Master Roofers Winter Services
- Roof snow removal
- Furnish and install roof mounted heat cables
- Furnish and install heated metal roof panels
- Attic insulation
- Attic ventilation
- General roof repairs
ICE DAM STEAMING
What is Ice Dam Steaming?
- Ice dam steaming is the process of converting cold water into gentle, low pressure steam and directing the spray of steam through a special nozzle to melt through and underneath the ice dam to remove it from the roof and gutters.
- Ice dam steaming is the safety and fastest way to remove ice dams from any roof.
- Low pressure ice dam steaming is the method most preferred nationwide, by roofing manufacturers and insurance companies. Why? Low pressure steam cannot cut through roofing materials like hot water pressure washers do and will not cause future roofing material damages and disrepair.
Why Ice Dam Steaming is Safe
- Ice dam steaming is safe because these specially designed steamers turn cold water into soft gentle steam and send it up to the roof with very low pressure.
- On the roof the user safely melts the ice with the non-abrasive steam heat.
- Once water becomes atomized and turns into steam it is no longer abrasive like water and therefore loses its ability to cut through materials like water.
- Low pressure ice dam steaming equipment can be used on any and all roofing materials without fear of damage or disrepair. Low pressure steam has been tested on virtually every brand of roofing materials for both residential and commercial applications and has been proven to eliminate ice dams without damage or disrepair to the roofing materials.
- Other methods including high pressure washers can cause severe damage and disrepair to your roof, more so than the ice dam itself.
- Ice dam steaming on roofing materials is simply the best way to remove the ice.
Ice Dam Steaming Methods
- There are several ice dam steaming methods that most companies who take advantage of this technology will use. It is fairly common to steam ice dams from a ladder, especially if the roof is steep, slippery, delicate, or extremely high. The other common ice dam steaming method would be to steam the ice dams from the roof. This practice should be performed by trained expert technicians. When roof top access is required, or when working off a ladder, technicians should comply with OSHA approved roof top safety procedures and guidelines.
- A not so common method, however sometimes necessary, would be to steam ice dams from a boom lift. This method is essential if the building is not accessible from a ladder, or if the safety of the technician may be compromised by other methods.
- Ice dam steaming should always commence with proper snow removal techniques. The methods for removing snow from a roof should always involve plastic or poly snow removal equipment such as roof rakes and shovels. Metal equipment should never be used on roofs.
How to Choose the Best Company with the Proper Ice Dam Removal Equipment
- Choose a company that only utilizes steamer technology. Avoid contractors who use hot water pressure washers.
- The heating coil size of a steamer will be approximately twice the size of the heating coil from a hot water pressure washer.
- The temperature from a steamer will be approximately 250 to 300 degrees which eliminates the abrasive nature of high pressure hot water from pressure washers that only reach temperatures of approximately 120 to 180 degrees.
- Steam should be applied at approximately 150 to 300 PSI. Avoid hot water pressure washers that forcefully apply water at 1000 to 4000 PSI.
- Steamers will utilize approximately 1.5 to 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Hot water pressure washers will utilize approximately 3 to 5 gallons per minute.
- The wand of a steamer will have no trigger. The wand of a hot water pressure washer does have a trigger.
- The wand tip of a steamer is metal and either flared or cylindrical. The wand tip for a hot water pressure washer will have various colors (red, yellow, orange, or green) and increases the pressure of the water causing more damage to your roof.
- A steamer will not cause any damage or disrepair to your roof. A hot water pressure washer will damage your roof, often quite severely, causing costly pre-mature roof failure.
The Top Five Questions You Should Ask When Qualifying Your Ice Dam Removal ContractorQuestion One: Does the “gun” you bring on the roof have a trigger?
Answer One: They should answer, “No. Our gun has no trigger.”
Question Two: Does the end of the wand have a colored plastic tip?
Answer Two: They should answer, “No. Our wand has a metal pipe on the end.”
Question Three: Do you need to use the hot or cold water for your machine?
Answer Three: They should answer, “No. We only need cold water.”
Question Four: Do you use two people on site at all times?
Answer Four: They should answer, “Yes.”
Question Five: Are you insured for ice dam removal?
Answer Five: They should answer, “Yes. Our company carries the proper general liability and workers compensation for roof related work including ice dams.” (Ask for proof of insurance).