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Why Does Ice Dam Removal Cost So Darn Much?

Call us at 1-800-ICE-DAMS if you have an ice dam on your roof and live anywhere in the lower 48. We are properly licensed, bonded, and insured, and are the top-rated ice dam removal company in the US. You can end the leaks with a phone call to Ice Dam Guys®.

Different ice dam removal companies have different reasons for charging different rates.

The dishonest and/or inexperienced ones claim to offer you a deal, but there’s always a catch. They hit you with hidden costs (like charge you “per worker”).  Or they damage your roof because they lack the proper equipment or experience to do the job right—which usually ends up costing you to pay for the repairs.

Honest, experienced ice dam removal services can also be expensive, but for very different (and better) reasons.

My company, Ice Dam Guys®, charges $685/hour for our standard service, though the exact number depends on outside factors like market demand, temperatures, fuel costs, overtime, holiday’s, emergency response, how far we are from our home base, current advertising costs, etc.  Even though this hourly rate is actually quite affordable when compared to other experienced companies, it may sound like a scary number.  The reason is that safe, thorough ice dam removal takes significant investment on our part.

Here are all the items we have to factor in:

-Equipment—namely our steam-blasters.  Having steamers that heat and spray 250F+ steam isn’t cheap (unlike the ineffective “hot-water” sprayers that many other companies use).

-Fuel for the steamer – diesel for the burner & unleaded for the engine (unlike some other companies that use your electricity to power their hot-water squirt guns.

-Our trucks.

-Gas and maintenance for the trucks.  Offering ice dam removal to the entire northern one-third of the U.S. requires a LOT of driving!

-Having trained technicians—meaning that I need to use my experience from 20+ years of removing ice dams to train any new members of my team.  This training can take time & money.

-Insurance for everyone in my skilled team (i.e., workers’ compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, liability insurance, and bonding).

-Shortness of the ice-dam season.  We invest in all of the above, lovingly keep it in storage for most of the year, and use it for maybe 3-8 weeks out of the year.  Obviously, we’d get a greater return on our investment if we could serve customers year-round (though I’m NOT saying ice dams in August would be a good thing!).

-Being on-call 24/7 to offer you an emergency service.  My crew and I love what we do and will gladly take your call any time.  But it costs a certain amount for me to hire, train, and (hardest of all) retain quality people who are willing to temporarily stop building a snowman with their kids and jump in the truck to go hop on an icy roof and remove ice dams.  My crew needs to be available at a moment’s notice at any time during the day or night, and even on Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays, etc.  My crew members’ families have to put up with their husbands being completely unavailable for most of the winter months.  I ask my team to put their lives on hold to some extent during the winter—and I have to compensate them for that.

-Advertising costs skyrocket (and that’s an understatement) during periods of high demand in the ice dam removal business.  It’s not uncommon to see advertising costs multiply by ten-times or more during the height of a busy ice dam season.

-Last (and most significantly), there’s the danger factor.  Walking up and down a roof is dangerous even in the best of circumstances.  But an icy, slippery roof in the middle of winter—while hauling equipment?  I’ve done it since 1996, and it’s still dangerous and more than a little scary at times.  Training good, responsible people and having them complete every job in one piece isn’t easy—or cheap.  Removing the ice dams from your roof safely, quickly, and without damaging your home is a tall order—but a goal we always strive to keep, and it’s our promise to you.

Written by on November 1, 2011

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