Today, after a windchill colder than -40C to start the day, so cold many of the school buses in the area didn't run, the temperature rose significantly this afternoon. There is warmth starting again in the sun these days and it shone brilliantly this afternoon, partially melting a tall, knobby stalagmite sort of ice formation rising from the ground under the downspout off the roof behind the house. One forms every year and my husband and I take bets from each other as to how tall it is going to get before it topples over as the sun weakens it in early spring.
The only downside to this rise in temperature is that some of the melt from the roof trickles down under the plastic siding on the house, where it gets trapped. Now that it is evening and the temperature is dropping again, the moisture is refreezing, subsequently expanding and pushing against the siding. Every so often the siding pops from the hardening ice squeezed in behind it. The noise is so loud it sounds like a sonic boom, or a cannon ball hitting the house. When it happens at 2am, waking me out of a sound sleep, it is terrifying!
The first winter we were here my husband and I would race to the front door of the house, whip it open, stick our heads outside and try to see who was throwing rocks or icy snowballs at the bedroom wall. Of course there was no one out there. It was simply the ice expansion behind the siding. BOOM!!
We are getting used to it now, but sometimes it still startles us into complete wakefulness. This past week it has been happening more during the daytime hours so we have been getting better adjusted than in previous winters.
One thing I know for certain: should I ever have reason to build my own house again, here on the prairies, there is no way on God's little green earth that I would use strips of plastic siding!! The constant BOOM BOOM for the 4 to 5 months of the coldest part of winter is not appealing at best and causes intense fear resulting in sleep deprivation at worst.
I wonder if there are any stats on heart attack victims as a result of winter siding expansion???