Here we are in the midst of another cold Massachusetts winter and like every winter here in New England many property owners will have major issues with ice dams causing roof leaks and shingle damage.

Although it may seem as though ice dams are an unstoppable force of nature, they are actually quite preventable. Attics and cathedral or vaulted ceiling areas that have been correctly incorporated into the overall building envelope don’t have problems with ice dams and icicles in the cold seasons. Through the use of proper insulation and ventilation techniques ice dams can be stopped cold (pun intended).

Here a typical scenario for the formation of ice dams:

  1. A house has a build up of snow on the roof.
  2. The temperature outside is below freezing.
  3. The temperature inside the attic is above freezing, thus raising the temperature of the roof itself to above freezing.
  4. Because of the warm roof, the snow on top of it begins to melt from the bottom up.
  5. This melted snow water tries to run down and off the roof.
  6. As soon as the water reaches the edge of the roof it gets exposed to the freezing air.
  7. The water refreezes as ice instead of snow in the gutters, if present, and along the edges of the roof.
  8. As more and more melted snow water continues to run down the roof it just keeps freezing behind and on top of the previously frozen run off, forming a bigger and bigger ice dam.

So How Do Ice Dams Cause Roof Leaks? 

The melted snow water doesn’t immediately freeze anymore after the ice dam has begun to take shape. Once the ice dam has built up a bit it literally creates a dam that traps the rest of the water trying to run off the roof behind it. While this trapped water will eventually freeze, it may take a while and during that time a portion of the shingles on this roof, behind the ice dam, are basically submerged in water.

Now of course your roof shingles are obviously suppose to protect your home from the weather i.e. rain and snow. However, most roofing materials are not meant to have a pond or river on top of them.

So What Can You Do To Prevent Ice Dams?

First and foremost you must recognize that proper insulation and ventilation is the key(see image on right). If we are talk about an attic area then typically this means that the insulation needs to run up the walls of your house then over the attic floor joists forming an ideal insulation envelope. In the attic scenario only the floor of the attic should be insulated, not the underside of the roof!

Proper ventilation is also required. Outside air needs to be able to enter the attic so that the attic temperature is the same as the temperature outside. You achieve this ventilation through the use of gable vents, soffit vents and a roof ridge vent.

In roof systems with attic areas below them it is fairly straight forward to have a contractor that knows what they are doing to correct any problems as far as proper insulation and ventilation. However, roof systems with a cathedral ceiling below them that have these issues are much more of a project to correct, but they can be corrected.

In order to have a properly ventilated and insulated cathedral ceiling the contractor must install baffles within each rafter bay before installing the insulation. These baffles allow air to flow between the soffit vents and the ridge vent which keeps the underside of the roof the same temperature as outside. If these baffles ore not installed in your cathedral ceiling then the contractor will need to remove the existing sheetrock and insulation from your ceiling in order to properly ventilate the area. This type of project will be more expensive than an attic project.

In addition to the ice dam issue, if your attic is warmer than the outside temperature you are also wasting lots of money heating that space. So basically you are paying extra money on your heating bill for the privilege of growing nice big ice dams and icicles that cause roof leaks and destroy your roof. Kind of makes it even worse when you think of it that way doesn’t it?

What Can You Do About Existing Ice Dams?

If it’s the middle of the winter and you have ice dams or through past experience you think they will be forming soon there are some measures you can take. First of all, if you don’t have experience climbing on a roof in the winter, especially with snow on it, don’t do it! Call a pro. What you can do is go to your local hardware store and buy a snow rake that has an extendable handle designed to pull snow off of the first few feet of the roof and attempt to pull some of that snow off, from the ground, before it has a chance to melt and refreeze along the roof edges. You can also do this once the ice dam has formed and keep it from getting any bigger and give it a chance to melt, hopefully.

Also, many roofing contractors, us included, work through the winter and often provide roof snow removal services in addition to their typical roofing services. This is a service we are happy to provide for our customers here in Massachusetts, for example. Again, please don’t try and do this yourself. Between icy ladders and slippery roof surfaces it is a recipe for disaster for the inexperienced.

There are also some products on the market that can assist in preventing ice dams before they form and melting them if they have already formed. You should be able to find a home improvement store in your area that sells a product that is basically a coated, heated wire that you fasten along the edges of the roof and then plug in when the conditions are right for the ice dams to form (see picture on right). These actually work pretty good, however, they aren’t solving the real problem which, of course, is ventilation and insulation issues. They may be right for some homes in some circumstances though.

Most home improvement and hardware stores also sell pellets or tablets that are designed to be thrown up onto the roof from the ground. These tablets then supposedly will melt the ice from the roof as they dissolve into the water that is running down the roof into the ice dam. I have no experience with these products so I can’t say for certain if they work as designed or not. However, some people say they have worked for their ice dam problems. A couple of things I would be worried about as a roofing contractor is potential damage to the shingles from the chemicals these tablets are made of (salt is no good for asphalt shingles), as well as possibly staining the roof with those same chemicals. And even in a base case situation this product is still just a band-aid for a greater problem.

Proper Roofing Techniques For Cold Climates

In addition to making sure that the roof has proper ventilation and attic insulation there is an additional level of security against ice dam issues and roof leaks that all responsible and ethical roofing contractors should be taking in cold weather climates with regards to pitched, asphalt shingled roofs. When a new roof is installed, these days, an extra layer of protection called ice and water membrane should be installed from the edge to at least 3 feet up the roof.

This added layer of protection will help prevent leaks if ice dams do develop along the roof edges. Ice and water membrane will not prevent ice dams it simply is added security to help protect the plywood sheathing beneath the asphalt shingles and prevent leaks should an ice dam form.

Introduction

Developing countries are characterized in one way by shrinking economies. Sierra Leone is one such country that despite government and donor support, education has been a major challenge. The situation has been worsened, due to the fact that libraries have been neglected. According to the African Development Bank (ADB) Sierra Leone Country Office (2011), the total funds provided for education by the ADB/ADF finances up to 2010, was about US$ 22 million. The project supported the construction of Ninety Eight (98) primary schools, Fifty Four (54) Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), Eight (8) Vocational Skills Training Centres and Twelve (12) duplex housing blocks for teachers. The project also provided training for Four Thousand and Fifty (4,050) teachers. Teacher manuals were also made available. However, nothing was ever made available for library development. This neglect of libraries, means that libraries in Sierra Leone with limited resources, have to work together in order to meet the information needs of their users. One library may not be able to effectively and suitably meet the information needs of all its users. Library cooperation is therefore, urgently needed.

Library Scene in Sierra Leone

The country has all the different types of libraries; they range from public, academic, special to school libraries. In addition to these are information and resource or documentation centres that provide library and information services. Furthermore, there are museums, such as the National and the Peace Museums, and the National Archive which also provide information services.

However, the Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) which was established by an Act of Parliament in 1959 serves as the domain of the provision of library and information services in the country. It functions as both the National and a Public library. To date it has a Central library and headquarters located in Freetown, Regional branches in Provincial headquarter towns, and branches in all District towns, totaling twenty one (21) libraries [One (1) central and headquarter library, three (3) regional libraries, sixteen (16) branch libraries, and two (2) sub-branches].

Libraries in Sierra Leone are therefore, institutions for the storage and dissemination of information; are for users; they provide users with guides and other finding lists; they provide adequate access to the documents or records users may wish to consult; they have subject arrangement; and they are cost-effective.

Library Cooperation

The term cooperation describes the joint action of two or more parties for mutual benefit. Library cooperation means exchanging cataloguing records, building complementary collections, exchanging library materials by inter-library loan and document delivery service, joint purchasing of library materials or automated system, providing services to each others’ users. Library cooperation is also described as an agreement, combination, or group of libraries formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member.

There are different types of cooperative activities and some of the most popular activities are reciprocal borrowing, union catalogues or lists, photocopying services, cooperative reference service, delivery services, cooperative acquisition arrangements, subject specialization in collection development, centralized cataloguing and card production, as well as central storage of materials.

Burgett, Harr and Phillips (2004) asserted that there is evidence that cooperation among libraries to share resources goes back to a long way, at least to the first half of the 13th century, when monasteries developed what we would today recognize as union catalogs of manuscripts to aid in their scholarly activities. Musana (1991) indicated that information resource sharing has been in existence as long as libraries and other types of information services. The existence of a library is itself a form of cooperation. Many libraries came into existence because a group of individuals with a common desire and aspiration wanted to put a collection of materials together for use by the group members. Historically, the driving force behind the evolution of resource sharing concept was the desire to satisfy the felt needs of the user population. Earlier, each library was an entity, serving or trying to serve the needs of its own users and purchasing materials to meet their primary needs.

Beenham and Harrison (1990) however noted that a combination of circumstances made it increasingly difficult for an individual library to be self-sufficient. These circumstances include:

a tremendous increase in knowledge and a corresponding growth in publishing;

the spread of education from primary to university level which lead to greater and more diverse demands on the public library services by a much more literate public;

the advance of technology with its effect on industry and commerce and the necessity for employers and employees to develop new skills and techniques; and

increased opportunities for travel and international economic cooperation, which demand up-to-date information about foreign countries.

Existing Library Cooperation in Sierra Leone

There has been increased pressure for libraries in Sierra Leone to cooperate, including plans to create networks thereby making way for resources to be available to users. As such what has obtained is as follows:

Lending of materials – libraries lend materials to each other officially and unofficially to help their users;

Donations – large libraries donate to smaller libraries materials mostly books for their users;

Photocopying – these are available in most libraries. The lending library will copy the needed material and send a copy to the requesting library without having to send the original;

Exchange of cataloguing data – cataloguing data is given to other libraries. The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) provides its data to school libraries that cannot do this technical work properly.

There have been some benefits with these kinds of cooperation existing in the country:

Availability and access to information – there has been significant reach to information by users, since other libraries’ resources can be tapped from;

Lower cost – funds are saved due mainly to the fact that some expensive materials are not purchased as long as they are accessed in another library;

Experience sharing – the exchanging of staff and information provides a platform for learning from each other, especially with cataloguing data; and

Collection development – each library tends to build its collection to the maximum point, narrowing the focus, and at the end building a strong collection.

Notwithstanding, the real benefits that such cooperation should bring about have not been fully realized. Thus, there are certain steps that libraries should take to make this workable.

Building the Infrastructure of Cooperation

The following are essential steps to be taken into account for an efficient cooperation between libraries in Sierra Leone if significant achievements are to be made.

Ensure common understanding and trust. There must be an established better working relationship among and between libraries where common understanding and trust are built up. A continued interaction and exposure of one another resources must be maintained. This can be done by sharing of expertise and experience, signing of Memoranda of Understanding, dialogue to allay fears, and to respect what each party can offer. Exchange of staff if necessary must be done.

Learn from advanced libraries. Furthermore, lessons can be learn from how other national and international cooperation is being conducted. Cooperation is not a day event but something that must be encouraged and built upon. There must be room for trial and error as well as correction of past mistakes.

Management must provide the leadership. Each library management must take upon itself to lead the process successfully. There must be the political will and the willingness to share resources, as well as prioritizing the move towards cooperation. Management must be willing to make positive compromises to reach the desired goal.

Networking and collaboration. The move towards cooperation should not be a one man show. Cooperation can consist of voluntary agreement among libraries, or it can be imposed on libraries by Library Laws or by responsible ministries that fund libraries. It is essential that the participant libraries be willing to work together towards common goals.

Provision of funds. One of the benefits of cooperation is to save cost. However, every library must provide funds for the processes involved. This is particularly so for processing and technical services functions. These must be taken care by individual libraries. As such funding should be provided.

State intervention. In the context of the developing countries state intervention would be called for to enable coordination of a nation’s total library and information resources and ensure adequate funding. This is particularly important given that on the whole libraries in Sierra Leone do not have large enough capital base of their own to invest in such equipment as computer hardware and software, and telecommunications. However, state control must not be allowed to exceed co-ordination as this may to some extent have an effect on the zeal, initiative and the goodwill of participating libraries, institutions and the individual professionals.

The Challenges in Building the Infrastructure of Cooperation

In spite of the benefits accrued in cooperation, there are real and perceived challenges, which, unless properly dealt with, could minimize the chances of even the best conceived scheme taking off. In Sierra Leone, these are:

Overcoming the culture of hoarding – the culture of greed and selfishness that has eaten up the very fabric of society. This has affected even library practice. Libraries are to amass information for the general good of the society.

Limited collections – where participating libraries have not built up their collection to a minimum standard to allow for exchange, they are to grow their collections to some measurable status to ensure fair participation.

ICTs infrastructure – the marked lack of sufficient Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is a worrisome issue for cooperation in this 21st century.
Purchasing and installation of ICTs is very crucial, as well as the education and training of staffs for use.

Staffing – some of the participating libraries have untrained and unqualified staff as a major obstacle. Also, most staff are concerned about their status, efficiency, job security, salaries, and autonomy or independence, and this has affected the synergy. If the fears of staff are to be dispelled through proper sensitization and education, capacity building also must be undertaken.

Management – management must take decisive steps towards cooperation.

In conclusion, information to libraries is as money to banks; it is an indispensable input in the development process of the nation. However, to be effective it has to be optimally available and accessible from every corner if possible. Library cooperation if properly planned and executed offers a solution to a lot of problems faced by libraries, librarians and other information professionals in developing countries as Sierra Leone. Valls (1983) has provided the last words, “cooperation between information centres and the co-ordination of efforts needed to efficiently share resources implies the existence of an infrastructure linking the centres to one another.” This library infrastructure must be built up as it would assist in fostering self-help, exchange information, change society, improve productivity and work life, and share resources.

A Black wedding dress can be so stunning. Imagine a hand beaded full bodice black wedding gown with a corset styled back. This bridal gown would have lots of Swarovki crystals all over the black skirt.

This is what I call a very memorable moment of exotic beauty. Many women, perhaps have never given any consideration about the beauty of a black wedding dress.

Now if you’re looking for some gowns there are some awesome bridal gown stores in the United Kingdom that carry black wedding dresses.   You can do a search for these by using the word gothic wedding dresses.

A lot of the shops in the United Kingdom can also ship to other countries so make sure that you call and ask about shipping. Now if after all the searching you still don’t see what you are looking for you can always have someone make you a unique black wedding dress.

When you hire someone to make you a wedding gown, your gown will now become unique and you can have it designed your way.

Make sure you are planning ahead if this is your decision to design your gown. You will want to shop around for the fabric to make sure you are finding what you are looking for in black fabric.

There are some designers like the Alfred Angelo dress gallery who can order a dress from his gallery in black. Imagine if you decided to go with an awesome black wedding dress. The colors that go with the color black, often seem to look more beautiful and vivid in contrast to the color black. For instance, if your wedding is going to be around Christmas time, you can have a black and gold wedding.

Everyone in your wedding party would be wearing black with gold accents. This is a wonderful holiday look. Now if you decide to get married around Valentine’s Day your colors could be black and red. The colors black and red together are very bold and rich looking.

Take a minute and imagine yourself carrying some beautiful red roses as you walk down the aisle in that beautiful black wedding dress. Always remember this is the day that you express your ideas with your love ones.

If health care is important to you, you may feel devastated when you lose your healthcare. With the downward spiral that the economy has been experiencing, companies are trying to do everything to stay in business. For some corporations, this can mean lay-offs and a reduction in work force. For others, this means cutting costs in other areas, including healthcare. It can seem like a scary thing to be without benefits for you and your family, but you have options.

#1 – Purchase your own individual and family healthcare. There are important things to consider when purchasing individual and family health care plans. Do you want to choose your own doctor, or are you okay choosing from a pre-screened network? Do you have any pre-existing conditions that may prevent you from getting insurance? Circumstances like these may affect your decisions and monthly premiums. You will also want to look at whether there is a deductible – a fee that is paid before your coverage starts. If you choose a plan with a high deductible, your monthly premiums may be much lower. Just be aware that should you need medical attention, your deductible amount must come out of your pocket before your insurance benefits kick in. Choose a plan that has a deductible you can handle as well as monthly that are premiums within your budget.

#2 – Purchase a discount health plan. This is a health care option that is not technically “health insurance” but with this type of plan, you are offered discount prices on medical procedures, office visits, emergency room visits, etc. The administrators in a discount program bargain with your physician and come up with a reduced fee for their services. Then, you only pay the discounted fee instead of the full priced fee that is charged to the general public. Most times these discount plans offer a 20-40% savings. Even though this is not traditional insurance, it is a way to save money with reduced costs so that you do not have to come up with the full payment when you need medical services.

#3 – Visit a participating pharmacy. Some pharmacies offer physical exams, vaccinations, and treatment for a number of medical conditions for an affordable price. They may also offer diagnostic testing for common ailments as well. If you are uninsured, be sure to check with pharmacies in your area to see if they offer any of these services. Try to be proactive and check for these services before they are needed so you will know the offerings and prices before you purchase a health care plan.

So the bottom line is, should you lose your insurance, do not feel like there is nothing you can do. Although it may be devastating when you lose your healthcare, there are other avenues you can take and options that are available so that you are covered. Take charge of your situation and start shopping around now for the best option for you and your family.

Curfew laws restrict the right of youngsters (usually under 18) to be outdoors, in the streets or public places during certain hours of the day. Children are required to be at home or an authorized place between a set hour in the evening until a designated time the following morning. Most often youth curfew laws allow for minors to be in public places for an extended time on Friday and Saturday nights. There are certain communities that relax curfew laws in the summer months when schools are closed for break. Others take a different approach and impose more severe time restrictions when children are on vacation or break.

The implementation of laws governing child curfews in the United States of America is a matter of what is known as the police power of the individual states. The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to enforce any kind of national curfew, and this includes child curfew, except in the event of a national emergency. Juvenile curfews have been imposed by state, country, city and township authorities.

Local laws dictate that parents are responsible for the administration and transportation costs of returning a minor to his or her home on a second curfew violation. A child who is a frequent offender of the curfew may be declared a ward of the court and be treated as a status offender. Most curfew laws prohibit minors from being out past 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. There are certain exceptions to the law, however, which allow kids to legally stay out late if they are:

· Running an errand for a parent or guardian

· Participating in a religious, educational or political activity

· Accompanied by a parent, guardian or another adult

· Working or going to or returning from their place of employment

· Returning home from a school, cultural or recreational activity

· Responding to some emergency

What happens when the curfew is broken?

When a child breaks the curfew, he or she could be temporarily detained by the police and then returned home. The State Law also gives the local police officers some flexibility in their enforcement of such curfew laws – if the officer believes the youth has a “legitimate reason based on extenuating circumstances” for the breach. Some of the other penalties for breaking the curfew are:

· Fines (gradually increases for subsequent violations)

· Restrictions of driver’s license privileges

· Possible detention in jail or juvenile hall

· Imposition of community service or compulsory enrollment in after-school programs

Crime against the youth

The primary concern of every parent and the community is obviously keeping children safe and protected. The main objective of implementing juvenile or child curfew is to safeguard the well-being and welfare of children. With the steady rise of crime rates against the youth, the underlying rationale of community members is that children are much safer when they are at home and not outside after a certain time in the evening.

Delinquency by the youth

The second objective is to protect the community as a whole from the miscreant conduct of certain children who are inclined to break the law. Crimes committed by the youth are a major problem in all big cities today. Restricting the presence of unsupervised children from public venues after a curfew each night will reduce the number of children and teens that end up involved in criminal activity and break the law.

Gang violence control

Law enforcement officers maintain that juvenile curfew laws provide them with another weapon in their battle against gang violence. It can be hard to gather substantial evidence to arrest members of a gang, but a violation of curfew law will at least provide officers a chance to interrupt their presence on the streets of a community.

Since child curfew laws vary by locality and government enforcement, it can depend on a number of factors. If you would like to know more about the curfew laws in your community, you could get in touch with your local police department. If your community does not have a curfew, be sure to obtain a list of the laws and a list of the exceptions and exceptional circumstances. Please feel free to express your views on the subject by dropping us a comment below.