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Please take a few minutes to read Ice Dam Guys® policies.  We want you to be surprised only at how easy we are to work with.  All other surprises are worth avoiding.

We can’t describe our policies and the reasoning behind them briefly, but we’ve tried to describe our policies plainly.  This is a long read, but an easy one.

1. Our hourly rate.  Our hourly rate fluctuates (based on many variables), but typically we charge $685 per hour for our standard service.  If you would like to know why ice dam removal costs as much as it does, please see this page.

2. The clock starts as soon as an Ice Dam Guys® technician arrives at your home. We need to bill for ALL the time he spends on your property, from the moment he arrives to when he packs up and leaves.  There is considerable setup and take-down time, which is just part of the job.  Our typical job starts with a quick but thorough consultation by one of our technicians.  After he has assessed what work must be done, he will personally shovel enough snow off your roof to (1) expose the whole ice dam (or the part of it he intends to remove), and to (2) create a clear and safe place to stand.  He will then find your water spigot (and will thaw it if it’s frozen), set up ladders, unravel hoses, de-antifreeze the steamer, and begin to steam the ice dams off your roof safely.  All of that is part of the job, so we must bill you for it at the hourly rate we quoted you.

3. We do not have travel or trip charges.  However, our clock starts as soon as we arrive on-site, and continues until we’re completely packed up and ready to leave.

4. Booking an appointment.  Each appointment requires a non-refundable $250 deposit.  If you are not 100% sure that you require our service (and that your need for our service will not change before the scheduled date and time of our arrival), please do not makk an appointment.  Because we operate an emergency-based service, an enormous amount of our human resources are spent scheduling each and every appointment.  We shuffle our technicians around every city and state based on the projects we have on our schedule (most of which are urgent), and all job info is sent to our technicians in real-time.  This means that even if you call us back only minutes after making your appointment, we’ve already gone to a great deal of trouble to fit you into the schedule.  On top of that, we will have forfeited all other emergency projects for that period of time, which we will have held open for you.

So, again, please do not make an appointment if you’re not absolutely certain of:

(1) your need for our help,

(2) your decision to use Ice Dam Guys® (yes, even if you find a company that gives you a cheaper quote), and

(3) your complete understanding that your deposit is not refundable for any reason.  If you’re at all in doubt, please do not make an appointment with Ice Dam Guys®.

4. We have a 2-hour minimum for each job. Beyond that minimum charge, you will be in total control of how long our tech spends “on the meter.”  You can have him remove as much (or as little) snow and ice as you’d like. Once the minimum charge is met, we bill in 5-minute increments.  Note: Our minimum charge changes throughout the season as temperatures, snow cover, and ice fluctuate.  We are constantly managing expectations by assessing how long our average job is taking and adjusting our minimum accordingly.

5. We can’t even guess how long the job will take until we’ve seen the ice dam in-person. Customers often ask, “How long do you think this will take?”  That’s an understandable question.  But please understand that your Ice Dam Guys® pro can only take a rough guess, and that guess may turn out to be way off.

The ice dam is buried under snow.  There are too many things we can’t know yet, including:

  • Does the ice dam climb 12 inches or 12 feet up your roof?
  • How thick is the ice dam, and is it thick even on the upper reaches of your roof?
  • Is it white and soft ice, or is it clear and hard ice?  (The latter takes much longer to remove.)
  • Is the roof navigable, or must your Ice Dam Guys® tech work from a ladder or spend time tying-off?
  • Can he chunk-cut the ice, or will he need to melt it slowly from the top down?
  • Has most of the ice popped free of the shingles, or is it stuck to the shingles?
  • Do you have architectural shingles that the ice is able to get a better hold of?
  • And so on.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to check in with your technician early and often, and to sway his course of action if you feel the need to do so.

6. Snow removal is an unavoidable part of the ice dam removal process, and so we need to bill it at the same rate.  If you happen to have a lot of snow on your roof, especially if it’s wet and heavy, much of our time may be spent removing snow.  At the very least, and before we begin steaming, we must remove the snow that’s covering your ice dam and clear a space that allows us to walk and keep a safe distance from the roof-edge.  The bad news is that if you’ve budgeted too little for this emergency service, we may spend most (or even all) of the time you’ve allotted us, shoveling snow instead of steaming ice.

Allowing that much snow to build up on your roof, to the point that it formed an ice dam, was a choice.  Choosing to spare your home the damage of roof leaks from an ice dam is also a choice.  What’s not a choice is removing the snow before we can remove the ice dam; we must do so.

Therefore, your two options are to have the snow removed before our arrival, or allow us more time on your roof.  We’d actually prefer the former, but we understand roof snow removal is nearly impossible to find on short notice so we’re willing to do the grunt work if needed (but not at a discounted rate).

7. Additional snow removal: If you’d like your technician to remove additional snow from your roof, or from the ground, while he’s on-site, we can do it, but it will be at the same quoted rate for ice dam removal.  Our snow-removal rate is that high because the time our ice dam removal technicians spend removing snow could otherwise have been spent removing ice dams somewhere else.  Our aim is to spend the maximum time doing what we do best: removing ice dams for homeowners who need it.

8. Clearing snow always carries some risk to your roof Though unlikely, it is possible to scrape off a shingle, tear a shingle, etc.  We shovel your roof with the utmost caution, but a shingle (or a shingle tab) may tear off if your roofer misplaced it even slightly, or if ice under a shingle caused it to be slightly raised.  Irregular shingles rarely are visible to the human eye even under the best of circumstances, let alone when they’ve been battered by snow and ice, as well as when our technicians’ eyes have battered by snow and ice.  Also, if a shingle has been warped by the sun, by a defect, or by Father Time, it may protrude and tear as a shovel glides over it.  Skylights and vents can also protrude and catch a shovel.  As infrequent as those minor damages are, often they are unavoidable.  Shoveling a snow-covered, icy rooftop is tricky business.  In other words, some damage may be unavoidable.  Our company, Ice Dam Guys®, is not liable in any way for anything that might catch our shovels (shingles, vents, siding, solar panels, etc.) though we will be as careful and gentle with your rooftop as humanly possible.  

9. Clearing ice always carries some risk to your rooftop.  There is a small chance that steam will discolor your shingles.  When this happens, it is almost always a result of roof algae (gloeocapsa magma), roof lichen (a fungus), and everyday dirt and grime.  Keep in mind that in the process of steaming ice off of your roof, our steam also cleans your shingles (to one extent).

One upshot of our thoroughness is that we leave squeaky-clean shingles wherever we’ve removed ice from.  That means your home is safe from the ice dam we removed, but it may also mean fewer granules.  That’s unavoidable.  Despite the claims of dishonest ice dam removal companies, whenever you spray steam or water (no matter the pressure) you may lose some granules.  Even rain washes granules from your shingles, which is why you may have seen granules in your gutters.  Of course, other activities, like walking on your roof, raking your roof (yes, even with the proper roof rake), and hail will also cost you some granules.  In other words, some damage may be unavoidable.  Our company, Ice Dam Guys®, is not liable in any way for shingles that might become discolored, curled, or have fewer granules as a result of our services.  Some cosmetic damage to your roof may be unavoidable in the process of saving the interior of your home from further damage caused by roof leaks.

10. Our minimum charge. On the off-chance we can remove your ice dams in less than our minimum charge (very rare), we’ll probably stay onsite and spend the remaining time on other work that would benefit your home (if there’s other work available we think you’ll benefit from), like clearing more snow from your roof.  On the off-chance there isn’t any extra work to be done in the remaining time, you will still be billed for the minimum hours.  We know how that sounds, but (1) thatseldom happens, and (2) consider the alternative: we dropped everything and drove (without a trip charge) to complete with great efficiency what ended up being a very small job, even though we likely saved your home from serious damage.

11. Each job also involves some reverse setup, for which we need to charge.  After completing the ice dam removal and any snow removal, our tech will prepare the steamer for travel by refilling it with antifreeze and circulating it for several minutes.  At that point, he will take down his ladder(s), reel up and drain his hoses, and pack everything securely in his truck in preparation for travel.  If time allows, he will also remove any snow that has fallen onto your driveway, sidewalk, front stoop, etc. (or you may choose to deal with that yourself and save a few bucks).  Your technician may also apply a light coating of ice melt to any flat surfaces that became wet or icy during the steaming process.  We don’t always apply ice melt: It depends on the ambient temperature, the severity of the slipperiness, the type of surface, as well as other factors.  Make sure to request ice melt if you feel it’s needed.  We do our best to minimize the slipperiness of your property, but we’re not responsible for any ice or water on your property during or after completion of your job, so please use caution.  Excess runoff of melted ice and condensed steam is something one simply cannot control or avoid.  Remember: the ground is frozen and water will not be soaked up by Mother Earth, but rather will run to the lowest point.  We have no control over that law of nature.

Note: We are not responsible for potential damage caused to your substrate (e.g. concrete, asphalt, paver stones, etc.) by the use of ice melt products.

12. The snow we remove from your roof can only go in one direction: straight down.  We understand why you may not want piles of snow around your house, on your deck, in front of your garage, etc.  But we need to remove the snow before we can steam the ice dam, and we can’t control where the snow lands when we’re standing on a slippery roof 20-something feet in the air.  It could take us hours to relocate the snow on the ground.  We’ll do it if you’re fine with extra time on the meter, but considering the high hourly rate for this service, we assume that you’ll want to pay for as few hours as possible and won’t want us to remove the ground snow.  Most people choose to move the ground snow themselves.  We’d say that’s probably a wise choice.  But if you tell us not to remove the snow piles on your ground because your spouse (for instance) plans to do it, and your spouse ends up not removing the snow (or is extremely unhappy about needing to do it), we assume you’ll direct your frustration at them and not us.

13. If you want to deal with the snow on the ground yourself, please let your technician know before he removes the piles himself at our regular ice dam removal rates. Again, we consider that to be just part of the job, so we’ll rely on you to tell us if you don’t want us to relocate the snow that we removed from your roof.  We usually consider snow and ice left on your deck – or other areas not frequented by foot traffic – to be tolerable.  Therefore, we don’t remove it unless you ask us to.  If you’d like us to remove excess snow and/or chunks of ice in areas that tend not to receive foot traffic during the winter months – like the deck – please tell your technician where you’d like the snow removed from before he clocks out and completes your invoice.

14. Ice dam removal can be messy.  Siding, brick, stucco, windows, doors, decks, etc. (that is, anything on the exterior of your home or neighboring homes) could be left with splatters (especially on windy days).  Although our process is gentle, water and steam still ricochet all over the place as we steam-away the ice on your rooftop.  Also, the splatter can be grimy, because the ice we are melting from your rooftop may be embedded into dirty shingles or gutters, especially if your gutters are full of debris.  We have no control over where that splatter or runoff goes, or the dirt it leaves behind (and even more so on windy days).

15. After those wrap-up/clean-up items are done, our Ice Dam Guys® tech will stop the clock and will prepare your final invoice and request payment. Our technicians can’t leave the job site until they’ve been paid, so please make yourself available in-person or by phone once we’ve completed your job.

16. Should you force us to wait on-site for payment, we will have no choice but to bill you for that time.  Why?  Because that is time we could have used for another project, for another homeowner who would like our assistance.  We’re here to help people who need us and to make a living along the way, and we assume you’d like to get on with your day as well.  This is an emergency-based business, so minutes matter.  Please be available for final payment immediately upon our completion.

17. If your project is not finished by day’s end, we will still need to collect payment for that day’s work before leaving.  Why?  Because you may change your mind prior to the following day and decide that what we’ve completed thus far is “good enough.”  That does happen sometimes, believe it or not.  Also, your technician may already be scheduled for another appointment the following morning, in which case we may have to send someone else to finish up your project.  Collecting payment prior to leaving each job keeps things clean and uncomplicated for us and for you.

18. Don’t assume your insurance company will cover any of the costs (though it may).  A growing number of insurance companies seem to be reimbursing or partially reimbursing our customers for ice dam removal, but we can’t guarantee it, we won’t imply it, and you should not assume it.  What your insurance company does is out of our control.  Any reimbursement you get is gravy, because most insurance companies still refuse to pay for ice dam removal – a fact we don’t like any more than you do.

Part of the problem is most insurance companies evolve at a glacial pace.  They’re somewhere between the abacus and the CD-ROM.  One result of that is they’re still new to the idea of using steam to remove ice dams.  Many of them – especially the smaller companies – will claim the rates for steam-only ice dam removal are “too high.”  What they don’t know is why good companies need to charge a decent amount, but that’s another topic.

Although we do work for several insurance companies when they hire us directly, we will not work indirectly with them.  We need to spend our time helping customers who need us, and not haggling with insurance companies.

That’s a long way of saying we will provide you with a copy of your invoice, and the rest is up to you.  Any issues you have are between you and your insurance company, NOT between us and your insurance company.

19. Working from a ladder is slow and not ideal, but some roofs are simply too unsafe or too steep to stand on.  In those situations we may be forced to work from a ladder.  Safety (of our technicians and your home) is priority #1.

20. How much ice and snow we remove.  Don’t want to see Ice Dam Guys® again any time soon?  We understand why: Ice dams are a pain, and they’re expensive to remove.  But they’re even more of a pain if they return shortly after we’re gone.

Unless we remove ALL the snow and ice from your roof, there’s a good chance you’ll need to call us back in a few days or weeks because the leaks have continued or you’ve got new leaks.  That’s the hard reality, even if your technician seems to say a partial job is OK.  So you need to consider two basic options: (1) get the least amount of ice and snow removed and risk more ice dams and leaks soon, or (2) spend more now to get a clear roof and minimize the risk of future problems.

As with most trade-offs you need to decide on, you’ve got options on opposite ends of the spectrum, and few other options in the middle.  Here are your options for exactly how much ice and snow to have removed:

Option 1 (best option): Remove all the snow and ice on your home, including on the garage.

Option 2: Remove all the snow and ice on your home, but not on the garage.

Option 3: Remove all the snow and ice on your overhangs, and on your roof valleys (if present).

Option 4: Remove all the snow and ice only on the overhangs and roof valleys on the side of the house that’s leaking.

Option 5: Remove only the snow and ice directly above the leaking part of your home.  This approach does not always work, because the ice dam causing you problems is not always near the leak.  Also, this approach can lead to additional ice dams in the same (or another place) soon after we leave (sometimes as soon as the very next day).  For those reasons, we usually don’t recommend this option.

Option 6: Remove the least amount of snow possible near the leak.  And melt channels in the ice dam to relieve the water that is trapped behind/above the ice dam.  Although this option can sometimes work wonderfully, it’s risky and is most often not an idea we’d recommend.  However it can be a good option if (1) it’s very late in the winter (or early in the spring) and the chance of more snow or below-freezing temps is minimal, or if (2) there is so much snow and/or ice on your roof that this is the only financially feasible option (i.e. a Hail Mary in some cases).

Please know that safe ice dam removal is a methodical and almost-surgical process.  To  remove any amount of ice safely takes longer than it would if we didn’t have the health of your home in mind.  In that way safe ice dam removal is more expensive – though in the long run it’s far cheaper than the alternatives.

A few things you can expect, and a few things we expect

21. We work only as long as you authorize.  This means, for one thing, that if you approve a certain number of hours but we can’t reach you when that time is up, we’ll have to decide on our own whether we should wrap up and leave your project unfinished, or do what best for your home and hope you agree that we made the right decision.  Although you are bound by the decision we make, that’s a mighty tough position for to put us in, so you need to agree to be available throughout your entire project.

22. Please keep an eye on the clock.  Your Ice Dam Guys® technician is focused on removing your ice dam safely and efficiently, and may lose track of time.  You decide how long we spend on your roof.  If you can’t reach him by phone, please get your technician’s attention from the ground.

23. We can only make educated guesses as to how long your project will take.  Your job may take longer than anyone expects.  Until your technician removes the snow covering your ice dam(s) he has no idea how long your project may take, and even then it’s a guessing game.  Therefore, his guess or estimate may turn out to be wildly inaccurate.  Once the snow is removed and he’s had a bit of time to begin steaming through the ice he will then have a better idea of how thick the ice is, how far up the roof your ice dam stretches, whether it’s soft/white ice or hard/black ice, how difficult the areas are to reach, along with a plethora of other findings will become better known.  It is then and only then that a guesstimate of time can be remotely accurate, and even then the dynamics can change as he makes his way through your project.  The best advice is to check in with your technician early and often, and to expect changes and new discoveries along the way.

24. Ice dams may quickly redevelop after you have them removed, especially if you stopped us short of removing all the ice and snow from your roof.  The less snow and ice you allow us to remove, the greater your chances of more ice dams later this season.  Even if you chose for us to remove all of the snow and ice from your roof, you still must keep your roof snow-free enough to avoid more ice dams in the future.  Snow is what makes ice dams possible.

25. How long your roof snow and ice dam removal may have taken in the past is in no way an indication of how long it will take now.  The conditions change constantly throughout the winter, and even more so from winter to winter.  Ice dam removal on the same house could differ wildly from year to year, whether the same company does it each time or different companies do it.  It makes no sense to point out that another company may have performed ice dam removal more quickly last year: it’s a different winter and a different day, with different conditions, and some ice dam removal companies cut corners.  That’s like complaining that the supermarket that’s 5 minutes away from your home at 9:00PM on a Tuesday takes you 15 minutes to drive to during rush hour on a Friday.  Very different situations.

26. Ice dam removal is a SLOW process when done safely, as is shoveling copious amounts of snow while navigating a slippery roof.  It is hard work and doesn’t go as quickly as many people think.  So please don’t remark that your job “took too long” only after we’ve completed our work and made your home safe.  Also, we’d appreciate it if you do not stop our work early and then claim that we “didn’t even finish the job.”   Or if you allow us to finish your project and then be disappointed in our hourly rates, or that we didn’t send a small army of extraneous technicians (as other companies do: they bait-and-switch you by charging by the man-hour).  We work as hard and as safely as humanly possible, while trying to protect your home and as your wallet.  Don’t hire us to make your home safe only to complain about it.

27. Our technicians maintain the right to refuse any project they don’t feel safe completing.  Safety – yours and ours – is our top priority. Allowing our technicians to refuse or walk away from any project(s) without being subject to penalty or disciplinary actions is just one way we make sure our techs go home to their families each night.  Although we rarely refuse a project or are unable to complete a project, please understan if we need to.

28. Any snow and ice removed from your roof will end up near the foundation of your home.  If you’d like to us to commit additional hours to have snow and ice moved away from certain areas (e.g. on the ground, a lower roof, a deck, etc.), please let your technician know.  Unless we hear from you, we plan to remain focused on your roof and on stopping or preventing a leak.

29. The photos our technicians take are not turned in until the end of our season, and so can’t be traced back to your project and sent to you.  Plus, the photos generally mostly ice and snow.

Help us help keep your home safe and tidy

30. Try to be home.  If possible, please be present while we remove your ice dams, so you can look for and alert us to any water that might leak into your home – particularly into the basement.  Although that very rarely happens (less than 1% of jobs), it is one problem, among many others, that can be avoided or minimized by your presence.

With ice dam removal often comes many gallons of water (melted ice and condensing steam) pouring down your roof.  That can pose a problem if your yard has poor grading (like a negative grade sloping towards the foundation of your house), no gutters or clogged gutters, leaky egress windows, cracks in your foundation, etc.  Even with the proper grade, nearby piles of snow can trap water next to your foundation.  That can cause water to pool or flow next to your foundation and sometimes cause leaks into your home.

Be on the lookout for water leaks in your home.  Our safe, steam-only ice dam removal is the best way to stop water from leaking through your shingles.  But sometimes in the process existing leaks get worse before they get better. We are not liable for any interior water damage to your home.  Again, we recommend you stay home while we remove the ice dam, so you can keep an eye on your interior.  We can remove your ice dam even if you aren’t home, but because we can’t be two places at once, you’ll need to be home if you want to keep us posted on any interior leaking.

Another reason to be home is to you can turn on and then turn on the spigot or other water source for us, so that we don’t need to spend time on the clock messing with it.

Yet another reason for you to stay and hold down the fort: you can control where we work and how long we work, and you can see the progress and toil that goes into what we do.  If you see the process, you have a better sense of why it takes the amount of time it does.

In general, it’s much tougher going when customers aren’t home, and that’s how 90% of all problems come about.  Doesn’t need to be that way.  Most or all problems can be avoided or caught early by your presence from beginning to end.

31. Be aware of potential icy patches or slippery patches.  Some may predate our arrival on-site.  Others may be the unavoidable result of the many gallons of water from melted ice and condensing steam, or of flat surfaces that naturally pool water (possibly caused by the surrounding snow acting as a dam).

We can chisel away the ice, but we’ll have to bill you for it at the quoted rate for ice dam removal. We’d prefer not to do that for two reasons: (1) that would be the most expensive chiseling since Michelangelo was commissioned to carve David, and (2) because of the possibility that we might damage an underlying surface, for which we are not liable.

We can apply ice-melt to smaller icy patches if you ask us to – or we might need to do it anyway.  But when ice is several inches thick, ice-melt only helps so much, if at all.  So please expect icy patches and use extreme caution.  Icy patches are an aspect of ice dam removal that we can’t control. Be prepared to purchase and apply sand and/or ice melt during the ice dam removal process, as well as after we’ve left if necessary.  There are other companies out there that you can reach out to that specialize in applying sand and salt to various flat surfaces.

32. Tell us if anything valuable is under the snow.  If you have any items of value that might be buried in the snow surrounding your home, please tell your ice dam technician about those items before he begins your project.  Examples might include a deck, a playground, patio furniture, a doghouse, a hot tub, a BBQ grill, small garden structures, etc.  In most cases these items (and others) are the least of your worries.  In the event they do worry you, please make them known to us, and ask us to relocate them for you.  If it’s possible to do so, we’re happy to do so.

33. We don’t know how much weight your deck or similar structures can bear.  We’ve come to your home to steam away your ice dam – as you requested – which typically requires us to remove a lot of snow from your roof first.  Snow gets heavy.

If your deck is lag-bolted to your rim joist, the floor joists and 4x4s aren’t rotted, the posts are anchored into concrete footers, and the deck boards are composite or pressure-treated wood, then your deck is probably sturdy enough to hold up a frat party.  But we have no way to gauge any of that, especially if you want us to get onto the roof and start steaming ASAP, and especially if you don’t tell us about the deck.

We’re not responsible for whatever may happen to a rickety deck, or even a deck that just wasn’t enough to bare the weight of Old Man Winter.  We’re not engineers, we’re Ice Dam Removal Guys®.  So please remember, for obvious reasons, that any snow on your roof will be pushed straight down the slope of the roof.  We’re can’t relocate snow “shovel by shovel” to another area before throwing it over the edge.   Snow above your deck must be pushed straight down and of your roof.

34. Unless you’ve memorized your pre-existing driveway stains like the back of your hand, please don’t assume we caused your driveway stains.  Though it rarely happens, is it possible we add a beauty mark or two to your driveway?  Yes, theoretically it’s possible.  But we’re not klutzes, and we didn’t buy our trucks from Mr. Haney of Green Acres Farm. Even if we did spill a drop, we’d see it in the snow and steam it off on the spot.  In any event, we are not responsible for any driveway stains that may or may not have been there before we arrived.

35. To save you time and money, typically we carve large blocks of ice off your roof and let them fall to the ground, rather than melt the entire ice dam from the top-down (which would take many, many additional hours).  We call that the chunk-cutting technique.  That means that rather than melting the ice from the top down, we remove a chunk of ice at a time and manually nudge each chunk off the roof once we’ve melted it free of your rooftop.  That technique saves you hundreds or thousands of dollars.  Many of the ice chunks freely fall from the roof.  Rarely can we control exactly where they fall, but almost always they land without incident.  Although we do that as safely as possible, those blocks of ice can easily weigh 50+ pounds and can crush anything they land on.

If you have shrubs, grills, hot tubs, or decks under or near your roof, you have a few options.

  • The 1st is you forgo ice dam removal altogether because you’ve deemed your outdoor amenities more valuable than the safety of your home.
  • The 2nd is you pay 3-4 times the amount you otherwise would, because it will take us much, much longer to melt every last ounce of ice on your roof.  The same is true if you want us to remove all the snow on your roof and walk it to a shrub-free, stuff-free area.
  • The 3rd option is for you to accept some possible damage to your shrubs or outdoor amenities and save a LOT of money on ice dam removal.  We go into each project assuming #3 is your choice.

Although this rarely happens, it is possible for ice chunks to hit the side of your house, break a window, smash a grill, bust a hot tub, damage decking, a railing, an AC unit, a gas meter, etc.  Again, we have no control over where ice chunks or giant icicles go once they’ve broken free from the roof.  Although we have every intention of grabbing these ice chinks and tossing them farther away from your overhang, they may fall before we have a chance to grab them.  Also, ice can be especially damaging when it prematurely or unexpectedly breaks loose from whatever it’s adhered to (your shingles, gutters, etc.).  This happens more frequently on especially warm days as the bond between the ice and the substrate is severely weakened.  Even our putting a ladder against the ice dam can be enough to jar it loose and cause it to come crashing down.  We’ve even had ice dams fall off on the opposite side of the roof than we’re working on: we had nothing to do with it, and it just happened to fall while we were there.  Although property damage from falling ice shouldn’t be expected, it does happen from time to time and it’s part of the risk you take when having an ice dam removed, or when choosing not to have an ice dam removed.  It is up to you, the property owner, to protect anything you feel might be in harm’s way.

Typically your deck has enough snow on it to cushion the blow from large chunks of ice falling on it (and shrubs are the least of your worries when dealing with a leak caused by ice dams).  But if that’s a risk you’re not willing to take (or your shrubs happen to be family heirlooms you’re not willing to sacrifice), please ask your technician to melt the ice slowly from the top-down when he’s removing ice over your deck.  Or you can tell him not to use the “chunk-cutting technique” over the deck.  Again, doing so will take us much longer and will end up costing more, but it is your call.

36. Not only are we not liable for what may be damaged by falling snow, but we’re not liable for damages cause by non-snow items that fall. Our lawyer says we should keep that statement broad.  But just to provide a somewhat crazy but plausible example: if our technician falls onto your pergola, we do not plan to buy you a new pergola any more than we plan for you to cover his visit to Doc Sawbones.

What you’re not paying for

Time spent driving to and from your home or business.

Machine breakdown and any time it takes to repair it.

Time it takes to complete your invoice.

Time it takes to acquire additional fuel, should we run out.

Smoke or coffee breaks.  (Don’t laugh: other companies may bill you for those.)

Bathroom breaks (also known as any time your technician has to leave the jobsite in a hurry).

If you invite us in for hot chocolate and cookies.  We can’t let you pay for that!

Our movie-star smiles and rustic charm.

Thanks for reading through all of that.  We hope it makes our processes clear, and answers any questions you might have.  But if you still have questions, please contact us or call us at 1-800-423-3267.

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