Thinking ahead about inevitable snow

Well I have never ever shoveled a roof. Depends on the rafters though. Building codes spec a particular snow load for the area in question. I think the only reason some do it is because of ice dams but if you have insulation and have had a roof in the last 20 years it will have the required tar ice protection on the lower few feet. So just depends. Now a flat roof is something else again.

Yeah its snowing again. Another inch or two for the third time in the last week. Floods in spring. Good for farmers though.

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Depends if the roof rafters or trusses are on 16" or24" centers and if the roof deck is plywood or OSB.

As with ALL exercise. Especially if you’re not use to exercising. Unfortunately for many people the only exercise they get is shoveling when the snow falls. Shoveling is GOOD aerobic exercise. Just have to be careful and listen to your body.

Those small slow blowers are fine for the 1-2 inches of light snow. They can’t handle 5-10 inches of the wet heavy stuff. My 8hp Ariens has a tough time with 10" of the wet heavy stuff.


We have a single stage snow thrower and it does up to 8” according to the manufacturer. We haven’t had a snow where the blower didn’t work well yet. Since we live in Central MD big snows are very rare though not unheard of. About 10 years ago we had about 38” in three days during March. A nice fellow from the county came in and cleared the roads with a big front end loader. Of course the moron dumped all the snow on the sidewalks. Had he put it on the other side, no one would have had to remove the 10’ piles from the sidewalks to meet state laws concerning clear sidewalks.

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8" of wet heavy snow or the light fluffy stuff? Wet heavy snow can weigh up to 5 times the light fluffy stuff.


This always bothered me about how the weather people report snow depths. Some have since taken to including water content. 24" of light fluffy snow is much more tolerable than 12" of heavy wet snow. Depth means nothing without that bit of information.

For my roof(s) I tend to start removing when it gets over 18" no matter what. Because what inevitably happens is it gets more dense as time goes on and the sun/wind work their magic. Then I cannot get it off so easily and if another storm comes along, now it’s urgent and I’m on ladders or the roof itself. Worse yet is if we get rain or sleet after a foot or so has fallen.

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As I have gotten older, equipment is more and more important. I can’t handle shoveling like I used to and just doing the walkways is often too much hand work. So I have a big two stage snowblower, a single stage for walkways and decks I can lift easily, an ATV with a Boss hydraulic V plow and my truck mounted hydraulic plow. This covers everything imaginable including when we get heavy slush that will turn into a glacier at night if not cleared. Even the big snowblower cannot throw that stuff. So you need options around here :slight_smile:

One thing about snowblowers- my older one was a big unit but you’d be dripping with sweat after using it, constantly wrestling with it. The one I have now is 16hp 2 stage with traction release. This allows me to pull a trigger and release the coupling between the wheels so only one wheel is driven and the other freely turns. It can be turned on a dime with almost no effort. The other thing that makes a big difference is to maintain the scraper alignment. If it touches the ground, especially on one side, you’ll be fighting to keep it going straight. I had a neighbor ask once, should he get the 8 or 12 hp machine? I just asked him- “have you ever heard anyone say- this snowblower has too much power” ?


It’s probably fluffy. I’m not sure because my wife won’t let me use the snow thrower. I have heart disease and she equates the snow thrower to the snow shovel. I was in very bad shape around 2015 when we bought it. I’m stable and much better now but she insists on clearing the driveway and sidewalks. I think she likes the snow thrower. She not only does our yard but a couple of others too. I point out the spots she misses. :wink:

Good points. Wet snow is another issue. We don’t have that problem except for early and late storms in march. Otherwise it’s the dry snow.

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At one time, some relative of Mrs. Triedaq sold us at a very reasonable price, a Toro electric snowblower. I used this until I inherited the gasoline Toro snowblower. I gave the electric snowblower to my church for clearing sidewalks. The house where we lived when we had the electric snowblower had a short driveway and that snowblower did the trick. It was very light weight and I stored it in the basement. It was easy to carry up and down the stairs. It didn’t weigh any more than an upright vacuum cleaner. Even though the Toro electric snowblower was double insulated, I did install a GFI in the outdoor outlet. The house we lived in at the time did not have a garage. This snowblower was adequate for our needs at the time.

Snow fall amount is measured differently than it was 30 years ago. 30 years ago, they’d wait until the storm ended then measure. Now they measure after a couple hours. Clear their measuring device and then measure again in a few hours. The older way would show lesser amounts because the snow weight would affect the final total.

I bought a 1972 8 hp Aires in 1990 for $125. It looked hardly used. It was not like today’s wimpy 8 hp machines. It has an 318 cc flathead with a lot of low end grunt and it has a lock/unlock button for the differential for easy handling.

When the drifts in the back yard got as high as the four ft. fence I would put the drift bars on it and make a couple for hundred feet of paths through the snow for my Westie.

My son did peoples taxes and someone gave him a 98 Toro ccr 2000 in exchange that he had no use for so in light snow, up to 10 inches I started using that because it cleans right down to the pavement bit if the heavy snow comes I would fire up " Bertha " and do the neighborhood.

My house is now sold, I am in assisted living because my wife needs to be and Bertha is sold because she scared the daylights out of the granddaughter that bought the house.

99 lb seems light for a two stage, I think Bertha is close to 200. She still threw a solid chute diameter of snow 35 fi while I guided her with one finger through 4’ of snow.

from 1990 I did have to clean crud out of the float bowl 3 times and I replaced the spark plug twice. The skid plates wore out and I replaced then with 1/4 " plate steel that was now getting thin.

Your story reminded me of the first two stage blower I had back in the day. That was a beast. It would hardly even slow down when going through the heavy 4’ plow line at the end of the driveway. It didn’t have any fancy features though and I eventually gave it to a friend when I bought a newer one. I regretted that a few times. The most memorable event was when it very briefly struggled and recovered so I thought not much about it other than it was odd. Later, it was not throwing snow like it normally would and upon inspection, found it had ingested one of those rubberized entrance mats by my basement door. It was so mangled and wrapped around the auger, it took many hours to liberate it all. The blower barely slowed down…

Ha ha. We used to have a paper girl that would use a white bag for the paper and throw it on the driveway. More than once I shredded that paper. Back to the garage to clean it out and put in a new shear pin. Yeah I stock shear pins, and belts.

That was a wise and wonderful thing to do.

About 10+ years ago my FIL insisted on giving me his HD Ariens snoblower with all the bells, whistles and weighed a ton, which insisted on stopping 50’ from the nearest outlet and had to be dragged/wrestled back to restart. Replace the card, traced the electric and gave up … gave it to my son’s friend with a job, spouse and child who promptly got it running and was absolutely thrilled.
As my mother always said, “Better to give with a warm hand than a cold hand.”

For myself, back to my little 2 stroke and since I’m retired, anything more than 6", it’s another log on the fire and break out another bottle of wine or beer and smile.

And BTW.for any other “Old Farts” like myself, the same applies to our cars. That old obsessivly maintaned Chevy, Ford, Buick or Olds sedan “that our kids wouldn’t be caught dead in” may be just the ticket for a young family that we know or our kids know and may even create great memories in their kids.
Fifty years from now… “Back then we didn’t have much money but I remember that Ford LTD or Buick Lacrosse, huge V6, enough room to fit the entire neighborhood”, I’m bidding $100,0000 for that car".


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I wasn’t sure how much mine weighed, but Amazon says it’s 126lbs and the E-Go 2 stage Lowe’s sells says it’s 150lbs. I was thinking the battery powered ones would be lighter than the gas ones

Depending how long you want it to run, you can have a lot of battery cells. A BMW 430i Gran Coupe weighs 3792# while the i4 Gran Coupe eDrive40 weighs 4665#. Very similar cars except the drivetrain. It takes a lot of battery to get a 300 mile range.

As long as somebody can relate this to cars, spent a few hours cleaning out plastic bag and aluminum can debris from between the axle for snow paddles and housing. It was hard to believe how tough the aluminum and plastic had become. I had to spend some time unwinding stuff from a car, do not remember what or when

Yeah that and vacuum cleaners. I got too close to the bottom cord of a patio door b,Lind and wrapped half the thing around the brush. Plastic cord so tough and the brush is dealer only disassembly. Got it finally. Little more careful now.

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So… I went and got my Ariens snowblower out of storage last week and dropped off my Ariens rider mower at the same time. The counter guy casually notes that they are now both over 20 years old and I sure had gotten my money’s worth from the “free storage for life” promo they were running… back in 2002.

The snowblower gets used 8-10 times a winter on a 5 car rough gravel driveway. The mower is a self propelled 22 inch thing that gets its workout once a week from May to October on about half an acre. The snow blower is probably the smallest 2 stage they ever made, a 20 inch two stage. Good machines.