Archive for Durango Colorado Snow Removal

Snow Loads in Durango Colorado; when to remove the snow

Durango snow on roof

Snow removal from roof

Snow loads can be dangerous.  It is important to know how heavy the snow may be, because it can do some serious damage if you are not careful.  Check out these articles for recent roof damage around Durango Colorado:http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/News/2010/01/29/Roof_at_Iron_Horse_collapses/

http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/News/2010/01/26/Slide_hits_Animas_home/

This article has great information regarding the snow weight and what that may mean to you: http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/News/2010/01/30/La_Plata_County_digs_out_snow_weight_device/

I found this article to be interesting because of several roof failures we have seen here in the Durango area.  The article mentions some of the larger structures that have collapsed recently, but I am aware of a lot of problems that do not make the newspaper.  While roof  failure is a significant possibility, there are other reasons for not wanting tons of snow on your roof.   Many roofs are leaking from snowmelt and ice dams.  This is a serious problem that can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home and it’s contents.  Gardenhart Landscape & Design has worked on several roofs to remove the snow and thus stop the flow of melting water into the residence.

Another concern of mine is snow accumulating on manufactured homes and modular structures that are not constructed for snow loads typically found in Durango and the surrounding La Plata County area.  Many of these homes are built in other parts of the country and transported to Durango that do not have building codes that require roofs to withstand up to 40 lbs.  per square foot.  So, help out your friends and neighbors, remind them to monitor their roof loads so we all can get through this winter season safe and look forward to SPRING!

I really appreciate metal roofs and how they assist the snow load to move off the roof.  I see a lot of houses in Durango that have a shingle or shake roof that accumulates the snow.  If you are thinking about building and need suggestions about what kind of roof to use, I recommend a metal roof that has a good pitch to it.  This will alleviate a lot of hard shoveling and getting up on the roof to remove that load.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Durango Snow Removal Tips focusing on Ice Melt Products

Now that Gardenhart Landscape & Design has caught up from the last storm, the problem I am having is snow melting from my roof on the driveway and freezing into a solid mass of ice. I wonder if others are having the same problem and what solutions have worked. I used to get out there with sharp tools and flat shovel and work for hours chipping and removing it by hand.  Ice melt products have had a negative connotation for me until recently and I have begun experimenting with them at my home. I have found that they really do a good job with very icy areas.  It does take some time, but removing the hard ice is tough.

The Pro’s of using ice melt include less work, faster melting.  But the cons include granular rock type material around your walks and being tracked into the house.  The ice melt is made from a chemical composition that includes some of the items in the below table which are  potentially harmful to concrete, plants, pets or your drinking water if you have your own well.

Instead of “salting” your driveway, use types that are safe for pets. This alternative to salt for ice melting is more eco-friendly than salt. Many pet safe ice melt products don’t contain salt, but rather three organic ingredients.   You could also try using baking soda or kitty litter on the ice, which is a lot safer.

Chemicals Used to Melt Ice

Name Formula Lowest Practical Temp Pros Cons
Ammonium sulfate (NH4)2SO4 -7°C
(20°F)
Fertilizer Damages concrete
Calcium chloride CaCl2 -29°C
(-20°F)
Melts ice faster than sodium chloride Attracts moisture, surfaces slippery below -18°C (0°F)
Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) Calcium carbonate CaCO3, magnesium carbonate MgCO3, and acetic acid CH3COOH -9°C
(15°F)
Safest for concrete & vegetation Works better to prevent re-icing than as ice remover
Magnesium chloride MgCl2 -15°C
(5°F)
Melts ice faster than sodium chloride Attracts moisture
Potassium acetate CH3COOK -9°C
(15°F)
Biodegradable Corrosive
Potassium chloride KCl -7°C
(20°F)
Fertilizer Damages concrete
Sodium chloride (rock salt, halite) NaCl -9°C
(15°F)
Keeps sidewalks dry Corrosive, damages concrete & vegetation
Urea NH2CONH2 -7°C
(20°F)
Fertilizer Agricultural grade is corrosive

Ice melt products may cut  ice problems, but can really affect lawns. Most ice melts have a high pH level, and this burns the lawn, killing grass.  The problem area generally can be easy to repair. Gypsum may help reverse the damage because it has two key ingredients, calcium and sulfur, that help neutralize the soil.

Therefore, the overall conclusion that I have come to is to read the ingredient label on all ice melt products. I will purchase those that are the safest and stay away from those most harmful.  Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride appear the safest to use, but I will experiment with both baking soda and kitty litter. This will be good for our landscaping, pets, water and the earth.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Snow Removal Tips for Durango, Colorado. What to do before it snows.

Durango, Colorado received up to fifteen inches of snow in the last few days, covering everything that is outdoors. This includes old newspapers, rags, brooms, pieces of carpet, dog toys, piled leaves, etc.  All of these items are not appropriate for consumption by a snowblower.  Not only does it take a long time to clear debris from the machine, they may actually break the shear pins that hold the rotor in place.  This requires repairs and prevents you from completing the task at hand.

Gardenhart Landscape & Design recommends when the first snow event of the season is close, take a moment to walk around your property and pick up things which may be in the way of snow removal operations, this will save me time and you money.  We all want to make the most of both of those resources.  Durango, Colorado  only gets several snowstorms like this each year that require snow removal and we at Gardenhart Landscape & Design try to make it as painless as possible.  For more information about Gardenhart Landscape and design, go to our website at http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

Another tip is to put up markers to indicate  edges of  driveways, walkways, sprinklers, water main lines or other important items you may need a snow removal expert to be aware of, so as not to break or damage those items.  If you plan to have someone else remove your snow, it would be a great idea for them to come out before it snows, so that your landscape is the best protected and the contractor can see any delicate items.

If you would like more information or need some snow removed call DavidHart at Gardenhart Landscape & Design, 970749-1555 or email at hart@frontier.net

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