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Why You Need Your Eyes and Ears During Ice Dam Removal

Calling a contractor can be a passive process.  You can call the plumber or roofer or electrician, get them to work on the problem, and then sit back and watch some TV. 

Ice dam removal isn’t always like that.  In fact, you can help the process go extra-smoothly.

When we’re on your roof, steaming the ice dam(s), there are two things we hope you’ll watch out for:

#1: See if a leak gets worse.

It’s not common, but sometimes ice dam removal makes a leak (temporarily) worse.  We’re up there melting ice.  Melted ice is – you guessed it! – water.

It’s good to keep an eye on that leak so you can come out and tell us, “Hey, that leak is picking up” if you notice your leak getting leakier. 

We have options when this happens.  It changes how we go about handling the ice dam.  Sometimes, for example, we’ll actually stop to melt a small channel through the ice dam first, to give the water a path to escape.  It’s time-consuming, and 90% of the time it’s unnecessary, so 90% of the time we don’t do it in our quest to remain safe, efficient, and as affordable as possible. But when it needs to be done it can help give the water a chance to flow right off the roof.

But if you were taking your siesta, we may never know, and we probably couldn’t help you prevent additional damage to your home.

#2: See if water gets into the basement.

It seems to happen once every other year or so.  Very rare, but it happens enough that we really hope you’ll be inside your home to keep an eye on everything.

The water has to go somewhere.  The ground is frozen, so it’s not absorbing anything.  As you know, water always flows to the lowest point.   

If your property is improperly graded and/or has an egress window, it’s at a higher risk of a basement leak.  I’ve also seen water runoff enter the basement through a crack in the foundation that the homeowner didn’t even know about.  

Once we find out about any basement water, we can pile snow up to divert the water, or we can put a piece of plywood in the egress window.  We have all types of tricks, but if you don’t occasionally snoop around the inside of your house to check on things, we can’t stave it off.  We’re up on the roof. 

Final thoughts

Communication saves you time and money.  And staying alert helps you prevent a Biblical flood.

You can trust us with the well-being of your home – we are not the pest-control company in season 5 of Breaking Bad! – but you know your home, and you probably don’t want us stomping around unnecessarily.  Your intel can give both of us peace of mind.

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