What Fun!

A nasty combination of snow, ice and rain collapsed two of my storage ‘buildings’, which was a unpleasant surprise today. Nothing major was lost (other then the buildings, they are a total write-off), but it was a real pain to have to dig everything out and relocate. I think one rake was broke and there was a bent wheel on a spare bike. We got about half of it relocated, the rest can “wait” until I get some of my energy back (hard work in a 4′ ceiling height!).

The real concern, once I realized how bad things had gotten, was shoveling all the snow and ice off the roof of the house, RV and porch overhangs. We also had to dig a path through the snow on the ground so a wagon could be used to move everything. I’m exhausted, can hardly lift my hands right now. Those old-timers must have been some tough birds to live in snow country and deal with problems like this.

I’m definitely thinking ‘underground’ for the next storage location. Then I’ll never have to worry about shoveling any snow or roof collapse if it’s done right. This is the time of year when everything breaks around here it seems like. A steering box went out on the car, which took me an entire day to install in 20 degree weather. Now we’ll see what happens next.

I just heard that northern California is getting inundated with rain, as in several inches all at once. We were warned a huge storm was moving our way which is going to dump a lot of rain on top of the snow and ice we’ve got. My concern is roof carry loads and a house collapse. My roof is pretty strong, but there was about 4″ of ice on it with another 12″ of snow on top of that. Add a rain storm to the snow load, which turns into a sponge and there is potential for serious problems. It’s really no wonder my outbuildings collapsed. I just didn’t realize how fast the snow and ice load had built up, and it rained most of the night.

Live and learn as they say.

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8 thoughts on “What Fun!

  • January 4, 2008 at 4:27 pm
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    Perhaps the silver lining is that this happened now instead of after the collapse. (no pun intended) Very sorry to hear about it though.

  • January 4, 2008 at 4:51 pm
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    IF you had solar-hot water for roof melting (and gutter & cistern), then you would not be reliant on that well ‘saga’. If you had secure/isolated location, if you had a zillion Ameros, If you had all the time/luck in the world, or even SOME help … blah blah blah

  • January 4, 2008 at 5:30 pm
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    Black plastic pipes running back and forth on the roof, connected to a circulating solar hot water tank would be ‘cool’. One of my many ‘to do’ projects (#932,112).

    I’m overworked, underpaid and too busy to get some of these things done like I would want to.

  • January 4, 2008 at 11:59 pm
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    Sorry to hear about the collapse of your storage buildings!Here in the land of deep snow (over 7 feet so far this year) I completely understand with the very hard work of removing all that snow and ice. As you have already learned the hard way, it is always easier to remove the snow when it is light and fluffy, not when it is thawing! It may mean shovelling 3 times instead of once, but much easier on the body in the long run! I am running out of places to shovel the snow to, as the piles are above my head and where the road is plowed it is over my roof. Absolutely it builds respect for the pioneers, they had no rest, and iron wills.

  • January 5, 2008 at 4:34 am
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    The snow, ice, and wind caused one of the supports to our greenhouse to collapse, too. Completely bent the metal. So I know what you’re going through. I haven’t even gone out there to see if the lettuce and cabbage are still doing okay.

  • January 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm
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    I’m glad you shared this story. I’m going to be building an underground house this spring and calculating ‘dead load’ like snow cannot be overstated enough.

  • January 6, 2008 at 7:23 pm
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    Snow this year is pretty heavy. There is a reason why I didn’t have more durable buildings, just to let everyone know. I was hoping to get through this winter without any real issues (wrong!!) because new building were going to be built. Now I have no choice.

    Today, I shoveled off about half the roof and removed about half of one of the collapsed buildings. This is hard work in drifts. Tomorrow, more moving of stuff.

    I definitely recommend people start planning for extreme climate variability. No rain, heavy rain, high winds, drought, heavy snows, anything is possible from here on out (including hurricanes and tornadoes). Going underground will help quite a bit if designed for proper load and drainage.

  • January 7, 2008 at 5:33 am
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    Those ‘rugged pioneers’ also died early from overwork. Average (documented) lifespan for such hearty, hard-working American and Canadian men (born in 1900) was only 47 years.
    And if anything, they ate better (less processed, less refined) foods with lots of fiber, underwent regular exercise(!), and certainly avoided sedentary lifestyles. While medical care has improved in some areas, it actually become worse in others (emphasis on surgery and chemicals, denial of alternative treatment methods). So the difference is largely lifestyle related.

    Puritan settlers, who had even harder lives, lived only 33 years (average).
    They literally worked themselves to death.

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