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problem gutter/constant ice

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Luke_P, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. hey all

    I ve been plowing for 5 years and salting for four. I do a mix of residentials and commercials with the smallest commercial being a small gas station type size and the largest a large new old folks home that takes about two-three hours with two guys on average. I am not a old hat but i am not a noob buy any stretch. I just picked up a 12 unit apartment building that has one issue. All of its roof drains (eavestrough downspouts for lack of the proper term) dump either onto the lawn or under the sidewalk into a ditch.............

    Except one it dumps right onto the pavement one has to cross to enter the back entrance. It runs for a day or so after a rain so once there is a foot of snow on the roof and it starts to melt I am going to have to hit it constantly. If the temperature raises a little and drops I can see this being very aggrevating. Running a hose isn't a option its in the worst possible spot to try and reroute. I will eventually try and get the owner to fix it properly (ie pull a pipe under the pavement or pull the down spout across the wall twenty feet away and tye into the next proper drain).

    My question is does anyone have any ideas for a strategy other then hit it with salt and watch the running water wash it away every day? any unorthodox ideas I am not seeing here. I do check my lots everyday the conditions warrant and am used to dealing with melt run off of piles and troughs this one is just unique in its right in the most travelled (by foot traffic) part of the lot.

    Just curious what you would do?

    Live with it? some sort of de-icer not as prone to getting washed away? Put up signs so at least there is a warning up? I do keep salt bins at each lot for a ambitious type to salt a problem if they see it but I dont rely on that ovbiousily. I just hate dealing with syptoms instead of the problem but I don't see them fixing it before next season.(truth be told I never noticed it when I quoted the place as everyother one is into a drain):confused: I wouldve likely quoted near the same but would have asked to have it fixed in september instead of december whooops on my part....
  2. jklawn&Plow

    jklawn&Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    Do they sell plugs?
  3. that seems like a overly ovbious solution, i wonder if the down spout would leak part way up or get to heavy if full of water? ovbiousily youd have to remove it for a rain storm or what not but i wonder or block it off right up on the roof(its a flat roof)
  4. greywynd

    greywynd PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,339

    Sorry, that isn't something you want to plug. If it freezes (which it will) it will split the downspout and crack it, or at least bulge it. Not to mention the weight could pull the pipe off the building causing further damage.

    Any way to temporarily reroute the outlet above the surface for the winter at least? 4" PVC pipe works well for this stuff btw.

    Another option may be to have a trough guy reroute the pipe on the wall so it dumps on the other side of the walkway rather than going across the pavement.
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Could you put down some sort of mat? Used to see those real heavy open mesh deals. They were about an inch think, maybe made from used tires?
  6. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    I would bring it to the attention of owner. How can you possibly be expected to assume liability 24/7 for poorly designed drainage that has nothing to do with pushing snow . Put something in writing that you won't assume liability.Take pictures. Like this example-
    2 days after storm a leaky joint in gutter drips and freezes in the worst possible place.
    Result, broken ankle and a 200k $ claim 3 month's later.This picture saved my a%$

  7. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,868

    I have a 12 unit condo that has that same problem. I toss a large handfull of bulk salt under each one, cheap and seems to last for awhile. I will also make a point to drive through and check it out every once in awhile as meltoff and refreeze is a major concern. Sometimes I will have to throw a handfull or two down, record that I was there for a site check and note I treated downspouts.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  8. Moonlighter

    Moonlighter Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    I was wondering if you could make up some salt socks up with drain tile sock, that way you could make a bunch up and change them out when needed, Not large or very long, but a containable way to keep the run off going through the salt sock. I was planning on doing this for my brother in law for his porch gutters, but I may go with panty hose to match his roof color.
  9. thanks for the replys everyone. yeah the weight of the water pulling on the pipe seems like a bad idea and freezing/splitting as well. Moving the trough along the wall or going under the pavement is the best proper solution. just not likely to happen right now. I do document and take pictures of slip and fall likely situations and inform the property owner. I am being a little less in there face about it then normal as I missed it and I walked the property twice. I have just not come across one in such a bad spot. This building is not new but not in a bad state of repair I am surprised its been tolerated this long.

    I do like the idea of a porous mat or expended metal grarting. Also like the salt dropped in a sock idea so the water has to go through it and create a brine.

    While its not my problem due to poor design\upkeep if 50 dollars of matting or big o and salt saves me going to court then I am all for it.

    I'll try the sock idea as the matting/grating would have to be moved when plowing. I will post my experiences with the results.