjectives for it, but I'll spare y'all. LOL) that'll just have to wait until Old Sol returns and melts it all. The rain gutters are chock-full of ice that's at least 8-inches thick and nearly impossible to dislodge. One of these nights I'll probably hear it breaking free from the roof eaves and come crashing down to the ground or the spa out on the back deck. And because there's a 3-inch thick layer of stubborn hard ice buildup on my roof-mounted Solar PV panels they haven't produced any juice in at least 3 weeks. I have a well-grounded fear that if I try to whack the ice off of them that I'd end up breaking some of them, thereby voiding the warranty. I've even resorted to trying to dislodge the ice with my high pressure water power washer and a jury-rigged telescoping fiberglass pole topped with a spray nozzle, but to no avail or some small effect. Each time I do this I end up totally soaking wet and frozen. Any clearing of the ice is short-lived by the dumping of yet another couple (or more) inches of the White Chit. I feel as if I'm chasing my tail round and round trying to remove it all from the roof. Even the stores around are now pretty much devoid of any type of snow shovel, snow rake, and de-icing salts, so if you didn't stock up lately then you're SOL until the Spring thaw returns (hopefully).

This morning it was reported that our beloved and very cute weather-predicting Woodchuck (a member of the Marmot family....aka a large buck-toothed rodent) "Punxsutawny Phil" out in western PA made his 125th annual weather forecast. It appears that he didn't see his own shadow, so his handlers, "The Inner Circle", contend that Spring will be quickly around the corner and that Winter will last another 6 weeks. Like, well right! I don't believe anything a large rodent tells me. And thanks Germany, for providing us with that goofy superstition!

So, with all this crazy weather this past year, what's going on? Why is the weather so extreme, and what's possibly causing it? Could the supposedly Global Warming effect be the cause of such severe weather shifts that we've been experiencing? Would anyone care to comment?

Additionally, do you envision some type of new technology innovation that would be permanently embedded or built-into the roof structure that would work 24/7 to remove accumulated snow and ice? What do you think that new Technology would look like? Would nano-technology play an important roll? I'm not talking about what already exists presently like roof mounted electric de-icing cables, de-icing socks, and aluminum snow slides installed along the roof eaves. I suppose any new innovative technology would have to be sustainable or less energy dependant. So, what are your thoughts regarding any up and coming technology to beat the age old problem of dealing with accumulated snow and ice build-ups on roof structures and the damage in causes?

In closing, I truly hope that our furry little friend "Phil" was incorrect in his assumption about our Winter, and that Spring will quickly come soon! BBBBBUUUUURRRRRR!!!!!

Thank you in advance for participating in this thread!

__________________
"Veni, Vidi, Vici"; hendiatris attributed to Gaius Julius Caesar, 47 B.C.
Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Old Salt Hobbies - CNC - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rosedale, Maryland USA
Posts: 5198
Good Answers: 266
#1

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter weather & much needed new ice/snow removal technologies..

02/02/2011 10:47 AM

Don't depend on the 6 week prediction. For centuries Phil and his relatives have tried to tell them they don't have the gift. As they scream and kick when they drag them out their burrow.

This is whom they should be asking.

__________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty, pristine body but rather to come sliding in sideways, all used up and exclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!"
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Engineering Fields - Civil Engineering - New Member United States - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Red Hook, New York (Mid-Hudson River Valley)
Posts: 4364
Good Answers: 177
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter weather & much needed new ice/snow removal technologies..

02/02/2011 11:51 AM

Ahhh, "Billy" Badger! LOL

__________________
"Veni, Vidi, Vici"; hendiatris attributed to Gaius Julius Caesar, 47 B.C.
Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter Weather & Much Needed New Ice/Snow Removal Technologies

02/02/2011 1:11 PM

The Groundhog Day movie was filmed in Woodstock, IL.

There were supposed to be a number of festivities in Woodstock today, but all of them were canceled due to last night's blizzard which has created virtually impassable roads due to drifting of the 18" snow fall.

Maybe next year.

Register to Reply
Participant

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
#4

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter Weather & Much Needed New Ice/Snow Removal Technologies

02/03/2011 2:12 AM

Wednesday, Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day 2011, an unofficial holiday that can be traced back to ancient times. Punxsutawney Phil, the animal that offers the city of Punxsutawney, Penn., its yearly instant within the countrywide limelight, isn't likely to see his shadow on Groundhog Day 2011. Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow.The forecast there is for a wintery mix, which may give the northeast false hope that its harsh winter of 2010-11 might not carry on for another six weeks.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 688
Good Answers: 21
#5

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter Weather & Much Needed New Ice/Snow Removal Technologies

02/03/2011 1:05 PM

I think we are getting to soft in this country to start with. As a child our winters were much worst then this and everything just keep ticking along. Now we get 2" of snow and we in a tizzy. Where to put all of the stuff, how are we going to get home, on and on. How about we move back into the urban areas, get rid of the cars, buy a horse or two and get on with life. We could then tell the oil company's to go away as well. Might be able to breath some clean air and your blood pressure and heart would improve. Not to mention I could sell more hay!

Register to Reply
Power-User
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: US - NC
Posts: 317
Good Answers: 9
#6

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter Weather & Much Needed New Ice/Snow Removal Technologies

02/03/2011 3:33 PM

Last year here, we had a 2 big snows & the stuff accumulated on our metal roof w/ice dams....stayed up there a long time (and they don't sell the telescoping snow rakes down here)....so, I got to thinking about it...

you know you can get pretty cheap an in-line water heater that can run on LP or Nat. Gas - my idea was to install quick-disconnects on the unit for water & gas - bring it outside (we have an external propane tank) - could do a quick hook-up and away you go with very hot water streaming off your roof, gutters, everything...

Then, the sun came out in the South & eased our pain

This was my brainstorm - hang in there!

Register to Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Resting under the Major Oak
Posts: 4348
Good Answers: 180
#7

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter Weather & Much Needed New Ice/Snow Removal Technologies

02/03/2011 11:50 PM

Having lived in the UK Peak District I used to be quite happy to arrive home to see 12" of snow on the roof. My photographic dark room was in the roof space. My big problem was trying to cool the room down! I'd had the roof slates sprayed on the underside with urethane foam, it kept the heat in brilliantly. The house was at 1050' elevation, snow storms would trap us in the house for days on end. If anyone knows the area, the back out look of the house was to Kinder Scout the front towards Buxton. Winds got so bad at times that the 275KV lines had to be restrung after just one winter, it was fantastic watching the lines lift until they flashed over. (Time to start the 7KW generator then). The exhaust of the gen went through a heat exchanger to keep the heating going.

3 chest freezers meant we wouldn't starve.

__________________
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#8
In reply to #6

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter Weather & Much Needed New Ice/Snow Removal Technologies

02/04/2011 12:41 PM

Hello CUTiger,

Many thanks for suggesting the portable inline water heater fueled by LP! Now why didn't I think of that!

I found one on Ebay for a song and it should be here in a few days time. I can hook it up to a standard 20 Lb. LP gas grill tank and the garden hose. There's also an outlet to connect either another garden hose or a water supply line (with an adapter) that can be hooked up to my pressure washer!

Now I can blast away the 8 inch high ice dams on the eaves with steamy hot water!!! hehehehe

Don't worry folks, I'll be extra careful not to hit the asphalt shingles or add more water to the backside of the ice dams.....don't need more water into the house or add extra weight to the snow & ice that I cannot remove.

Thanks to all that have weighted-in this thread!

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Engineering Fields - Civil Engineering - New Member United States - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Red Hook, New York (Mid-Hudson River Valley)
Posts: 4364
Good Answers: 177
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Groundhog Day, Winter Weather & Much Needed New Ice/Snow Removal Technologies

02/04/2011 3:33 PM

First off, that was me as "Guest"...I screwed-up the LOGIN!

I am happy to report that I've invented the "Captmoosie Roof & Gutter De-icer Snake"! It's one of those "Now why didn't I think of that before" sorta thing....

I have a gray matter storm last night watching the BoobTube...Voila! It flashed into my thick brain trap! It's sooooo simple to make too! I will share it with everyone.

First off, go out and buy a 25 foot long x 30-inch wide roll of fiberglass window screen and some vinyl clothesline rope, unless you already have them on hand. You'll also need to buy a good-sized bag of plain old rock salt and and a ball of mason's string. Make sure you have a half dozen beer or soda cans on hand as well......full cans work better as they don't move around much while you build the de-icer snake.

Cut 18-inch wide strips of the screen. Place the cans end-to-end atop the screen. Roll the screen around the lined up cans making sure the screen is tight, but not too tight. Tie-off one end of the screen with the string, double knotting it very tightly. Then tie at least one string around each of the cans. Prepare the clothesline. I found that cutting it into 24-inch lengths works best. Provide and hand loop at one end so that you can yank it down off the roof later and avoid getting up on the ladder.

Fill the snake, or sock if you will, with rock salt using a 1 Cup measuring cup. I advise you to do this out in the garage or on your porch. I used an old aluminum Lasagna pan to catch the rock salt that missed the open end of the snake and spilled about. It makes for an easier cleanup later.

When the snake is filled, tie-off the fill end of the snake by double knotting the piece of vinyl clothesline rope. Place the snakes end-to-end BEHIND the ice dam on your roof and rain gutters.

It took me less than 5 minutes apiece to make a snake section.

They've been up on the roof 6.5 hours now and they've been crackling and popping away ever since! I'm happy to report that they're working great and as expected. When done in a section, just refill them each.

Happy happy happy!

Enjoy the "snake" build guys and gals!

__________________
"Veni, Vidi, Vici"; hendiatris attributed to Gaius Julius Caesar, 47 B.C.
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 9 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (2); CaptMoosie (2); CUTiger (1); fixitorelse (1); karenW (1); ozzb (1); TonyS (1)

Previous in Forum: Play in a Hinge   Next in Forum: Evaporation

Advertisement