Ladder and Ice Removal
In the middle of the work day, when I was down in the kitchen, I heard the light sound of water trickling. Looking up, I saw a small river of water coming in from the outside, dripping down our walls.
After investigating outside, I realized that a large amount of snow had built up on a ledge above our kitchen, melting and coming into the house. The amount was large enough that there was no way to ignore it – the problem would just get worse and worse, the more it melted. Something needed to be done.
I signed off of work, and contacted our neighbors, the Browns, who had an extension ladder in their basement. They were kind enough to let me retrieve it, and after a bit of snow shoveling (I had to clear a path into the basement)… I was able to throw it over the fence, and get it into our backyard.
I’m not great with heights. And I’ve not operated once of these extension ladders on my own before. But I mostly got things set up and stable, and ventured up.
I should mention: our driveway was still pretty covered with snow and ice, though a lot of it was in the process of melting. Liz and I took turns chipping away enough so that we could get the ladder placed in a stable position. Or at least, what we assumed was a stable position.
A view of the shelf, and all the ice and snow that accumulated. I’m not sure if you can make it out, but the layer of ice a the bottom was around 2 inches thick. With another 4-5 inches of snow on top.
I hauled up a hammer, and a small shovel, to get rid of the snow. I worked pretty slowly, afraid that my motions would end up tilting me or pulling me off the ladder. I’ve had a not great track history with keeping my balance on ladders, and so doing all this two stories up was… daunting.
The landing, cleared!
Surprisingly, this was decently quick work. I was able to use the hammer to break apart the ice. And essentially slide the large bits of ice off the side. Liz was down below, steadying the ladder for me, and despite my best efforts I know she still got splattered a lot from all the falling debris.
We really lucked out. The temperatures were such that clearing all this off was much easier than I had thought it would be. We worked pretty methodically, but were able to slowly chip away at all the material, and slowly push it off the side.
I was even able to work a squeegee, to get rid of some of the remaining water.
Looking down, this is what I saw. I’m not a great fan of heights, but there was no way around this. Something that just had to be done.
Same photo, flipped around. Mostly because I wanted to show off how awesome Liz was. Amazingly, we made short work of this and averted a great deal of additional damage to the interior walls of our kitchen.
Super grateful to the Browns for lending us their ladder. We’d have been lost without it, and I shudder to think how much worse things would have gotten. All in all, things worked out really well.