ICE DAM REMOVAL
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Hourly assessment based on equipment needed, risk, and scale of the project. Most residential occurrences are $800-$2000.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO THEY FORM
When it’s warm enough for roof snow/ice to melt during the day and freeze at night. During the day the melt works its way down the roof and will freeze near the bottom at night. In little time this forms a dam that keeps growing.
That’s the HOW now the causes can be from several reasons. It can form an attic that is too hot. An ice dam can be an indication that your attic insulation isn’t effective enough or an attic isn’t ventilated enough. The other cause is just from the elements being the right balance of warmth during the day and cold at night.
WHAT DO YOU USE OR HOW DO YOU REMOVE AN ICE DAM
We use a specialized machine which produces very hot steam and low pressure and low flow to melt away ice dams. We will dissect ice into sections and melt underneath then slide these ice chunks off the roof.
WILL INSURANCE COVER ICE DAM REMOVAL
It is most unlikely. In some cases yes, IF it isn’t leaking inside the home. Once leaking inside then it is probable. Check with your agent. Ice Dam removal is a preventative measure. While it may be expensive it is worth saving the expense of having a contractor repairing a leaky roof and replacing wet insulation before mold can form. And all of that is time-consuming, expensive, and interferes with your personal peace in the home. It’s best to tackle the ice dam early.
WHY SHOULD I REMOVE ICE DAMS
DAMAGE: Ice dams often cause water to leak through your roof and into your home. That water can cause all kinds of expensive interior water damage, cause electrical failures (or fires), result in black mold, ruin furniture and valuables, and displace people and pets. Sometimes you see a little leaking before it gets worse, but sometimes the leaking is heavy right away. Leaking is the biggest immediate reason to get ice dams removed, and it’s the biggest risk you run in delaying.
FALL DANGER BELOW: Ice dams often attract even more snow and ice. Snow tends to stick to or pile up on ice dams, and icicles often form on or near ice dams. That snow and ice can fall off your roof, causing damage to property, injuries, and even death in some cases.
EASY SNOW REMOVAL: Ice dams make it harder to keep your roof snow-free. They get in the way of your raking the roof. Of course, not keeping up with roof-raking is probably a major reason ice dams form in the first place, so for most people, the formation of an ice dam is the give-up point.
ROOF COLLAPSE: There’s a small chance your roof may collapse. Roof collapses don’t happen as often as you may think, and we don’t know of a single case where an ice dam was the only reason a roof collapsed. But ice dams weigh tons, and roof snow often weighs even more. The combination of ice dams and roof snow is just too much tonnage for some roofs to handle.
LONG TERM PEACE OF MIND: Ice dams ruin your peace of mind. Even if this ice dam won’t end up damaging your home or causing other harm, you can’t know that for sure. You can live in a home for 40 years and never have an ice dam until the Big One shows up. You can have an ice dam every year and have it go away on its own until you get one that wrecks everything.
SIGNAL OF OTHER ISSUES: By the way, an ice dam is plenty of trouble on its own, but it’s also a sign of a larger problem: either your attic has an insulation problem, a ventilation problem, thermal leaky areas (AKA attic bypasses), or all three. It’s unusual for ice dams to form on a cool roof. Consider having insulation experts review your home.
WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH
You may have made a few calls and realized the service is costly. We want to help you understand why. The following are factors for any company correctly removing Ice Dams.
- The price of a steamer for this profession is extremely expensive! ($5,000-$7,000 per machine!) Then there is the price of all the miscellaneous equipment which usually equals about another five thousand dollars per truck. And then the truck itself. Steamers do not last forever and eventually; a machine will be scrapped.
- Low-pressure steamers require constant very expensive maintenance (sometimes daily) and most companies have several backup machines in case of a breakdown.
- The price of kerosene is very expensive and these machines are very thirsty.
- The price of antifreeze used to winterize the machines is expensive and needs to be changed often because it becomes diluted.
- The price of liability insurance coupled with workman’s compensation is unbelievable!
- The hourly rate employee’s demand for this type of work is appropriately more to compensate for the danger and skill required.
- Standing on icy roofs and slippery ladders all day make this line of work extremely dangerous! Removal professionals subject themselves to extremely cold harsh conditions all day and deal with water and freezing temperatures for long periods. Moving all the equipment and dams is extremely hard physical labor.
- Companies must store large amounts of equipment during the offseason.
- The service they offer is considered an emergency service and is extremely important to stop water from leaking into your home. Getting to you quickly saves you money by avoiding excess water damage.
CAN A COMPANY WITH A HOT PRESSURE WASHER REMOVE MY ICE DAM
Some guys out there attempt to make money by using pressure washers or carpet cleaning equipment. Neither are effective or safe. A pressure washer uses extreme pressures which can cut holes into your shingles or tear them off. The 2nd issue is the amount of water that a pressure washer uses. On average they use 2.5-5 gallons per minute. If it takes an hour to remove an ice dam then you will have 150-300 gallons of water all over your home, walkway, or other places you don’t want more ice. Lastly, it is very dangerous for the operator. When the trigger is squeezed it creates a jolt which could cause them to lose balance and fall.
CAN A COMPANY WITH A HOT PRESSURE WASHER REMOVE MY ICE DAM
YES, ice dams will hurt your gutters. The simple reason is that when water freezes it expands and pushes objects in directions that they do not intend to go. A great example is a can of soda left in the freezer you later find exploded. Similarly, a gutter or downspout can burst because of this expansion. Ice dams have been known to completely remove the gutters from the fascia.