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"I want a service to remove ice dams from my roof"

Ice dam removal needed because of ice buildup in my gutters, causing water to leak inside my house!

wanted by: jheyun (49) in Needham, MA 02492 +
updated on: March 5, 2012, 4:19 p.m. (5 years, 3 months ago)
posted on: Jan. 26, 2011, 7 p.m. (6 years, 5 months ago)
tags: exterior gutter ice dam roof roofing snow
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4 User Replies

Remove Ice Dams with Roof Heat Cables

Growing up in northern Vermont, we used to have to deal with ice dams all the time on our roof. The house I grew up in had a sharply pitched roof (close to 45 degrees, which didn't stop me from climbing it in the summer) which remained ice dam free throughout our very snowy winters.

On the back of our house, however, there was a small addition with a much lower pitched roof. This section would often get ice dams when the snow over the heated room would melt, trickle down the roof and then refreeze when it got over the unheated eave. As more and more snow melted, flowed and refroze, an elevated lip of ice would form at the edge of the roof.

When new water flowed down and hit this ice dam, it would pool up and make it's way under the asphalt shingles, which would cause water to leak into our house, staining the ceiling and doing all kinds of other unspeakably bad things to the drywall, studs and insulation in the roof and walls.

How to install heating cablesRoof heating cables
My Dad's solution was to install what he called "heat tapes but which I've recently learned are more commonly called roof heating cables or roof de-icing cables. He had them wired to a timer in the house and would turn them on to melt any ice dams that would form at the edge of the roof, right above the eaves.

They were configured in a zig-zag pattern, spanning from the edge of the roof to about a foot or two up. Whenever we'd start seeing those long icicles forming off the back roof, he'd turn on the heating cable for a couple hours and they'd disappear.

I've never personally installed roof heating cables, but I can't imagine it would be too hard, except for the electrical wiring part. If you get a pro to do it, I think it would be more likely that a roofing contractor would be able to do the full project versus an electrician who might not want to climb on your roof.

comment TL;DR? Install roof heating cables :) - bigben 6 years, 5 months ago
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For ice on roof install roof heat cables and do snow removal immediately

If the weather is nice, installing heating cables is not that difficult. You actually don't need an electrician as most consumer de-icing cables simply plug into a normal power outlet.

If you pick up one of these thermostatically controlled plugs then they will automatically turn off when the temperature rises above 50-degree F/10-degree C.

The best way to prevent ice dams from forming is to promptly remove the snow from your roof when it falls. If there is no snow on your roof, then there is no snow melt to freeze into ice dams and lead to a costly buildup of ice on roof surfaces.

Roof heat cables will help you melt roof ice and prevent ice dams on roof, but you can skip the ice dam removal step entirely by using a good roof rake and getting the snow off your roof as soon as it falls.

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Install roof heat cables to prevent ice on roof and ice dams

We live in the Boston area and used to get terrible ice dams every year. A few winters ago we used Olympic Roofing (www.olympicroofing.com) to remove the ice dams and they did a fantastic job - Not bad with price either!

We live in an area that gets a ton of snow and ice so we had them install heating cables in the Spring as well. It's been great ever since, no more ice dams! I'd highly recommend Olympic Roofing to anyone looking for ice dam removal help this winter.

Cheers, Joe
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Other wants like "I want a service to remove ice dams from my roof"

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Find Local Ice Dam Removal Companies

Get Matched to local installers of roof heat cables and local snow removal pros in your area and get free cost estimates for their service.

More information about ice dam removalWhat does it Cost for Ice Dam Removal?

How much does it cost to remove an ice dam?

Expect to pay between $350 and $600 for a company to drive out to your home and remove the ice dams from an average sized house. Typically an ice dam removal service will charge you a minimum of one hour and an hourly rate thereafter of around $300 per hour.

Ask prospective companies if they will assess a "trip charge" to drive to your house and what method they will use to remove your ice dams. The most common method for removing ice dams is with a pressure steamer. For more detail, check out this recent article about ice dam removal costs in Minnesota.

Keep in mind that removing roof snow will likely have to be done at the same time to prevent the recurrence of the ice dams. Use our free matching service to find an ice dam removal company in your area and get an accurate quote for the job.

What is an Ice Dam?

What is an ice dam

What is an ice dam?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when trying to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. After a big snowfall, you should use a snow roof rake to get as much of the snow off your roof as possible.

You're damned once the ice has formed as it is very difficult to safely remove it. This blog, however, has some creative suggestions including an axe, an ice pick, salt-filled pantyhose, heat cables and roof tablets.

Once you have an ice dam, your best bet is to find a specialist to help you remove it and prevent it from coming back. Or, if you are handy, when Spring comes back around pick up a roof de-icing cable and do-it-yourself!

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details: With all these snowstorms, there has been a ton of snow and ice accumulating on my roof. I've been told a roof rake is needed to remove snow from my roof. What exactly is a roof rake and why do I need it?
wanted by: jheyun (49) in Needham, MA 02492
updated on: March 5, 2012, 4:23 p.m.
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