Snow can be very beautiful, especially when you have been dreaming of a white Christmas. But by the beginning of February, most of us are hoping on Groundhog’s Day, the groundhog on duty does not see his shadow so we do not have to endure six more weeks of winter. After snow first falls, its beauty tends to be replaced by its hassle. Snow is cold, and snow is cumbersome. However, once it melts, it can be even more of a hassle, and it can be even more problematic.
Chicagoland has experienced one of its heaviest snowfalls over the past couple weeks. Yet the temperatures are going to rise, and as the temperatures rise, the snow will melt. The three things that can happen to snow once winter begins to thaw:
- The melted snow may re-freeze and create sheets of ice on the ground. Ice makes driving and walking more dangerous. (See Texas’ recent weather-related headlines.)
- With the fluctuation in temperature, you may have ice damming build-up on your roof. Not only do these create dangerous icicles to people walking below, but they also can cause serious damage to your roof. These Ice dams stop water from flowing off your roof, and instead, pool directly on the home and can cause water seepage and lead to costly repairs.
- As all of this snow melts quickly, it causes serious issues for homeowners if it is not properly cared for. It is important to not only shovel your driveway and walkway but also moving large amounts of snow away from your home’s foundation. Excessive water build-up along the base of your home can increase the likelihood of interior flooding.
Warmer temperatures are more than welcome, but the watery mess we may encounter needs to be recognized. That watery mess creates moisture issues inside and outside, and flooding becomes a real problem. When sewers back up from filling too quickly, the streets can become lakes (especially in Chicagoland.) Those lakes mask the potholes that grew after months of salting as well as uneven ground. At times, those lakes completely submerge streets which then become unusable for travel.
Trees can begin to rot from the roots up, causing them to eventually collapse without care of where they fall. In Chicagoland, landslides are not a realistic threat. Yet in areas like California, which has also experienced heavy snowfall this winter, landslides are a very real threat.
Even if it is just your home’s or your business’s roof and gutters that have carried much of the snow this winter, be sure to clean out your gutter spouts as the snow melts. Try to ensure that the snow is as far away from your building’s foundation as possible to avoid any preventable water damage.
These are just some things to remember during the much-desired thaw from the frigid winter weather. It is always important to be as prepared and protected as possible from these natural occurrences. The best thing we can do is be aware of the risks and prepare for the forces of nature we cannot avoid.
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