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Partial Ice and Snow Removal Won’t Save You a Dime

Too often our customers try to save money on ice dam removal by asking our techs to steam away only the patch of ice and snow above the leak. They don’t want to pay for the many-hours-long job of removing all the ice and snow from the roof. Sometimes they’re just cost-conscious. Sometimes, the leaky spot is the only visible concern for them, and probably the only one the insurance company might shell out for.

You should reconsider.

Why? Because the remaining ice and snow will probably become a problem later.

 The ice and snow still on the roof will melt and refreeze, especially if your ice dams are caused by a warm attic. (A good 80% of the ice dams we see are, in fact, caused by a warm attic). You can often times tell whether or not your ice dams are being caused by a warm attic by simply looking at your garage. You know your house has an ice dam (or ice dams) because its leaking!  But does your garage have an ice dam, too?  If you have an unheated garage and there’s no ice dam present on its roof, then most likely the only reason you have ice dams on your house but not your garage is that your house is heated (causing hot air to leak into the attic), whereas your garage isn’t heated.

If you’ve determined your ice dams were likely caused by a warm attic, then it’s also likely your ice dams will return. Your roof will leak again, too. The only thing worse than paying for ice dam removal is paying for it twice.

Many times when the leak returns, customers get mad at us. But there’s not much we can do about it if you won’t let us actually complete the job.  There are some corners you can cut, and some you can’t.

Would you like half an appendectomy?  If someone sued you, would you like your attorney for only 40% of the case?  Would you tell a pest-control company to kill only most of the roaches?

Getting partial ice dam removal is an equally wise way to save money.

One benefit of letting us give you the whole burrito is you may avoid having to worry about ice dams at all for the rest of the season. That’s especially likely if we only get one major snowstorm in a winter, or it’s a bit late in the winter with not much possibility of wintry weather on the horizon.

It’s pretty simple: Ice dams can only form when snow melts on your roof and then refreezes. No snow = no snow melt = no ice = no ice dam = no leaks = you can spend money on something more fun than round-two of ice dam removal.  It it far cheaper to have all the snow and ice removed in one sitting vs. coming back a second time. 

If you leave any snow up there you risk inviting ice dams back for dessert. Ice dams require less snow than you’d think: Even one inch of snow can easily form an ice dam severe enough to cause leaks.

Of course, if you’re so pressed for money that you can afford only partial ice dam removal, then we’ll work with you and do our very best to work with what you have (we’ll even cross our fingers for you that our partial ice dam removal will hold out for you).  

If you know your home is susceptible to ice dams, you should get that energy audit in the summer, or save up for snow and ice dam removal throughout the year so you don’t have to play chicken with Mother Nature next time.

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