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How Does Ice Dam Removal Differ between States?

In the winter of 2015, my entire crew drove from Minnesota to Massachusetts and Connecticut to remove mammoth ice dams caused by the record-breaking snowfall.  My New England customers were intrigued – by our long drive toward hard and cold work, and by the thought that Minnesotans deal with ice dams all the time.   They wanted to know: are there any differences between ice dam removal there and ice dam removal back in Minnesoooota?

It’s a great question, and one we get asked all the time, because we serve homeowners from coast to coast.  Ice dams are relatively rare in some states, but no less dangerous when they show up.  You’ll want to work with an ice dam company that knows the lay of the land.

I’d like to use our Minnesota-to-New England winter to highlight some of the differences in ice dam removal from place to place:

First, there are the roofs. On the Eastern Seaboard the roofs are much steeper. Cape Cod -style homes are common, and my crew and I found that not only did we need to use longer ladders, but also that we often needed to work from a standing position on our ladders rather than stand on the roof.  Make sure your ice dam removal company has long ladders, redundant equipment, and more brains than bravado.

Logistics were another big issue. By “logistics” I refer mainly to traffic. Here in Minnesota, traffic is not too bad.  Further west, there’s hardly any traffic (except LA). In a place like Boston, you need 2 to 3 hours to get a cup of coffee. We learned that the hard way.  Make sure your ice dam company has more than a couple technicians near you – and preferably experience in your city or one like it – so you can get your ice dam removed when you need it removed.

There may also be differences in the water.  In New England there weren’t as many minerals in the water, which was easier on our machines. We get calcification in our machines, just as you might get in your coffee pot. We usually have to take the time to decalcify them, sometimes even before we can move on to the next house, but back East we didn’t have to do that once.

As for the people—well, people are people anywhere.  We’ve found our out-of-state customers to be every bit as friendly as famously-friendly Minnesotans.  It just seems there are “cultural” differences as to when people show warmth and friendliness (in public vs. in their homes).

We’re glad homeowners from across the US have let us help them when they need it.  We’re glad the first ones “took a chance” on an out-of-state company.  A good ice dam removal company will do a good job anywhere, so even if the crew doesn’t have experience in your state but otherwise sounds solid, chances are you’re right.  But it’s still worth asking your potential ice dam removal company about their experience in your state or area, because having sea legs there can’t hurt.

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