Watching roofs, gutters as snow melts, rain hits
By Suzanne Baker firstname.lastname@example.org February 19, 2014 5:14PM
Updated: February 20, 2014 9:54AM
ELGIN — With the snow melting and the potential for rain into Thursday, river levels aren’t the only thing being monitored this week. Many people are looking up to see how their roofs and gutters are holding up this winter.
The National Weather Service is warning people north of Interstate 88 that they could wake up to snow or ice accumulations, sleet or freezing rain before warmer temperatures arrive late in the day. The wintry mix will then switch over to all rain and even some thunderstorms. Up to an inch of rain is expected.
Even those who aren’t close to rivers and streams are weary of the rain and melting snow.
Local school districts said they are watching the roofs and school grounds carefully to ensure students’ safety.
Patrick Mogge, director of school and community relations for Elgin School District U46, said the district maintenance staff is monitoring the situation. “We have been removing larger piles of snow and making sure drains are open,” Mogge said.
To the north, Community Unit School District 300 schools are managing the situation well at this point, and the district does have the supplies on hand that they need, according to Allison Strupeck, director for communication services.
“We have pulled our entire grounds and maintenance crews to visit each school and clear drains and roof scuppers,” Strupeck said. “Our crew members are working in pairs for added safety, using shovels and ice melt.”
She said the district’s contracted roofing repair company will respond to any reported leaks. “We have not had to relocate any classes due to leaking,” Strupeck added.
Janet Buglio, Indian Prairie School District 204’s executive director of communication services, said this winter has been challenging but that the district has enough salt for surfaces.
“Regarding roofs, where it has been safe to do so, our custodians have removed snow from roofs,” she said. “The upcoming melting and rain are concerns we have as well.”
For homeowners, Chuck Karmalita, owners of Singles Construction Co. in Elgin, advised people to leave well enough alone when it comes to the roof. He said people can cause more damage trying to remove ice and snow from the roof than it is worth.
“You’d be better of cleaning out the roof drains,” he said.
Sprinkling a little calcium chloride in the gutters also will help melt the ice without damaging any plant material below, and Karmalita said the substance can be found at all the major hardware stores.