Ice dam removal calls are coming in like crazy

the last three or four years i would turn them all down but now with so many of them it’s worth going out there with a guy or two and removing them.

any one have any tips they would like to share. tool, tips, your prices?
I think i’m way to low at $185 first hour and $65 per man per hour after that.

right now i’m just braking the ice with a hammer carefully and using a roof rake and plastic shovels. i them let them know they need soffet and ridge vent and or better insulation to keep the attic the same temp as the out side air and give them a price for that.

I know all about the heat tape and wire and have used it before a few times. But is there any thing like ice melt or rv antifreeze that would be safe on shingles? I see they sell a long sock you can lay up there with rock salt in it but thats more of a home owner thing i think. I also seen the steaming presser washer but don’t think i really need that yet.

Thanks for any info

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Wadman1, your right there with your rooftop snow & ice removal price. Thats what I charge here in NH. The calls were coming but its -10 out this morning so theres no icedams leaking today. I try to school them about ventilation too, they seem to get the concept so maybe in the spring alot of ventilation jobs will pop up. I dont put salt or anything but I do try to sell them on removing the gutter for the winter & possibly tarping until winter breaks.

I never have to deal with it, but i love reading about it. Good ideas, both of yall!

Its good business but a hammer i would never use calcium chloride will eat the ice for dinner fast too. just charge more. bag is 15 bucks where im at. Using a hammer you could smoke a valley and never know it. seen it before

Ice removal is a job for roofers, not only that it is a job for conscientious roofers.
A lot of damage can be done if the ice is not carefully removed.

That being said I normally just use my hammer, sometimes an ice pick, I have even used an air chisel on some particularly large chunks of ice.

While the air chisel worked really good I can’t recommend it because the potential for damage is high.
I don’t trust anybody but myself to use the air chisel on ice dams.
On 2 occasions I have poked a hole in the roof with the air chisel, it went through surprisingly easy…

I just use the ice buster i was talking about and work my way down. trust me its safe for the roof and grass also. think of it like salt on steroids. Sometimes you have to use a hammer but like axiom said i dont trust anyone with one. the air chisel idea with a pickle fork set up or a stop style would work well. thanks for the idea Axiom

Like I said, I don’t recommend the air chisel.
If you are going to use the air chisel the pointed attachment has always worked best for me.
It is only good for removing large chunks.

here in northern canada we do quite a bit of roof top snow removal we always use shovels with out metal blades get close do the shingle then sweep it off. any ice dams use use this fancy salt wich is supposed to be good for the enviroment and it dos’nt damage any shingles. so far so good better then swinging a hammer and breaking shingles

:smiley: I’ve been getting a lot here in Buffalo and other areas I use a hammer push broom a sledge hammer and calcium chloride.I charge 175.00 for a section of the roof and take it from there .The most so far was 1900.00 for a hip and ridge roof all four sides,removed the ice jam and cleaned out the gutter and five feet of snow from the drip line up .I tell the costomer that some of the shingles pieces will come off at the drip line. It happens

were a $300 minimum. been doing a lot latley. we did a ton of them in 95. back then my guys were on channel 7 and the weather channel talking about how to handle ice dams.

thanks for all the tips.

i just got back from a 26 sq roof i had pull all the snow off. it was over 2 foot of snow up there he had a few rafters snap then he thought it was time to get some snow off the roof. 2 guys 2.5 hours

We remove all of the snow from a walkable roof if possible. Then put roof safe calcium chloride on the ice damms and on the top of the gutters. If we use a hammer or hatchet on the ice it is only to cut a groove in the ice to allow the water to flow or too shatter the ice. We have yet to damage the property or the roof with this method. In almost every case the water has stopped leaking before we leave the property. The calcium is a super fast acting method. You can the ice starting crack and loosen wirhin a minute or so. We also install heat tape, gutter guard w/ heat tape, insulation and/or proper ventilation.

Roofer J is correct, $300 and up. This is one time when you have an advantage over the customer and they will most likely not shop your price as water is pouring into there kitchen, living room or bedroon. We like to get at least $500 for an average size roof and I use a 5 pound sledge to remove the dam completely, every time I have made channels they just fill back in with ice in a few days. Its definitely good business if you can get it.

i put a few ads out for snow and ice dam removal in CT and it was all over! over 60 calls today, 60! 3 of which where crying. legit balling because of the water poring in. (a few ceilings fell in do to water in the house) i feel so bad for some of these people. We got a lot of work to do.

Hi Wadman,

You said you put a few ads out. Can you be more specific? Where and how? You must have more ice and snow than we do here.


just ads in the paper for snow and ice dam removal. its real bad here in Connecticut. the most snow fall CT has ever seen in one month ever. and they say we may get another 15 inches the next few days. the news is telling people how important it is to get the snow off the roof so home owners are going crazy. plus there is a ton of houses that are having water leaking in.

I guess steeply pitched roofs are not immune to ice/snow problems!
I found water running down an interior wall today…turns out snow melted then gathered in a valley then froze/melted/etc…began leaking into the attic.
called about a dozen roofers, left messages…two called back at least, but said they were too busy to come today. my husband (with neighbors’ help) got up there, tied a rope around the chimney and himself, and got most of it off.
one or two said they could come tomorrow. I’m hoping to find out what my options are, now that we know that Mr. Wonderful Roofer (long thread elsewhere about that) did NOT install rubber on the flat area as written in our contract, but shingled it…!!! Wish someone had gone up there a year ago!! sigh :roll:

Melody, was it last winter or the one before I told advised you not to get your roof done that late in the season? & not use that clown but he talked you into it. The problem is nobody brings the ice & watershield down past the wood decking onto the fascia board atleast an inch,inch & a half. Make that clown return & fix it right.

this was our recent 5 minutes of fame :o … -snowfall/

i had 2 minutes to add a few things to my page.

And can any one help me out as far as home owners insurance goes? will they pay $400 to $1,500 to break up ice dams and clear snow to stop $12,000 worth of interior damage?

I’m going to call mine and see what they tell me (as my house is leaking and i’m to busy to go up there and fix it right now) just to see what they tell me. i don’t want any money from them i rather not have a claim and fix it my self, but most home owners can not get on there roof. Thanks for any and all info. Brian