We do not have travel or trip charges. However, our clock starts as soon as we arrive on-site.
Our typical job starts with a quick but thorough consultation with our technician. After he has assessed the work to be done, he will personally shovel enough snow off your roof to (1) expose the ice dam in its entirety and to (2) create a clear place to stand. He will then find your water spigot (and will thaw it if it’s frozen), de-antifreeze the steamer and begin to safely steam the ice dams off your roof. All of this is part of the job, and we bill for it at the hourly rate we quoted you.
We have a 2-hour minimum for each job. Beyond that, you will be in total control of how long our tech spends “on the clock.” You can have him remove as much (or as little) snow & ice as you’d like. Once the 2 hour minimum is met we bill in 5 minute increments.
Please note: If you’d like additional snow removed by your technician while he’s on-site, we can do it at the quoted rate for ice dam removal. Snow removal is just another component of ice dam removal.
A note on rooftop snow removal: there is always some inherent risk to your rooftop when clearing snow. Although it’s uncommon, it is possible to scrape off a shingle, tear a shingle, etc. Although we shovel your roof with the utmost caution, the shingle may tear off if the roofing installer misplaced a shingle even slightly. These irregular shingles are rarely visible to human eyes (especially when those eyes are being battered by snow and wind on a rooftop). Also, if a shingle has become warped because of the sun, a defect, or Father Time, that can cause the shingle to protrude and possibly tear as a shovel glides over it. Skylights and vents can also protrude and catch a shovel. As infrequently as these minor damages are, they’re unavoidable. Shoveling a snow-covered, icy rooftop is tricky business. The Ice Dam Removal Guys® are not liable in any way for shingles that might catch our shovels – although we will be as careful and gentle with your rooftop as humanly possible.
If for some reason we can remove your ice dams in less than 2 hours (very rare), we would stay and spend the remaining time on additional work that would benefit you, like clearing more snow from your roof.
After completing the ice dam & snow removal, our tech will prepare the steamer for travel by refilling it with antifreeze and circulating it for several minutes. At this point, he will take down his ladder(s), reel up his hoses, and pack everything securely in his truck in preparation for travel.
He will remove any snow that has fallen onto your driveway, sidewalk, front stoop etc. Your technician may also apply a light coating of ice melt to any flat surfaces that became wet or icy during the steaming process. We don’t always apply ice melt: It depends on the ambient temperature, as well as the severity of the slipperiness. Please feel free to request ice melt if you feel it’s needed. We do our best to minimize the slipperiness of your property, but we’re not responsible for any ice or water on your property after completion of your job, so please use caution. Excess runoff of melted ice and condensed steam is something that simply cannot be controlled or avoided.
Should you wish to deal with the piles of snow on the ground yourself (to save money or get exercise), please let your technician know before he removes the piles himself.
We generally consider snow and ice left on your deck – or any other areas surrounding your home that are not frequented by foot traffic – to be harmless. Therefore, by default we don’t remove it unless you ask us to. If you’d like us to remove excess snow in areas that tend not to receive foot-traffic during the winter months – like the deck – please tell your technician where you’d like the snow removed from before he clocks out and completes your invoice.
After the above wrap-up / clean-up items are done, our Ice Dam Guy will stop “the clock” and will prepare your final invoice and request payment. Our technicians can’t leave the job-site until they’ve been paid, so please make yourself available in-person or by phone once we’ve completed your job.
Help us help keep your home safe
Try to be home
If at all possible, please be present while we’re removing your ice dams, so that you can look for and alert us to any water that might leak into your home – particularly into the basement. Although this very rarely happens (less than 1% of jobs) it is a rare problem that can simply be avoided by you being present.
With ice dam removal often comes many gallons of water (melted ice and condensing steam) pouring off your roof. This can pose a problem if your yard has a poor grade (like a negative grade sloping towards the foundation of your house), egress windows, cracks in your foundation, etc. Even with the proper grade the piles of snow along your sidewalks etc. – or the snow we shoveled off of your roof – can trap the water next to your foundation. This can cause water to pool or flow adjacent to your foundation and cause leakage into your home.
Be on the lookout for water leaks
Please keep a watchful eye out for water leaks in the interior of your home. Our safe, steam-only ice dam removal is the best way to stop water from leaking through your shingles. But sometimes in the process, existing leaks seem to get worse before they get better. We are not liable for any interior water damage to your home. We recommend that you stay home while we remove the ice dam, so that you can keep an eye on your interior. We can remove your ice dam even if you aren’t home, but because we can’t be two places at once, you’ll want to be home if you’d like to keep us updated on any interior leaking.
Be aware of potential icy patches
Please also be aware of any icy or slippery patches on your property. Some may have been there before we arrived on-site, and some may be the unavoidable result of (1) the many gallons of water from melted ice and condensing steam, and (2) flat surfaces that naturally pool water (possibly caused by the surrounding snow acting as a dam).
We can chisel away the ice, but we’ll have to bill for it at the quoted rate for ice dam removal. We’d prefer not to do this for two reasons, (1) that’s some expensive chiseling, and (2) because of the possibility that we might damage an underlying surface – for which we could not take responsibility for.
We can also apply ice-melt to icy patches if you ask us to – or we might even do it anyway. But when ice is several inches thick, ice-melt only helps so much.
So please expect icy patches and use the appropriate caution. They’re an aspect of ice dam removal that we can’t control.
Tell us if anything valuable is under the snow
If you have any items of value that might be buried in the snow surrounding your home, please tell your ice dam technician about these items before he begins your project. Examples of “items of value” might include a deck, playground, doghouse, or small garden structures.
To save you time and money, we typically carve large blocks of ice off your roof and let them fall to the ground – rather than melt the entire ice dam from the top-down (which would take many, many additional hours). Although we do this as safely as possible, these blocks of ice can weigh several hundred pounds and can crush anything they land on.
Typically your deck has enough snow on it to cushion the blow from large chunks of ice falling on it. But if this is a risk you’re not willing to take, please ask your technician to melt the ice slowly from the top-down when he’s removing ice over your deck. But be warned, doing so will take us much longer, and will end up costing more.
What you’re not paying for
Time spend driving to and from your home or business.
Machine breakdown and/or the time it takes to repair it.
Time it takes to complete your invoice.
Time it takes to acquire additional fuel, should we run out.
Smoke or coffee breaks. (Don’t laugh: other companies might actually bill you for this.)
Bathroom breaks (i.e., any time they leave the job-site).
If you invite us in for hot chocolate and cookies – you certainly aren’t paying for it!
Our movie-star smiles and indelible charm.
Thanks for reading through all of that. We hope it makes our processes clear, and answers any questions you might have.
But if you still have questions, please do contact us or call us at 1-800-ICE-DAMS.