18 January, 2008
Posted by Joanne at 9:16 PM
A client sent me this macabre snow scene a while back--it nicely sums up my general irritation that winter has returned. It's bad enough to try to move and settle into a new place in the dead of winter; worse still is noticing some outdoor maintenance projects I'd like to get to sooner rather than later and can't because of the weather.
Last week it actually reached the low sixties in the Chicago area. The snow that had accumulated on the garage roof melted quickly, but we noticed that the brick at the back of the garage, below the gutter, was pretty damp--meaning the gutters were clogged and one of us would have to climb up and unclog them. Based on the visible brick wear and (mostly cosmetic) damage, I think this has been going on for a while.
So a few days ago, shortly before sunset, Ted and I dragged a ladder to the back of the garage and climbed up on the roof. I had it in my head that I'd be able to just scoop out the leaves and debris that had accumulated in the gutter and be done with it. That wasn't going to happen. It has been so long since the gutter had been cleaned that it was now firmly packed with mud, frozen mud. There were a few dead leaves embedded in the surface, but otherwise it was solid, unyielding, rock-hard mud. No wonder there was water backing up into the walls!
Because it was quickly getting dark, we decided to tackle it later in the week. I should have paid better attention to the weather report, because the temperatures have rapidly plummeted; it's like 2 degrees outside right now, and no relief in sight for the next 10 days. It's way too cold to work on the roof, and the job will probably take a while because I'll have to dig out all the compacted mud with a spade. So far, the gutter itself looks to be in decent shape, thank goodness.
I know it's probably been like this for years and a few more weeks won't matter much, but things like this drive me crazy, especially when I see a newly formed sheet of ice on the inside of the back garage wall. Why was it never cleared out? Why? Why?