My beloved Goddaugher went into labor two hours ago. She's going to give birth to Anthony Cerminara. That will make me a grand Godfather right? How I love that. In the scheme of life, grand Godfathering carries some weight.
On another subject - For no reason other than you may have experienced the same thing I did this winter regarding leakage - in your home - I'm going to become a niche columnist this week. The niche is home care.
I've not had any trouble with my house for 6 years, beyond a few small barely noticeable cracks in the sheet rock. The house has stayed true, perched on a mountaintop where the wind blows gales with such ferocity, that some nights I feel the entire house might topple over.
One afternoon in February I was surprised to notice a trickle of water on the inside pane of a four paned window at the entrance of my home. I dabbed at the water, tilted open the window, and stuffed part of a paper towel in between the window frame and it's casing. The towel seemed to sop up the entire flow and I went to bed figuring I'd need to have my roof looked at.
The outside temperature that day, and the next, was no lower then 25 degrees, but the trickle was there a second day. I repeated the towel effort, and it stopped the flow again.
I ran the leak history by my painter buddy who seemed to think I shouldn't worry that my house was going to fall in. He mentioned that sometimes snow and ice on a roof melts in such a way that it gets pushed up and into cracks and crevices and accumulates where it normally wouldn't, and causes leaks. He told me to keep an eye on the leak area, but said it would probably stop.
He was right.
By February, snow accumulation was above the norm, so around mid-winter all hang broke loose at hardware stores as folks everywhere felt their roofs might cave-in. Roof rakes where selling like, roof rakes during extra snowy winters.
Round about the first part of February I noticed that several boards had buckled in my great room creating a heave, back where my cat Scarlet's bed is. A week or two later I noticed another spot, not as big, a foot from the original spot. The rest of the room, some 800 sqaure feet, showed no sign of tweak- age.
I like to keep my house up to snuff, so I called a carpenter who had put the floor down to come and check it out.
He came and figured what he'd need to fix it. He's a quiet guy, but his face showed he was curious. I asked what he thought might have cause the buckle, and he said he'd just worked on a home with a similar problem that he figured was caused by a leak near a dormer. He mentioned he'd heard lots of folks, builders included, had reported leaks in their homes this winter that they've never had before. And they'd all suspected it was the fault of the winter's wild snowy personality.
My problem boards were also by a dormer, and I told the carpenter about the little leak I'd had earlier in the winter, and said that it had been the first ever in my house.
We deduced the buckled boards had most likely been cause by a runaway stream of snowmelt that had found it's way under the flooring via an angled area of the dormer.
So there my friends. If you've had a few leak problems this winter, that you've not had before, don't fret and feel you're going to have to rip and tear into your roof and walls to find and fix the problem. In fact, the problem may have been a once every 6 or 7 year thing that has already fixed itself.
Winter in Vermont. You can't beat it. And you can't beat it.
Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act "The Logger." His column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com