ICE DAM REMOVAL
Every winter thousands of homes in the Rochester area are affected by some sort of icing in the winter. The reason ice forms in the gutter and up the roof line has very little to do with not cleaning the gutters. Usually the main reason is lack of insulation in the attic. In the Winter as heat from inside your house rises, it warms the roof causing the snow to melt. The water from the snow melt runs underneath the snow until it hits the gutters and because there is no heat to keep the water from freezing the water turns into ice. As the winter goes on more and more of this ice builds up until and accumulate until you have huge ice dams and icicles hanging. Once the weather warms up and the ice starts to melt, the icicles begin to lean forward causing major stress to the gutter, the fascia boards and the sturctures holding all that up. Eventually if the ice is to heavy it will fall off the house, taking the gutter and fascia board with it causing hundreds or thousands in damage not to mention destroying anything that it lands on. One of the other issues arising from ice buildup is that when it does warm up it starts to leak inside your home. Ice can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs, and while insurance will cover some of this it will not cover all of it. The typical homeowners insurance deductible is $1,000, and they will only repair damage from the incident, not the damge to fix the issue. Since Ice is such a big problem in Rochester, and because of the hundred or so requests a year we get to remove Ice, we have decided to add Ice removal to the list of services we provide. The process of ice removal has always been labor intensive, unsafe and typically very expensive. I will be the first to tell you that ice removal is still expensive but relatively cheap in comparison to the damage done and the insurance deductible. The most common way that contractors remove ice is by using a hammer or chisel, climbing your ice covered roof and just start beating it until it breaks apart. Some contractors use air chisels, drills, ice melt and anything else they can think of to remove ice. The downside to this is that using force to remove ice has and always will cause damage to roofing shingles and gutters. Another method that contractors use is a high temp pressure washer. The high temp melts the snow and ice, however 2500 psi will almost always cause roof damage that you cannot notice until the spring. Hot pressure washers are not the way to go as they cause a lot of damage, soak the ground and everything with water that freezes, and just in general bad for roofs. There is however a safe, and very effective way to remove ice without the problems listed above.
We use a high temp, low pressure steam machine specifically desinged to remove ice without any damaging effects to your roof. The first thing we do is walk around the property, identify any major problem areas and to look around for anything that is under the gutters. We will then remove anything in the way so that nothing is damaged or ruined should a piece of ice fall to the ground. We then start removing snow from the roof so we can see where all the ice is and the best way to remove it. Once this is done we start by running water from your garden hose to the machine, where it heats up and turns into steam. The steam is a constant 250-275 degress and will easily cut through frozen ice. The pressure we use is 250psi which is gentle enough to be used on all roofing materials without any damage. After the machine is up to operating temperature, we go up on the roof and melt the remaining snow and ice from the top down. The ice will easily dissolve and break apart making it a very efficient way to remove ice. Most jobs take an average of 2-3 hours depending on how much ice you want to have removed. We can do an entire house, or just a problem area where you have leaking. Due to the numerous types of houses, roofing slopes and other factors there is no set price for this service. Some houses we cannot or will not do because of the high risk of walking on ice covered r
oofs. Also if you have things in the way that cannot be moved, or we think there is a potential for damage to the house we reserve the right to walk away from the job.
This is the part most of our customers are concerned with. Please understand the cost's associated with ice removal and why it is expensive. I'll list a few so you understand why we charge what we do. We carry workers comp insurance so that if anyone is injured they are completely covered. The second is Liability insurance in case the ice falls and lands on your air conditioner, your car, your new deck furniture etc. Next is labor, gas, cost of the equipment and the other bills associated with doing buisness. Last but not least is the risk involved. Climbing a ladder, in the snow, to get on an ice covered roof, and walk around on it 25 feet in the air is a risky business. We charge $300 an hour for ice removal, which includes 2 guys, the machine and the insurances. Most jobs take 2-3 hours which is still below any insurance deductible you may have to pay. Some insurance companies will cover the cost of this, however it is up to the carrier if they will or not. As a convienence to our customers we do accept all credit cards, since this is an expense most dont factor into their yearly budgets. When you are ready to have your ice dams removed please give us a call.
Here is a place where we posted links to see the machines in action, how they work, and to demonstrate how safe and effective they are on roofing materials. If you have any other questions please feel free to call us anytime.
"Called to get gutters cleaned. Stated he would have it done by end of week. Work was done when they said they would do it. Did a good job. Everything went smooth. Would use this company again."
Customer in Buffalo NY
"Good phone communication prior to the visit to return call and estimate their arrival. They were friendly and quick to get the job done. Gutters were clean, and the debris was hand removed into garbage bags that they took with them. Only a few leaves left on the patio from the entire process which they came back for when I asked them to." Customer in Buffalo ny