Frequently Asked Questions
Ice dam removal cost: How much do we charge?
It’s typical to pay between $425 and $825 for an ice dam removal in the Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Please call our office for our current rates. One piece of advice for the price shopper. Hourly rates ARE NOT the primary driver in determining whatyour ice dam removal will cost. It’s true. What you ultimately pay for your ice dam removal is based primarily on the integrity of the company you hire. We lose jobs every day to ‘cheap’ guys who take their time and rack up huge bills for the poor, short-sighted sucker that hired them. It’s gross but true. We have a simple goal for our ice dam removal work; make an honest living and develop a long term relationship so that we might do work for you in another capacity. We would love to be considered for your roofing, insulation or remodeling projects in the future so we do our very best to keep you happy on your ice dam removal. Other companies hope to make as much as they can on the ice dam removal alone. That’s not our perspective.
Are we licensed and insured?
Yes. The Ice Dam Company is in fact the ONLY ice dam removal company in Minnesota that holds a valid Minnesota Contractors License. Check it out here. Go ahead. Check out the other ice dam removal ‘experts’ you find on the internet. None of them are licensed. Roofers are required to be licensed and so it only follows that guys getting up to do work on your roof should be licensed. It’s nice to know that a company working on your home is licensed as a year-round professional contractor. Learn more
Are we professional residential contractors?
Yes. Again, not to brag, but the Ice Dam Company is the only ice removal business in the State of Minnesota that performs professional residential general contracting services including roofing, remodeling and insurance restoration. Other companies use ice dam removal as a way to cover their bills during the winter. We see every ice dam job as an opportunity to build a long term relationship. There are a few companies that can get rid of your ice. If you want someone who can help you understand why the ice is happening, we are your guys.
Do we provide ice dam prevention and repair services?
Yes. We are the only ice dam removal company in the Twin Cities that has a professional, full time staff dedicated to diagnosing the underlying causes of ice dams and implementing long term solutions. Other companies sub this work out. We live and breath ice dam removal and ice dam prevention and have for 20 years.
Do we use steam to remove ice dams?
Yes. We do. Most companies that claim to be using steam are actually using high temperature pressure washers. Want to know how to tell the difference from a distance? If the gun being used by the technician on the roof has a trigger it is NOT a steamer. True steamers can not use triggered guns, they must remain flowing or the machinery willexplode.
Do we give free estimates?
Yes. We do, but we emphasize that it is an estimate. Our estimates are based on photos you email or text to us plus a set of assumptions derived from our many years of experience in ice dam removal here in the Twin Cities. Estimates are just that; estimates. We can never guarantee a price over the phone as that would be absurd. We do know, for example, that we can typically remove 10-15 feet of ice dam from a standard eave per hour and that historically, most of our jobs run in the 2 to 4 hour range. Click here to learn more about the cost for ice dam removal.
How should I prepare for your crew?
It’s quite simple really. We need water, electricity and money. We prefer that someone is home during the job because we need access to the inside of your home to get the water and electricity our steamers need. We require payment upon completion of the job. We accept personal checks and credit cards.
How do I keep ice dams from coming back?
In the short term you can keep ice dams from reforming by diligently removing all of the snow from the roof area above the ice dam(s). If you would like to permanently keep the ice dams from reoccurring you need to look into adjustments to your home including insulation, ventilation, air-sealing and possibly roofing. If all else fails we can install commercial grade heat cables.
How can I tell if I have water in my walls?
Two words: Thermal imaging. We are the only ice dam removal company in Minnesota that owns a high-end ($6,000!) Flir Thermal Imager and has the State Certified Energy Auditor on staff to use it. Thermal imagers are used to see through walls, floors and ceilings to find anomalies including insulation deficiencies and moisture build up. Pretty cool.
Can we help you with your insurance claim?
Yes. Something that sets The Ice Dam Company apart from our competitors is our staff. In this case, Pete. As a former insurance adjuster of 20 years, Pete grabs the reigns the moment your ice dam is removed to work with your insurance company to define and settle the scope of the claim. Pete manages the insurance claim process tightly to ensure your home is repaired professionally with little or no cost to you. Want to upgrade your home while we are at it? No problem. We happen to be a division of a nationally recognized remodeling firm, Kuhl Design+Build.
Will ice dams come back?
If the conditions are right, the chances are strong that your ice dams will return in as little as one or two weeks unless you aggressively manage the snow load on your roof. That means roof shoveling done by you or by us. If you want to avoid ice dams altogether you should consider long-term solutions (discussed here).
How does our process work?
It’s simple. We need water and electricity to run our steamers. We get both from the inside of your home. Depending on your desires we shovel all or part or your roof and then steam off your ice dams. While on your roof we will make note of anything amiss and bring it to your attention. Our guys are professional, fully insured roofers, not landscapers, painters or window washers.
Do icicles mean ice dams?
No. Icicles do not mean you have ice dams. In fact, you can have massive ice dams and not experience leaking into your home (which is the ultimate reason you don’t want ice dams). Of course, heavy accumulations of ice on eaves and in gutters can cause structural failure and damage but it usually takes quite a bit of ice to do that. Click here to see our popular diagram of the Six Warning Signs of Ice Dams.
If I have ice dams once will they happen again?
Probably. Ice dams are the result of a number of intersecting variables including your home’s architecture and quality of construction, your lifestyle and climatic conditions. Unless you address the underlying causes of your ice dams it is likely they will return if not in the same winter than in one to follow. We know that ice dams are the result of heat going places it shouldn’t in your home. Insulation is one way we keep that from happening. If insulation gets wet, for example from an ice dam leak, it can permanentlylose 50% of it’s R-Value, thus increasing the heat loss and subsequent ice dams. It’s a cruel cycle.
How can I tell if my contractor is actually using steam?
Fact: Most contractors who say they are using steam are actually using high temperature pressure washers? How can you tell the difference? When you are interviewing them on the phone ask one simple question. Does the machine you use have a triggered gun? If the answer is ‘yes’ then it is not a true steamer. Why does it matter? Because high temperature pressure washers take longer to remove ice (costs you more) and they are likely to damage your cold, brittle roof (costs you a lot more). If you would like to seriously geek out and understand the difference and why it matters to you call the countries leading expert in ice dam steaming equipment. His name is Ben and he owns American Pressure Incorporated and they happen to be located here in Minnesota. His number is: 763-521-4442.
Do heat cables prevent ice dams?
It depends. Minneapolis and surrounding areas are littered with crappy, low-quality heat cable jobs. Usually the cables were purchased from a big box store and installed by a handyman. We remove over a hundred such systems a year and replace them with commercial heat cabling. When a professional cable system is installed it will prevent ice dams. When standard systems are installed they can and do often amplify the likelihood of ice dams.
How much do ice dam heat cables cost?
The cost to install professional grade ice dam heat tape varies from job to job. Click here for more information.
How effective are roof rakes in preventing ice dams?
Roof rakes can be quite effective in removing snow and therefore in preventing ice dams. One needs to exercise caution in that improper use of a roof rake can damage roofing. The biggest problem we see occurs when people only remove the snow from the lower portions of their roof only. Check out our Case Study on the trouble with not removing snow up to the peak.
Do we provide roof shoveling services?
Yes. We perform contract roof shoveling work for many of our previous clients at a fraction of the cost of steaming ice dams. Roof shoveling in Minneapolis is one preventative measure homeowners can take in order to avoid ice dams. The other is to make adjustments to their home including enhanced insulation, ventilation and roofing systems.
Where can I buy an ice dam steamer?
We have been purchasing our equipment from the same place for 22 years. That place is American Pressure. They are simply the best and most knowledgeable company in the country when it comes to ice dam steaming equipment. Here’s a link to there site: American Pressure