Snow Keeps Our Floors Warmer

Snow Keeps Our Floors Warmer

Snow Keeps Our Floors Warmer

When it comes to snow I want none or a minimum of two feet on the ground. Snow keeps our floors warmer. It does. Seriously. Snow is a good insulator. When the snow drifts against the house it serves as insulation around the foundation. This old house has a field stone foundation for the cellar that lets cold air in. The floors, especially the tile in the dining room, are freezing cold under foot even when our feet are sporting nice wool socks. Snow banks the foundation and keeps the entire house warmer. We’ve barely burned any wood so far this winter.

The north side of the house seldom has a snow to bank the foundation. The roof doesn’t pitch that way so snow doesn’t fall off and pile up there. The northeast corner doesn’t have enough accumulation, either. Wind blows through the clear space between the house and trees, blowing the snow away. Steve felled a balsam tree when I was getting ready to make wreaths in November to be sure I had enough tips. He chose a big tree in a spot he plans to clear to expand the food plot in the spring. I snapped the best tips to make wreaths and later went back with pruners to lop off the entire length of each bough.snow keeps our floors warmer, banking, snow, foundation

On a warm (perspective; it was 35°) December afternoon I pressed the boughs against the snowless foundation, tucking branches into other boughs to keep them from springing away. It snowed the next day and as the wind blew it trapped the snow in the boughs instead of blowing it away. Nature’s insulation is free except for an hour or two of work.

When spring arrives some time in April I’ll pull back the boughs, pile them back into the tractor’s bucket, and move them to the burn pile. Snow keeps our floors warmer and then the boughs keep our hearts warm with the first fire of spring.


6 thoughts on “Snow Keeps Our Floors Warmer

  1. This brings back memories! Our childhood home had no cellar, so my father would nail tar paper all the way around the foundation and then pile on the boughs that we had “helped” him cut up in the woods. I don’t remember the floors ever being cold. Then in the spring we would have a big bough bonfire in the middle of the veg. garden spot. The ashes made the soil better he would say. Good Maine ingenuity!

    1. That’s what I do! The ashes help our acidic soil. Maine’s old soil needs a lot of lime and ash so what better place to burn than right there in the garden. My father was in the Air Force so we traveled a bit. Living in Georgia, North Carolina and the Philippines, and then coming home to a wood stove in the cellar, I didn’t know floors could be cold until I got my first apartment at 17. What a shock!

  2. The boughs as insulation is news to me, but I get the snow thing b/c of what this past winter did to my newly planted yard. I had no idea the insulation of snow made such a difference to the survival of plants until we got that weird winter with too many warm days and so much melt-off. So many plants were heaved from the earth, repeatedly–I couldn’t save them all. I have a good friend who’s a very experienced gardener, and she said she’s never seen such an awful winter season, and in 25+ years of gardening, lost far more plants than every before this past year. She explained the snow-as-insulation thing to me then. I love snow anyway, but now I appreciate it even more!

    1. I lost plants last winter after they were exposed to the dry winds all winter. I was always sure we’d have more snow soon. The amount of work and beauty we can lose to one odd winter is impressive and disappointing.

  3. I use evergreen boughs to cover my roses and perennial beds in front of the house. They keep things from freezing, thawing, and re-freezing in the spring. I like the idea of insulation for the home.

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