Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Snow Load on the Deck

F is for Frozen Snow

Last week we had more snow than ever before. We usually get light dustings, but last week we got deep wet snow.

For a land cabin, it's an inconvenience. For a floating cabin it's dangerous. The excess weight can sink the float foundation, and uneven loads can even flip a cabin over.

Snow weighs between 4 and 20 plus pounds per cubic foot depending on the wetness and compaction. Ours was about 12 inches thick and slightly refrozen. We have a 40 x 40 foot float with 1600 square feet of surface area including the roof.

12 inches deep X 1600 square feet = 1600 cubic feet of snow
1600 cubic feet X 20 pounds = 32,000 pounds = 16,000 tons

WOW. Our cabin sank almost a foot! That was enough to cover our cedar log foundation. That's VERY scary!

The only solution was to get shoveling. Wayne and I worked all day. We got most of the snow off of our ancillary docks and the cabin float. We were feeling pretty good until we got more snow that night.

The next day we were at it again, removing snow that slid off the roof and the new accumulation. We continued into the following day, but were finally assisted by some sunny weather followed by rain.

Kind of reminds me of an old Tennessee Ernie Ford song:

You shovel sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another foot higher and lighter you bet.

The crisis is over and float cabin life is back to normal. Whew! Even Mr. Ducky has lost his white parka.

Are you contending with snow? How our you doing?

For ABC pictures from around the world, stop by the ABC Wednesday blog. This is the twentieth round of the meme established by Denise Nesbitt and with help from Roger and Leslie.

It’s time for “Outdoor Wednesday.” Click HERE for more outdoor pictures. -- Margy


  1. Wow! That is scary! Good thing it's back to raining again.

  2. OOps that must have been scary.... thankfully nothing really bad happened. Never thought of it like this though, living in a 'normal' house.
    And snow... how lovely as it looks... I don't like it at all. My favorite is autumn ;-0

    Have a nice ABC-Wednesday / _ Week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc=w=team)

  3. So glad you guys were able to get most of it off - a couple of sailboats in the Comox Marina sank due to the amount of snow on them/weight. I know it has only been a week but with a bit of warmer weather and 2 days of rain 80 percent of our snow is gone! I am so ready for our normal Spring - although I already have weeds growing under the snow

  4. Oh my! Good job you were on top of it. We lost our greenhouse and despite shoveling our very long driveway were only able to get out twice in two weeks. Apologies for not attending on Saturday-I think our brains had turned to mush along with the snow.

  5. Hi Margy,
    glad you were able to sort out the snow,
    it does look very pretty on a christmas card
    but it presents many problems and particularly
    if you're ready and used to it.
    Everything grinds to a halt in the UK when it snows, particularly public transport and services, hmmm!
    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  6. oops! should read 'particularly if you're not ready'
    Di. x

  7. I heard you have rain now!!!

  8. Yah, we contend with snow on the roof!

  9. Yikes - that is a LOT of snow. I wondered how you were holding up under all the snow we've had. I'm sure you've studied the dangers of snow shoveling and the proper ways to shovel to avoid serious consequences. I'm glad your cabin didn't flip. I remember winters in S.E. Alaska when I was a kid - when we'd have heavy snowfalls we'd have to go down and shovel off our dad's fishing boat. It was amazing how fast it would sink lower in the water in what seemed like a fairly small snowfall - but it adds up quickly. Sometimes we'd even have to go down to the dock in the middle of the night to shovel - and our dad made sure that the shoveling was equal on both sides of the boat - for, as you say, it can flip easily. Glad the snow is gone now - we managed by just staying home - Don was off work for three days because the roads were too bad to travel so he worked from home.

  10. It snowed on Monday and the previous Thursday in ALB! Actually unusual.

  11. Stay safe you guys!