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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ice Damming

Result of Ice Damming (really it is DAMNING) on a ceiling.
Please... Someone see ‪#‎Jesus‬ in my water damage
so I can sell tickets and pay to fix it. 
This is what Ice Damming....damn it.... looks like the day after.
 
Dearest Fellow Nashvillians.... And anyone dealing with ice damming.... In the rain after the icepocalypse,
Here's what I learned:
  1. Call your roofer. Make sure you are one of the first calls in his voice mail. I say this because it is Saturday. Your roofer is not going to call you back.
  2. Call your contractor/handyman/handygal. They can calm your panic and tell you that you are among the many phone calls they received this morning. If you are lucky, they will offer to fight the elements and the treacherous residential streets to come help you, like mine did. Since I knew he couldn't make it up my hill this morning, and I didn't want him hurt trying to get here, I told him to stay put. But my guy is great and did check on us during the day.
  3. Call your insurance company. Get in the queue early. File a claim. Hope for the best.
  4. Move the valuables to a dry place. Unplug your computers or electronics if they are wet. Dry them as best you can. DO NOT plug anything back in for 24-48 hours. Let it dry. Or take a wet vac to the most precious item. Make sure they are completely dry before you ever plug them back in. Any chance you have of recovery of these will happen ONLY if they are dry.
  5. Check Facebook. Complain. Bitch. Moan. You may just have a dear friend who was watching the net to pick up helpful hints. I was lucky. Thank you to my friend. I owe you a drink.... And dinner.
  6. Connect a water hose to your hot water heater, if you can. (There is a valve on the tank, but if you aren't McIver-ish by nature, the rest of my steps may not help you). I was lucky again because I happened to have a tap including a hot water hose and hot water rated nozzle. Why do I have this? Because my brother (thank you @Randy wherever you are in the great beyond) hooked it all up back in 2001 when I started my company and ran it from the house.
  7. Make a note to ALWAYS have a hot water hose tap on any future house you own. It is worth its weight in gold. Not just in this instance, but many other times too.... You'll figure this out when you think about it a minute.
  8. Put on your rain gear, if you have real rain gear (I'll explain later), and head outside.
  9. Take the hot water hose and spray your downspouts from the top down. Don't waste the hot water. Pick the critical downspouts first.
  10. Spray for awhile, then stop. Using the palm of your hand (that I'm sure is gloved in real weatherproof gloves.... Ha!) and slap the shit out of the downspout starting from as high as you can reach downward. Don't dent them with your fist. Use your Palm to slap. S. L. A. P. Not
    P. U. N. C. H.
  11. Repeat this spray/slap process until you hear the ice in the downspout crack and fall. Then you should hear water running in the gutters again. Do this on the gutters you can reach with your Hot water hose. The ones you can't reach with the hose? Slap them too.... For luck.
  12. You can't go inside yet. Look around you. Is the two plus inches of ice preventing water from escaping the de-iced downspouts? Is water having a hard time escaping and you see it pooling at the foundation of your house?
  13. Look at those drainage pipes connected to your downspouts. You paid a lot of money to have those suckers installed so they drain water down your big ass hill. But, how do you hang your ass off that icy cliff to reach the business end of those pipes?
  14. Grab the lid of the metal trashcan that houses extra dog food in the garage. Visualize yourself sliding down the hill if you sit in the saucer shaped under side of the lid. Decide to sit on the top of the lid with the handle between your legs, almost to your "up in there" Then, a.) Argue with your husband as he tells you it will never work,
    b.) Proceed to sit on the lid and scoot down the hill just far enough to get to the end of the pipe.
    c.) Now, dig in the heels of your perfect weatherproof rubber boots (Ha!) into the side of that steep Hill.
    d.) Twist your ass on that lid so it digs into the ice and earth.
  15. Reach into the business end of that drainage pipes and pull what ice you can out. Shoot hot water up in there. Reach in again and see if you can pull out more ice. Shoot hot water again. Voila.... A chunk is freed. Water flows.
  16. Since you were victorious, repeat these steps on all downspouts.
  17. When you reach the far side of the house and free that downspout, you notice the black pipe that used to be connected to the downspout is gone. Bailey and Birdie must have redecorated. Water is running against the foundation. Not good.
  18. Take the shovel you've been using as an ice pick/walking cane to keep yourself from sliding off the front walk, down the hill and into the waiting ambulance, and dig a trench beneath the downspout so the water can flow down the hill and not pool at the base of the house.
  19. After a half an hour of trenching, ask your husband to go get some black pipe under the house so you can direct the water away.
  20. Husband said it was too slick to get to the place where the pipe is kept.
    So you,
    a.) start stomping off in the direction of where the pipe is kept, handy shovel/ice pick/walking cane in tow,
    b.) carefully climb the wet, icy stairs to reach the pipe,
    c.) pull out pipe,
    d.) see that your husband followed you to the base of the icy steps you just climbed. The same place you asked him to go 10 minutes prior. You see he is now ready to help pull the black pipe back to the misbehaving downspout.
  21. You carefully climb back down the wet, icy steps to return to the misbehaving downspout.
  22. When you return you see your struggling husband fighting with the pipe and the downspout. He believes the pipe is too small for the downspout.
  23. Trudge back through the ice (and rain.... Did I mention it is still raining? And there's still all this ice?) to the place where the pipe is kept. Back up the icy steps. Under the sunroom (same sunroom where the rain falls INSIDE the room, thanks to ice damming) where the black pipe is. I search for something to "rigatoni" our pipe vs. Downspout.
  24. Trudge back down the icy steps and return to the misbehaving downspout. (did I mention this downspout is at the far side of this house? And it's still raining? And there's all this ice?)
  25. See your husband get all creative, up in there. He took the pipe end of a leaf blower and managed to direct the water away from the house. Creative.
  26. Make a note that you really need to fix that downspout..... When it's dry and warm outside.
  27. Return to the driveway and realize that even though you dug some fine ditches on the far side of the house to direct water, you need to work on the driveway too. T. R. A. P. P. E. D. Water... Everywhere. Water is starting to go toward the garage.
  28. Dig more trenches in your newly, freshly, resurfaced gravel driveway (yeah, just paid money to have that done less than a week ago). Say to yourself, "Self.... It's only money. You'll make it up in volume." (Did I happen to mention that the rain is falling quicker than the ice from the previous weather event can melt?) ice damming.... As far as the eye can see.
  29. Take a gander at the gutters you can see. All those screens up there that were supposed to prevent clogs? Yeah, they are caked in ice. The ice won't budge. Say, fuck it.
  30. Finally, after realizing for the umpteenth time that you can no longer feel your fingers..... Because they're wet. You can no longer feel your toes.... Because they're wet..... You may need to go inside now. And you really need real rain gear.
  31. Go inside.
  32. Take a shower with what little hot water remaining in the tank.
  33. Return to your sunroom/office, with the new inside water feature and clean more. Try your best to remove the standing water. Luckily, the inside rain has slowed.... But it's still dripping.
  34. Realize that although you didn't know it yesterday, that was the last day you were going to enjoy that view. The last day you would get to sit at your working computer and be able to gaze outside and watch the birds feed, and the squirrels romp, and the shadows.... And trees.... The peaceful view you've loved for so many years.... Yeah, that's behind you now. Too bad you spent the last few days working on your laptop at the kitchen island where there is no view. You should have been soaking in that view. But nooo.... It is dead to you now. Move on.
  35. Make lunch. Decide that 3 pm is NOT too early for a cocktail on a Saturday. So prepare to have a glass or two for lunch.
  36. After 8 straight days stuck in the house, you have a fleeting thought......... Why are your fat pants so tight?
  37. After lunch, sit in your chair. The same chair that is adjacent to the sunroom/office. The same room that has not been heated all day because you had to Unplug the waterlogged heater.
  38. Proceed to spend the next 2 hours writing this long ass dissertation about how to unclog your ice DAMNED gutters while your husband and dogs nap .
  39. Listen to your husband wake up from his nap and proceed to set up a new office for you in the dining room. But he stops by to say you probably won't have Internet in there.
  40. Finish up your dissertation. Go to the fridge. Grab opened bottle of wine. Drink it. Start laptop and do a search: REAL rain boots, weatherproof gloves, weatherproof coat......... And key lime pie delivery in the greater Nashville area......and bigger fat pants.
  41. Go to bed.
That is all.
Carry on.

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