The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

February 17, 2014

Dark side of the thaw

OTTUMWA — That snow may look light and fluffy, but a few hundred square feet of it sitting on your roof can weigh a ton — or more.

"On average, 6 inches of snow will add 10,000 pounds to your roof load, and this year we are seeing 12 inches to 16 inches," said Anthony Christner, president of Christner Contracting in Ottumwa.

Add some sleet or rain that can soak that foot of snow on a roof, and it's easy to pass the 10-ton mark.

"Newer homes that have engineered trusses instead of traditional rafters ... are designed to handle much of these loads," Christner said. "But in town, we have a lot of older homes built from rafters before there [were] any codes or regulations to follow. Even without the added snow loads, we see a lot of sagging."

This winter, that hasn't been the worst problem.

By the direction they are installed, roofing shingles are meant to shed water, explained Mike O'Hara at O'Hara Hardware. So water coming from above is not typically a problem because rain runs down over the shingles and off the roof. But water coming from below is a different matter.

O'Hara said the problem is when the edge of the roof is blocked; that's when you have the equivalent of a dam around your roof. Water can't run off the roof, so it gets backed up. That forces the water under your shingles, and that water drips into your home or business.

Christner concurred and explained how that happens:

"The number one call we are getting this season is ice damming, and it is up about 50 percent from last year's calls. Ice damming is caused from the heat of the sun and the loss of the heat through the attic melting the snow on our roofs, and in the evening when the sun goes down and temps drop back down the melted snow freezes in gutters and roof edges ... when the snow freezes it expands around and under any shingle that it comes in contact with and forces its way between the sealant on the shingles and allows moisture to penetrate."

Text Only
Ottumwa
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National