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3 Ice Dam Removal Checklists for Homeowners

This ice dam season, I’m guessing you’ll be in at least one of three situations:

1.  You want to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof.

2.  You have ice dams, and want to make sure you hire the right company to remove them.

3.  The ice dam removers you’ve hired are on their way over to your house, and you want to do everything you can to make sure they can do the job safely, quickly, and as cost-effectively as possible.

I’ve put together three quick-and-dirty checklists you can use, no matter what ice-dam situation(s) you find yourself in this winter:

(Checklist 1) Preventing ice dams:

  • Buy a roof rake with plastic rollers or bumpers on the head of the rake (more on choosing a roof rake)
  • Buy extensions for your roof rake if you have a tall or long roof
  • Buy extra extensions if possible, in case one breaks and you can’t run to the store or the store doesn’t have your brand
  • Rake roof once for every 6 inches of snowfall (more on best roof-raking technique)
  • If leaving on vacation, schedule roof snow removal, as necessary (see more)
  • Get a home inspector to inspect your attic ventilation and insulation, and take any necessary steps to improve ventilation and/or insulation

(Checklist 2) Identifying quality ice dam removal companies:

(Note: The ice dam removal company you’re considering should answer “yes” to all of these questions.)

  • Do they use steam only?
  • Are they bonded and insured?
  • Is their hourly rate more than roughly $100?
  • Do they not provide free estimates?

(Checklist 3) Prepping for when the ice dam removers come over:

  • Rake as much snow off roof as possible
  • Check water source: see if outdoor spigot is frozen (if it is, please let ice dam removers know when they arrive; they should use an indoor water source instead)
  • Be ready early, before ice dam removers arrive (as soon as they arrive, they’re “on the meter”)

Is there anything you’d add to any of these lists?  Any “horror stories” about something you wished you’d done before/during your last ice dam problem?  Please let me know in the comments section!

Written by on October 19, 2013

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