The Changing Legal Climate Surrounding Snow Removal.
While we can hope that this year’s snowfall won’t top last year’s record levels, snow removal will take on an increased sense of urgency this year in Massachusetts. In addition to the grueling physical demands, a recent shift in the laws regarding snow removal will have homeowners much more attentive to the condition of their sidewalks following each storm.
For business owners, the laws mandating snow removal are clear and unforgiving. Neglecting snow removal can result in fines levied by local government as well as leave businesses vulnerable to costly personal injury lawsuits. The consequences can be devastating, but for the most part, these are avoidable expenses, and as such, businesses in cold climates take their snow removal duties seriously. But the legal responsibilities of snow removal are not confined to businesses. Homeowners in the north east are also feeling the chill of a legal climate change.
A Massachusetts court recently overturned a 125-year-old “slip and fall” accident law. Prior to this latest decision, the state’s courts made a distinction between snow and ice conditions caused by nature and those caused artificially. Not anymore.
In the past, Massachusetts law had stated that property owners did nothing wrong when they didn’t remove ice or snow that accumulated naturally. But now, whether the snow on your sidewalk is a natural accumulation from Mother Nature or the result of a passing snow plow, the responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the homeowner to clear that snow from the sidewalk. Essentially, the new ruling states that walkways in Massachusetts must be safe to walk on at all times, making homeowners liable for “slip and fall” accidents that occur on their property.
While diligent snow shoveling and timely distribution of ice melting chemicals can enhance safety and reduce the chances of personal injury, it’s hard for any homeowner to feel completely at ease during the winter cold spell. There are no “anti-lawsuit” guarantees, but radiant snow melting systems are proving to be the most popular long term remedy for “litigation angst”. The automated systems ensure safe, snow-free sidewalks, whether you are asleep in bed, at work, or just relaxing in the front room with a hot cup of coffee.
Electric snowmelt systems are activated by a high-tech snow sensor that signals the unit’s controller when it detects precipitation and temperatures are below 39° Fahrenheit. The control unit then sends power to the embedded heat cable, warming the driveway or sidewalks. Installing a heated driveway not only eliminates the time consuming, arduous task of manual snow removal, but provides peace of mind by enhancing safety as well as increasing the value of your property.
Is Your Roof an Accident Waiting to Happen?
Each Winter Storm May Slowly be Compromising the Integrity of your Roof
Every winter, homeowners in cold climates experience the damaging effects of heavy snow and ice as it accumulates on their roofs. Contrary to the seemingly harmless splendor of winter’s white wonderland, snow can cause as much damage as fires, severe storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards.
Beneath the serene blanket of fresh snow on your roof, destructive forces are silently at work, stressing your home’s structure and gradually infiltrating the vulnerable areas of your roofing like an unrelenting cavity gnawing away at your tooth.
In freezing climates, two common types of roof damage are responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars of roof repair. Ice dams and condensation of water vapor on cold surfaces in the attic slowly take their toll on roofs, and the consequences can lead to safety hazards as well as expensive repairs.
Ice dams are typically the most problematic areas of roofs in climates with freezing temperatures. When the temperature in the attic is above freezing, it can cause the snow on the roof to melt and trickle down the roof valleys. When it hits the colder eaves, it refreezes.
As this cycle repeats over several days, the freezing snowmelt results in ice buildup that acts as a dam, causing water to slowly back up behind it. The melting snow continues to run down the sloping roof, accumulating at the dam and causing several potential risks. It eventually backs up under the roof covering and can leak into the attic, and perhaps, even along exterior walls. Because the warm air of the living space below the roof penetrates the attic, it is difficult to avoid the conditions that cause ice dams naturally. However, the good news is that you can protect yourself from the danger and excessive costs associated with roof damage.
Warmzone roof heating systems are discreetly installed under the roofing and eliminate prolonged ice damming that can cause severe roof damage. Investing in a quality roof heating system and protecting your home from structural damage and dangerous icicles can save you a considerable amount of money in the future.
Automated roof heating systems can be customized to accommodate just about any roof type and configuration. Warmzone examines each project individually to determine which system will provide the optimal solution. A valued roof deicing system is based on its cost, performance and aesthetics. Based on your budget and needs, Warmzone will maximize your investment to the best working system possible. (A variety of proven roof heating options are available to choose from.)
Warmzone roof heating systems are controlled by automatic sensors that activate the heating elements when conditions warrant. Warmzone roof heating systems have been installed in most cold regions around the country and are still the most effective for roof deicing. RoofHeat deicing systems are a wise investment that could save you thousands of dollars in repairs if you live in an area with harsh winters. The energy-efficient roof heating systems are ideal for new construction and/or remodeling of existing roofs.
In addition to roof heating, Warmzone is a premier provider of radiant heated driveways and floor heating systems. Call a Warmzone radiant heat expert (888-488-9276) to learn about the systems and options available for you.