View Full Version : Anyone do ice dam removal?

The Cleaning Doctor
11-11-2011, 01:28 AM
Just wondering if anyone does ice dam removal in the winter. Many people make in the mid 6 figures every year. I am talking like 300-500k in the months from November to March.

I started a new site on this that will be finished up on Saturday. The only city that is in there at the moment is Portland, Maine.

Tell me what you think.


11-11-2011, 07:36 AM
You are very clever!

I love the idea, but don't you have regular snow removal to do? I'd be too exhausted for that, but I think this is something you can milk for all it's worth!

I'm all over your site right now, man that's wicked! Good stuff!


Is the website supposed to be http://icedamremovaling.com?

The Cleaning Doctor
11-11-2011, 04:11 PM
No the domain is correct. I do not do any of that but I already have people that want to advertise on the site. I build sites full time now.

Now the reason for the domain name, people search for "ice dam removal in portland"

The URL has to do with my decision it will look something like this


This way I get the state written both ways and the city in there. People get $200-$300+ per house for ice dam removal. How many driveways would you have to clear to get that same amount. This is a way for the guys with hot water pressure washing units to keep their equipment running without the need for new equipment.

11-11-2011, 06:16 PM
At what point does that service become necessary? Does it require a certain amount of snow to be on the roofs? Do all houses then need this service or only those that have poorer insulation in their roofs?

11-11-2011, 08:44 PM
Oh crap. I'm going to have nightmares again.

I don't know how the "Pros" remove them, but I used a hammer and screwdriver and calcium chloride (I think that's the one you use) pellets.

Here's my place a few winters ago. All my neighbors were getting water damage, so I went out and worked my butt off to prevent it from happening at my place.


Homemade roof rake.





Since I couldn't reach this part, I did the "stocking" trick, filling stockings with the pellets and tossing them up there to melt the ice. I tied twine to them so I could retrieve them once they melted the ice and went into the gutter...


Then I fashioned an extension scoop and sprinkled the pellets directly to the ice!



That was up front. Here's the back roof...




Oh, note that the gutter along the addition roof was free of ice due to the installation of heated wire...


More snow removal from the addition roof before I could start on the ice dam on the main roof...




I tried chipping away to remove a little bit of this mass of ice at a time but WHAAAAMMMM!!! It all came down with a horrific thud! I thought it was going to go right through the roof I was standing on!




Ran out of daylight so I continued the next day...

http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac64/Pepwalker2/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2018%202010/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2019%20-%20back%20roof/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2020%20and% 2021%20-%20back%20roof/104_4436.jpg

http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac64/Pepwalker2/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2018%202010/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2019%20-%20back%20roof/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2020%20and% 2021%20-%20back%20roof/104_4437.jpg

http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac64/Pepwalker2/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2018%202010/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2019%20-%20back%20roof/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2020%20and% 2021%20-%20back%20roof/104_4499.jpg

http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac64/Pepwalker2/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2018%202010/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2019%20-%20back%20roof/Ice%20Dam%20and%20Snow%20Removal%20Feb%2020%20and% 2021%20-%20back%20roof/104_4504.jpg

Ice dams. Big fun.

11-11-2011, 09:01 PM
Awesome pics Hedge!

Damn that looked like a tough job!

Would it be better to put up those sac of pellets early in the season, or only when there is actually a problem?

11-11-2011, 09:25 PM
Other than safety training, what other types of training do you have to do to be a "professional ice dam remover"?

11-11-2011, 10:25 PM
Awesome pics Hedge!

Damn that looked like a tough job!

Would it be better to put up those sac of pellets early in the season, or only when there is actually a problem?

Thanks. I take a lot of photos, don't I? :o

Nah, the pellets would melt before they were needed.
My wife said she saw the pantyhose trick on the news when they were reporting about all the ice dam problems due to the massive snowfall we had experienced.
I think you're supposed to toss them up so they create a channel for water to flow off the roof, but I had removed most of the snow and used them "horizontally" to melt the ice that was in the gutter.
I took the pics because most people would never know that their gutters look like that when filled with ice. I'm amazed that they didn't get torn off due to the weight. As a matter of fact, while I was shoveling the snow off the addition roof, I heard a crash, and saw that my neighbor's gutter had fallen off of his roof.
Actually, in the case of severe ice dams, that's a quick fix - remove the gutters entirely. It can cost a LOT more to repair water damage than to have new gutters installed. Our addition cieling and floor were trashed a few years prior due to ice dams. That's why there is heated wire in that gutter now.

B-2 Lawncare
11-11-2011, 10:51 PM
I can see why you could make bank doing this, Thank gosh this isn't a issue in my area.

11-12-2011, 03:53 AM
I am talking like 300-500k in the months from November to March.

How would one bill for this?

I did some more research and found that this is cause because of poor insulation in the attic. Warm air gets into the attic and causes the roof snow to melt during the day and then it later freezes as temps drop at night. If the underside of the roof is leaking into the house, you can stop it from leaking by setting up a fan to blow cool outdoor air into the attic space. The area will also need better ventilation.

Offering services to prevent this from happening again could become more upsells.

The Cleaning Doctor
11-12-2011, 11:48 AM
That is total for the year for a company that is running several trucks. The average is $200-$300+ per house. We have someone working on a training video etc for the site. They have been educating pressure washing contractors for years. There is big money in it. Hell if you were able to do 2 houses per day how would that change your winter months?

11-14-2011, 10:37 AM
The average is $200-$300+ per house.

After seeing what hedgemaster went through, do you feel there are any tricks to cut down the amount of time spent performing this task? It looks like these jobs could easily turn out to be multi day jobs depending on how much ice is involved.

The Cleaning Doctor
11-14-2011, 10:50 AM
Yeah hot water.

By the way I did finish a site for this. http://icedamremovalin.com where companies can advertise.

11-14-2011, 11:28 AM
Yeah hot water.

Should you just heat it on site and pump it up to the roof with a hose? Possibly from the peak or what's your advice on that?

11-15-2011, 09:11 AM
This something that I have heard guys doing but never really checked into it. Maybe I should.