How NOT to design a garage roof in the North Country!

Watch out for falling snow right in front of the car!

Here is what our garage, or rather, 3-sided shed looks like.

Roof pitch allows snow to fall in front of the bays.

As you can see, the roof pitch is such that snow will fall directly in front of the garage bays.   This garage faces due north, so the sun never even hits the front roof this time of year.  If the temperature stays below freezing, we can leave that snow up there for weeks and it won't fall down, even after several snowstorms if the conditions are right.  However,  all it takes is a little thaw...and then, WHAM!  The whole roof-full of snow falls down, all at once, and it falls down hard, turning snow into something very compact and heavy, and difficult to move by hand with a shovel.  

Raking the garage roof in preparation for a thaw and rain.

I learned about this the hard way.  I'd come home from work, in the dark and cold, and expect to just drive right into the garage, but no.  It happened to be one of those days when the weather warmed up enough to drop that pile right smack in front.  Then I'd have to grab the shovel and try to clean that mess up.  It was not a pleasant task in the dark, after a day's work and a half-hour drive home.

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Today I found out that temperatures are warming up to the forties by tomorrow, with a bunch of rain coming too.  Thinking ahead, I raked that snow off the garage, while it was still frozen powder, and then snow-blowed it away.  If I had left it there overnight, it would have been one heavy, ugly wet mess on the ground tomorrow.  And it's supposed to go right back down to below freezing by Friday, which would turn that fallen snow into a big icy speed bump!

I strongly recommend to anyone building a garage these days, to build it so that the snow falls to the left and right, not in back and front!  You will save yourself a lot of work in the long run! 

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