Ice Dam Removal on Metal Roofs
Some customers ask whether we do not offer ice dam removal for certain kinds of roofs. We can remove ice dam from almost every kind of roof there is. But some roofs are more dangerous than others.
Metal roofs are among the most dangerous types of roofs we work on. Even though steep metal roofs are nearly ice-dam-proof, they still require ice dam removal once in a blue moon. Their slipperiness is what almost always keeps ice dams from forming, but by the same token, ice can slide off at the drop of a hat if an ice dam does form.
If you don’t want to get sued by the parents of the Girl Scout who came to sell cookies, but instead played with the cool icicle attached to the 2000-lb. ice dam on your roof, you may want to consider ice dam removal.
But, it’s easier said than done.
First, it’s extremely difficult (and sometimes impossible) to get up onto a metal roof to work – especially of if it’s a steeply pitched metal roof. It’s too slippery. In most cases we’re forced to work from our ladder.
Second, we can’t just steam the ice head-on. If we can, our preference is actually to put the ladder to the side of the ice dam and steam sideways. That way, we won’t be eligible for a Darwin Award if a big chunk of ice breaks off and races down the roof.
Of course, we don’t always have the luxury of steaming sideways. Sometimes the ice dam runs all the way across the overhang, and there’s nowhere for that ladder to go other than right in front of some portion of the ice.
That’s when we have to get a little bit creative.
When this happens, we steam channels into the ice—two feet to the right of the ladder, and two feet to the left of the ladder. We’re creating controlled breaking points, and when it works well they chunk off to either side of us and we’re okay. It’s still scary when the huge chunk of ice comes sliding down roof, but we haven’t had any accidents that might get in the way of our yoga.
Still, ice isn’t predictable. A good ice dam guy always has a “bail out” plan. This means that should something drastically go wrong, he has a pre-planned place to jump in the unlikely event he has to.
These are the kinds of hazards we face all winter long. If you ever wonder why ice dam removal costs so much, this is one of the reasons. It’s tough, beard-freezing, dangerous work, but sometimes it just needs to be done.