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Can You Take Shortcuts on Ice Dam Removal?

Sometimes homeowners want us to clean the entire roof.  Sometimes they tell us just to stop the leak and leave.

We understand.  We know ice dam removal is expensive.  It’s only natural to want to save time and save money whenever you can.

The good news is sometimes that’s a wise move.  Depending on the time of year and how much snow is on your roof and how much is forecasted, sometimes you don’t need all the snow and ice off your roof.

 The bad news is sometimes that shortcut costs you more in the long run. 

It may be safe enough to take shortcuts near the end of the ice dam season (often around March), as long as the nighttime lows aren’t below freezing.  At this point, it’s usually not so cold at night that the melted snow (water) refreezes.  More likely is that your hot roof just keeps melting the snow throughout the night.  In that case, partial ice/snow removal probably won’t come back to haunt you, so if you’d like we can melt just enough ice to allow the backed-up water to begin flowing off the roof through “channels” we cut in the ice.

You might even be able to take some shortcuts if the weather man predicts an unusually warm week in January. Mother Nature might be enough to get the rest of the snow off your roof without the additional help of our steamers.

You might also cut corners if the weatherman predicts a big rain storm. A big rainstorm will take out much of the snowpack. A little rainstorm, on the other hand, will make things worse, because the snow acts as a sponge.  When temperatures drop below freezing once more, you’ll end up with an even bigger block of ice on your roof.

Be careful before and AFTER you choose to cut corners. 

If you want to send us home early, keep a close eye on the temperature.  Make sure it remains above freezing. If more ice forms, the ice dam is on its way back – probably with damage soon to follow.  Keep our number handy.  If another cold snap comes through, you’ll want to call us again – preferably before you wind up staring at another leak.

Shortcuts are risky. 

We will never come to your house and suggest that you cut corners, because cutting corners is a risk. We’re not going to put our reputation on the line if we aren’t certain your gamble will pay off. And if it’s the wrong time to roll the dice, typically we will take the time to warn you.

It’s up to you to decide whether to try for an Ice Dam Tax Refund from Mother Nature this year, or whether you want us to go ahead and take care of the entire roof – just to be on the safe side.

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