What Is an Ice Dam Removal Company Good for, Besides Ice Dams?
We’re ice dam removal specialists, but sometimes other things on your home or business require deicing, too. For instance:
- storm drains
- vent pipes (e.g. furnace vents)
- roof vents
- floor drains
- sewer lines (AKA sanitary sewer line)
- septic systems
- indoor water leaks or spills that froze
- roof drains
- big messes, like from an egging or heavy-duty pet waste (more on those in a second)
- gutters and downspouts
- underground electrical conduit
- cold-storage warehouses, which require fast defrosting and tend to have all kinds of substances spilled and frozen
In other words, we can clear just about any system that ice can grind to a halt, making us at times an ice-clearing service. Every winter we get dozens of calls for jobs other than our trademark ice dam removal, and we always enjoy using our steam to solve any problem you throw at it.
During the colder months, problems with water flow and drainage are left and right, and not just on your roof. For instance, often it’s a good idea to check your culverts in the spring, because if your culverts are frozen solid with ice, your property is likely to get flooded by the melting ice and snow in the springtime, and the Easter Bunny won’t come by your house. Melting ice from culverts requires specialized equipment, which we’ve got. We use smaller hoses that are outfitted with sewer jets. A sewer jet is a small mushroom attachment that is screwed onto the end of the hose. It has a hole on the tip that sprays hot water steam forward, as well as several holes around the edges that (oddly enough) point back at the operator. The water pressure propels the jet right through the ice. The forward-facing hole melts the channel through the frozen obstruction, and the rear-facing holes propel the tip through the ice. Our steamers are unique, in that we can dial the temperature down to achieve boiling water, rather than the steam we use on roofs for ice dams.
The sewer jet alone won’t do the job, of course. It takes elbow grease, too. It will take more than 5 minutes to free up your culverts. Our process is effective, though. Call us if you don’t want your yard to be a duck pond.
We use similar equipment to thaw frozen pipes. All kinds of pipes: sewer pipes, water supply lines going to outbuildings, you name it. It’s a nice alternative to worrying about whether or not your pipes will crack.
We’ve been asked to steam driveways on a surprising number of occasions. Sometimes I’d call that a waste of money, but not always. Many of the people who have called us for this service either have disabilities that prevent them from clearing their driveways personally, or they have gorgeous stamped-concrete, paver, or slate driveways that they don’t want ruined by salt or brute methods.
Heavy-duty ice can form in many places on your property, and you may have unique needs. One gent called because he wanted us to get all the ice out of a 12’’ x 12’ dog run he set up in his backyard. He loved his dog, and wanted to make sure his pooch was comfortable when he had to go #2 in the snow. We can’t say no to a dog, and we figured our steam would make short work of the ice, so we sent one of our finest Ice Dam Guys® techs and his steamer. He made short work of the ice in the dog run, but guess what else his steam thawed out? When he got back to the shop, we asked why took a job as a cage cleaner at the zoo. We can’t resist teasing him a little, but at least our customer and his dog were happy.
Once we got a call to remove “black ice” from a lawn, because the owners simply love their grass that much. Bizarre, we know.
One time we steamed eggs off of a house. No, it wasn’t a fancy new poaching or sous vide technique. Rather, vandals had festooned our customer’s house with several cartons of eggs. Our customer had originally looked for pressure-washing companies, but those operate in the winter, so her insurance company recommended an ice dam removal company.
This year we earned the doobious distinction of having steamed dog poop and yellow snow. Our customer wanted ice dam removal for a flat-roof section of his apartment complex. Above his office was an apartment with a balcony, and the tenants in that upper floor had let their dogs make Jackson Pollock paintings in the snow. Not only was our customer’s office starting to smell like a construction site porta-potty, but the balcony drains and scuppers were frozen. That meant that even once the snow and ice melted it would be a while before the #1 and #2 could meet up with the other numbers under the street below.
Our technician cleared out the drain, cleared a channel in the snow and ice, melted the pee and poo into a lovely stew, and got it down the drain. Both he and our customer were glad it was over. The way we see it, there are worse ways to make a living.
As ice dam removal pros, saving your property is what we do day and night during the winter, and that’s true beyond the ice dam on your roof. If any kind of ice has endangered your property or has become a burr in the saddle for you, hiring an ice dam professional is a good bet.