Please take a few minutes to read our policies. Though we couldn’t find a brief way to say what they are and to explain the thinking behind them, we’ve tried to put them plainly. You may be surprised at what an easy read this is.
We do not have travel or trip charges. However, our clock starts as soon as we arrive on-site, and continues until we’re completely packed up and ready to leave.
Our typical job starts with a quick but thorough consultation by one of our technicians. After he has assessed what work must be done, he will personally shovel enough snow off your roof to (1) expose the whole ice dam and to (2) create a clear place to stand. He will then find your water spigot (and will thaw it if it’s frozen), set up ladders, unravel hoses, de-antifreeze the steamer and begin to safely steam the ice dams off your roof. When complete, he must do those things in reverse. All of that is part of the job, and so we must bill you 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 and ice as you’d like. Once the 2 hour minimum is met we bill in 5-minute increments. Note: This minimum changes throughout each season as temperatures and snow-cover fluctuates.
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.
There is always some inherent risk to your rooftop when clearing snow. Though unlikely, it is possible to scrape off a shingle, tear a shingle, etc. We shovel your roof with the utmost caution, but a shingle may tear off if the roofing installer misplaced it even slightly, or if ice under a shingle caused it to be slightly raised. Irregular shingles rarely are visible to human eyes even under the best of circumstances, let alone when they’ve been battered by snow and ice, and the technicians eyes are being battered by snow and ice. Also, if a shingle has been warped by the sun, by a defect, or by Father Time, it may protrude and tear as a shovel glides over it. Skylights and vents can also protrude and catch a shovel. As infrequently as those minor damages are, they’re unavoidable. Shoveling a snow-covered, icy rooftop is tricky business. Our company, Ice Dam Guys®, is not liable in any way for shingles that might catch our shovels, though we will be as careful and gentle with your rooftop as possible.
On the off-chance we can remove your ice dams in under 2 hours (very rare), we would stay and spend the remaining time on other work that would benefit you (if there’s other work available), like clearing more snow from your roof. If there isn’t any extra work to be done, you will still be billed for the minimum hours.
Each job also involves some deplaning, which we need to charge for. After completing the ice dam removal and any snow removal, our tech will prepare the steamer for travel by refilling it with antifreeze and circulating it for several minutes. At that 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 and type of surface. 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. Remember: the ground is frozen and water will not be soaked up by Mother Earth, but rather will run to the lowest point. We have no control over that law of nature.
If you prefer to deal with the piles of snow on the ground yourself (to save money or to get exercise), please let your technician know before he removes the piles himself at our regular ice dam removal rates. Again, we consider that to be just part of the job.
We usually consider snow and ice left on your deck – or other areas not frequented by foot traffic – to be harmless. Therefore, 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 those wrap-up / clean-up items are done, our Ice Dam Guys® tech will stop “the clock” and will prepare your final invoice and request payment. Our technicians can’t leave the jobsite until they’ve been paid, so please make yourself available in-person or by phone once we’ve completed your job.
Should you force to wait on-site for payment, we will have no choice but to bill you for that time, because that is time we could have used for another project. This is an emergency-based business and minutes matter. Please plan accordingly so you’re available for final payment.
If your project is not finished by day’s end, we will still collect payment for that day’s work before leaving. Why? Because you may change your mind prior to the following day and decide that what we’ve completed thus far is good enough. That does happen. Collecting payment prior to leaving each job keeps things uncomplicated.
Although we make every attempt to work on the roof rather than from a ladder, some roofs are too unsafe or too steep to stand on. In those situations we may be forced to work from a ladder.
Help us help keep your home safe
Try to be home. If possible, please be present while we remove 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 that very rarely happens (less than 1% of jobs), it is a problem that can be avoided by your presence.
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 poor grading (like a negative grade sloping towards the foundation of your house), egress windows, cracks in your foundation, etc. Even with the proper grade nearby piles of snow can trap water next to your foundation. That can cause water to pool or flow adjacent to your foundation and cause leaks into your home.
Be on the lookout for water leaks. Please keep a watchful eye out for water leaks in 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 you stay home while we remove the ice dam, so 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 need to be home if want to keep us posted 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 of (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 you for it at the quoted rate for ice dam removal. We’d prefer not to do that for two reasons: (1) that would be the most expensive chiseling since Michelangelo carved David, and (2) because of the possibility that we might damage an underlying surface, for which we could not take responsibility. We can apply ice-melt to icy patches if you ask us to – or we might need to do it anyway. But when ice is several inches thick, ice-melt only helps so much. So please expect icy patches and use caution. Icy patches are 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 those 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, typically we 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 that as safely as possible, those 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 that’s 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. Again, doing so will take us much longer and will end up costing more, but whether it’s worth it is your call.
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 (also known as any time your technician has to leave the job-site).
If you invite us in for hot chocolate and cookies – you can’t pay for that!
Our movie-star smiles and rustic 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 contact us or call us at 1-800-ICE-DAMS.