Winter Woes and Wins

Reader Contribution by Heidi Hunt

Ice and snow are an expected consequence of winter weather and coping with them is just a fact of life for many areas of the country. But there are a few strategies that can make the task a little less of a chore.

Shoveling snow is a great cardiovascular workout, but can be hard on your hands and back. Check out the ‘smarter’ shovels, in the ‘Get the Scoop’ section of the ‘Snowy Solutions’ article, which are ergonomically designed to make shoveling less stressful on your skeletal frame.

Another consequence of wintery weather is a build up of snow and ice on your roof, called ice damming. Caused by the snow melting and freezing, ice dams can damage your roof by blocking water from draining into the gutters and off the roof. You can read about preventive measures for future winters in this 2003 article. But this winter, to alleviate ice damming, keep an eye on your roof. If you see that snow and ice are building up on the roof’s edges, use a rake to pull the snow off. When the roof is bare, you might consider installing roof heat tape along the leading one to three feet of the roof to prevent ice from forming. This is not an inexpensive strategy, but it is less expensive that the damage from a leaky roof.