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Ice Dam Removal & Skylights: 3 Things You Should Know

Skylights are snazzy, but they can complicate ice dam removal.  If you have skylights, it’s important to know of those complications, so that your ice dam removal job goes off without a hitch.

#1: You need to tell us about any skylights.

Skylights are dangerous for us ice dam removal guys.  We can’t always see them, because they’re often buried under snow.  If we end up stepping on that patch of snow we could slip and fall, or step through the skylight.  We don’t want a sliced leg, and you don’t want an Ice Dam Guy-shaped hole in your home!

We usually ask, but please let us know anyway.

#2: Please be home and watching.

When we steam ice off a roof, a leak may temporarily gets worse before it stops completely.  Skylights are especially vulnerable to sudden influxes of water.

We do have strategies for working around a skylight leak, but they’re time-consuming.  We don’t want to spend your time and money using these time-consuming tricks unless we absolutely have to.  In the meantime, having you on the other side of the skylight to wave your arms and yell at us is a good way to prevent excess water from entering your home.

#3: If the skylight leaks, it’s not because of us.

Sometimes skylights aren’t sealed properly.  A lot of skylight installers or roofers like to caulk around the skylight instead of install the more expensive (and more effective) flashing, along with some quality caulking as an additional measure.

Caulk is fine for the short-term.  But depending on what type of caulking your roofer used, over time it can turn brittle and crack.  When it does, many gallons of melting snow and ice may work its way through, into your home.

Poor flashing or the absence of any flashing is poor craftsmanship on the part of your roofers.  We have no way of knowing whether your roofers winged it, so please blame them for any leaks, not your ice dam removal professional.

It might even be a good idea to check your skylight in the warmer months to see what kind of sealing is up there.  If you don’t like the looks of it, call a handyman and get some flashing and fresh caulking properly installed.

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