Saturday, February 22, 2014

Roof Raking

So, we had a snow storm scheduled to hit Thursday night. Predictions were for 8-12", though some forecast models said up to 15". I was freaking out a little because I already have about 1.5 feet of snow on my roof. And I was worried much more would bury my chimney, which would mean my furnace wouldn't work and I would freeze to death. (Me? Over dramatic? Pshaw.) I was also starting to worry about the snow piled up on the awning at the front of my house. It was time to do something to make sure my awning didn't come crashing down from the weight of the snow!

I started by purchasing a roof rake. A roof rake looks like this

And you use it like this

So I started calling hardware stores in EC. Nearly every person laughed when I asked if they had any roof rakes in stock, because apparently everyone is a procrastinator like me. But Thompson's True Value Hardware had just gotten some in stock, and better yet, they would hold one for me until I finished teaching and could get there to pick it up!

At 11, I finished teaching and headed to pick up my shiny new $60 roof rake. I bought what was, literally, the last one in Eau Claire! Once home, I piled on long johns, jeans, 2 pairs of socks, 3 layered shirts, hat and wool gloves . . . I looked a bit like this
and I headed out to the adventure of roof raking. Once put together, the roof rake is 16 feet long, so manipulating it takes some practice. My goal quickly switched from removing snow to removing snow without taking out a window! I started with the front awning. Once I got the hang of it, it was kind of cool. I was pulling huge chunks of snow off the awning, creating a substantial pile on the walkway. Once I was done with the awning, I needed to head around back to get snow off the chimney area. Here's where it got interesting. See, there is about 3-4 feet of snow piled up in my front yard. As I started breaking a trail in the snow, I quickly realized this was going to be the hardest part of roof raking. I sort of looked like this
Only not nearly that cute. And with snow nearly as high as my waist in places, it took about 10 minutes just to get to the other side of the house! Plus, I was dragging a 16 foot window-breaking-ice-removing-tool. Once I got around to the back, it was tricky figuring out exactly where the chimney was. Getting the snow off the back of the house was a bit trickier as it was a bigger reach with the roof rake. Finally, I was finished. My legs were frozen, my gloves were sopping wet and I was actually sweating from the hard work. I was exhausted!

Then, it dawned on me I had to make my way back to the front of the house. I was ready to lay down and take a nap in the snow. As I started the arduous trek back, I realized the road was a lot closer than trudging all the way around the house through the snow. So, I made a bee-line for the road.

And then I got stuck. I took a step and sunk in snow up to my waist. I was literally stuck - couldn't move forward, couldn't move backward. I realized my error was forgetting that the snow piled at the edge of the road was 5+ feet. I'm 5'4". As my legs grew more numb with every passing second, I formulated a plan . . . I earthworm-crawled onto my belly so I was laying on top of the snow. And then I rolled to the edge of the snow pile. I remember hoping that no-one was watching my awkward roll to freedom. Or filming it. Next time, I need to remember to borrow some snow-shoes.

I am happy to report that we only got 8" of snow, but it was very dense, wet, heavy snow. Getting my roof raking done was a good choice, because just 2 streets down from me, this happened
The victim is just fine, but I couldn't help but be grateful that it wasn't me!

It stopped snowing in the wee hours of Friday morning, and my neighbors snow-blowed my drive. (Gosh, they are amazing!) I had to go in to do some coaching Friday afternoon, and found this on the other side of the garage.
That's right, huge tree branches that came within inches of taking out my garage.
I'm counting myself extremely lucky that my garage and car were spared. Any more snow, and my house might be completely buried.
I am quite ready for snow and cold weather (we are back in the teens and single digits, with below zero temps in the coming week) to be done! Though I have to admit, it sure is pretty.

No comments:

Post a Comment