Village Reminds Residents to Prepare for Thursday's Thaw

Village Reminds Residents to Prepare for Thursday's Thaw
Posted on 02/21/2014

ORLAND PARK, IL (Feb 18, 2014) – Orland Park received nearly seven inches of snow on Presidents’ Day, February 17, and the village is now anticipating above freezing temperatures that will melt much of the snow that fell.

“We are reminding residents to pay attention to what’s happening around their houses especially with the amount of snow that we’ve had and the higher temperatures and rain that are coming,” said Director of Infrastructure Maintenance John Ingram.

Thursday’s temperatures are expected to bring a regional thaw with temperatures expected near 50 degrees with rain in the forecast.

Homes are built to shed water and for the water to flow away from the building.

“People should dig the snow away from their down spouts and out of their window wells and exterior basement stairwells including those with drains,” Ingram said. “All of this snow will be melting in a few days and you want to keep it away from your house as much as possible,” he said.

Residents are encouraged to remove snow one to two feet away from outside doors and then dig a path for the water to flow away. Residents can dig drainage ditches in the snow, guiding the water to drain away from homes. Backyard storm sewer inlets should be uncovered allowing any water to be carried away.

“Homeowners with rear decks want to create a way for the water to flow away from the house --- giving the water a route into the yard and not into the house,” Ingram said.

House heat melts the snow, creating a lower surface and then an ice crust can form an ice dam. When snow melts from the roof, flooding can occur and after a deep snow, siding and brick work can leak.

Water infiltration will show up as a flooded basement, wet carpeting --- usually near doors --- or water stains on ceilings, usually below door areas. The real damage can hide for months with plywood subfloors swelling or the growth of harmful molds.

Roof shingles are designed to shed water and an ice dam at the gutter will cause the water to back up and get under the shingles. Roof leaks caused by ice dams first show up as water stains on the ceilings and walls of the rooms.

“If a homeowner sees water stains or wet areas on their ceilings or walls, they should contact a village licensed roofing contractor who will climb a ladder and break up the blockage or ice dam, usually near the gutter areas, to minimize the leaking,” Ingram said.

All contractors working in the Village of Orland Park must possess a village issued contractor’s license. If residents hire non-village licensed contractors and they perform unsatisfactorily, residents have no recourse through the village. To learn if a contractor is licensed by the village, contact the Development Services Department at 708/403-5300.

Orland Park village crews have been working to clear street sewers and encourage residents to do the same in their neighborhoods --- both in the street and those in the backyard.

“The snow is going to melt. There is rain in the forecast and the ground is still frozen more than a foot down,” Ingram said, adding, “It is imperative that all sewers are clear of snow and debris so that the melting snow can drain and not cause a flood.”