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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Generally short of a few remodel jobs for existing customers, all we deal with is snow removal from roofs and ice damning situations on roofs in the winter time in Michigan.

When going to these jobs, I generally pass 2-5 trucks with ladders strapped in the back, and a few guys with shovels going door to door.

I placed an ad on the radio to warn the community of the dangers of having people doing "side work" remove snow loads and ice from roofs.

I think home owners forget when that red neck falls off the roof,and breaks his leg. Even if he does not want you to pay for the broke leg, he does not have the cash to fork out 5-10k for the injury. The hospital wants to get paid, so they go after the home owner.

The radio station ended up not charging me, but I get no advertising out of it, which is fine. I don't want advertisement, just wanted licensed/insured guys doing the work instead of some drunks in a 78 Ram Charger working for beer money!
 

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When i first started out 30 years ago, i was always so pissed when i got undercut by some uninsured hack. About 5 years in i decided to include a 1 page document with every proposal, this doc would explain the importance of comp and liability, and point out the risks to the homeowner in dealing with a uninsured hack. . I also included ins certificates with every bid. Not sure if it helped get work or not, but it felt good..GMOD
 

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When i first started out 30 years ago, i was always so pissed when i got undercut by some uninsured hack. About 5 years in i decided to include a 1 page document with every proposal, this doc would explain the importance of comp and liability, and point out the risks to the homeowner in dealing with a uninsured hack. . I also included ins certificates with every bid. Not sure if it helped get work or not, but it felt good..GMOD
I do the same. I don't know if it helps. It might just confuse people more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The home owners don't care, they want who ever is cheaper.

I entertained the idea of possibly doing snow removal for winter, then saw what others were charging and figured I'd be better off staying home than working for minimum wage.
I never really considered doing it, but I get frequent calls about ice dams leaking through window openings and doors.

So I just started offering the service to help prevent the reformation of ice dams.

It's good repeat business if you can get clients to do it a few times a winter.

I just charge them a man/hr rate and material charge for calcium chloride on the ice dams.
 

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Funny thing, you don't see roof snow removal services here.

It's not like we don't get a lot of snow and suffer extreme winter conditions here either :laughing:.

I figure the best approach when people call about ice dam leaks is for them to grab a bucket until we can get there and do the job right. Other than that it is a waste of time.

Your experiences may vary.


I do agree with informing people as to the dangers that come with being on a roof, more so for the guy breaking his neck though, I have come to know too many of those guys over the years. Nobody needs that.
 

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Funny thing, you don't see roof snow removal services here.

It's not like we don't get a lot of snow and suffer extreme winter conditions here either :laughing:.

I figure the best approach when people call about ice dam leaks is for them to grab a bucket until we can get there and do the job right. Other than that it is a waste of time.

Your experiences may vary.


I do agree with informing people as to the dangers that come with being on a roof, more so for the guy breaking his neck though, I have come to know too many of those guys over the years. Nobody needs that.
Maybe you don't see the temp changes we do in winter. It can go from -40 to +60F in a couple days. All the snow on my roof right now is iced over. We have about a foot, and now it's shrunk down to about 8". It was -20 for a week, now we are supposed to get freezing rain/snow and 34 degree temps. Snow removal can be maintenance here. Our codes are for snow loads, not wet heavy snow and then heavy ice.
In Michigan, I'm sure they get even more snow with the lake effect.
 

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Actually I would wager we experience about as an extreme change throughout the winter months as you will find anywhere, I am not a meteorologist however, so I will state no facts to back up my claim :laughing:.

With the close proximity of this city to the mountains, we tend to experience some pretty radical weather patterns, including chinook winds, which if people don't know are extremely warm and are akin to standing next to a heating duct when they are blowing hard. This makes for a seriously miserable freeze thaw cycle all winter long. One thing we do not usually see though, is freezing rain. Basically it is snow from October-March, or half the year. Accumulations are never consistent, and I would guess that we actually get less snow than some places (like MI), but on occasion without warning we get hammered with many feet of snow (Alberta Clippers for which the rest of the continent tends to get fair warning, we get none are the best example) Temps can and do go from the low -30's to plus 20's within a day, (CELSIUS but same basic range as you are talking, probably colder longer tho). Last year was a horrible year for ice dams/leaks.

So having said that, a reactive approach to ice damming is probably the least proactive (here). I do contend a roof done right the first time, should not have issues, but I realize it doesn't always work that way. I also realize economically Calgary is a bit of an abnormality, people aren't interested in maintenance, they'd rather rip it down and start again. Snow removal in roofing here is part of the job, it does not pay extra or seperately, therefore the only people removing snow from their roofs would be the homeowners themselves, I am not joking about the lack of snow removal people here in that regard. What we do have instead are those freakin xmas light clowns, who both fall off the roof and butcher it at the same time. What a weird and wonderful world we live in :D.

At any rate, I do believe the only people that should be up on the roof, are qualified roofers, period.
 

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i do quite a bit of ice dam removals. was swamped with them all last week. they're 'bout melted off now. last year was brutal.

i charge by the foot with a minimum. we shovel the snow 3' along the gutter line, carefully bust the ice. and apply a liberal amount of CaCl2.

i don't make a lot doing the removals. the real money is made going back in the spring following up.
 

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Generally short of a few remodel jobs for existing customers, all we deal with is snow removal from roofs and ice damning situations on roofs in the winter time in Michigan.

When going to these jobs, I generally pass 2-5 trucks with ladders strapped in the back, and a few guys with shovels going door to door.

I placed an ad on the radio to warn the community of the dangers of having people doing "side work" remove snow loads and ice from roofs.

I think home owners forget when that red neck falls off the roof,and breaks his leg. Even if he does not want you to pay for the broke leg, he does not have the cash to fork out 5-10k for the injury. The hospital wants to get paid, so they go after the home owner.

The radio station ended up not charging me, but I get no advertising out of it, which is fine. I don't want advertisement, just wanted licensed/insured guys doing the work instead of some drunks in a 78 Ram Charger working for beer money!
Hey not all drunks drive Dodges :party:
 

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Just some information.

I am on a HOA for a townhouse association. The 48 units are quads (4 to a building - each with about a 32-40 length of gutters) the eave heights are generally 2 story, but some areas are only 1 1/2 story.

We have a landscape/snow removal contractor that is insured that also provides snow removal from roof. Our last project was to remove snow cover and expose any ice in the lower 2-4 feet and open any ridge vents. No salt or steam is permitted and the rest of the roof is left untouched, except any covered vents are opened up by walking on the roof. Thanks to the clear winter skies, Mother Nature melts or transpirates the ice dams over a short period and things drain well with the normal amount of sun we get at this time of the year.

They use ladders with some strange offsets and some tools, mainly roof rakes to avoid getting on the roof and causing damage or falling to increase insurance liability. There landscaping is not great, the snow removal after the prompt "busting out" the driveways (we have 2-4WD SUVs, so that is not a factor) is a little slow, but no problems with the roofs and gutters. I suspect it is a service offered to keep the landscaping and snow removal contract when is not much to do and can be scheduled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just some information.

I am on a HOA for a townhouse association. The 48 units are quads (4 to a building - each with about a 32-40 length of gutters) the eave heights are generally 2 story, but some areas are only 1 1/2 story.

We have a landscape/snow removal contractor that is insured that also provides snow removal from roof. Our last project was to remove snow cover and expose any ice in the lower 2-4 feet and open any ridge vents. No salt or steam is permitted and the rest of the roof is left untouched, except any covered vents are opened up by walking on the roof. Thanks to the clear winter skies, Mother Nature melts or transpirates the ice dams over a short period and things drain well with the normal amount of sun we get at this time of the year.

They use ladders with some strange offsets and some tools, mainly roof rakes to avoid getting on the roof and causing damage or falling to increase insurance liability. There landscaping is not great, the snow removal after the prompt "busting out" the driveways (we have 2-4WD SUVs, so that is not a factor) is a little slow, but no problems with the roofs and gutters. I suspect it is a service offered to keep the landscaping and snow removal contract when is not much to do and can be scheduled.

You may want to look into it to see if their liablity/worman's comp insurance will cover it.

I'm not sure what a insurance company, maybe not thrilled to pay for a broken leg, would say.

Personally, I'd be asking what a landscaper was doing on a roof.

My agent was very upfront and strict, we do some remodeling, but we have to carry a different policy to cover roofing. General contractors will cover about anything BUT roof replacements, repairs and/or maintenance. I'm assuming roof top snow removal would be roof maintenance. I'm also sure, policy to policy would vary.
 

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J-Peffer -

I understand about falling off a dry roof after being hospitalized for 2 months and another month of therapy. The contractor has the necessary inurance according to the documents he submitted.

He is a landscaper (so-so) that does snow removal (reasonably well) with his main employees (not college kids) in the winter and the partial (never full access) roof snow removal and sidewalk shoveling as a fill-in to keep regular employees busy. He has done the work for the last 6 years.

He is too cheap and does a reasonably good job good job, but snow and roof snow removal is more important than grass cutting (by mower jockeys) in an area where grass grows too fast in some months.

Thanks for the alert. I will make sure the professional management company double checks the insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I really hope that did not sound like me telling you what to do! I know you are a sharp guy. Some times it's just hard to know, or tell what's covered.

I was just joking with an adjuster today about how policy's won't cover rain water, but if it freezes on your roof, it's covered. Works out well for us roofers though!!

On a side now, how many of you have considered some restoration work on these ice dams?

Seems like it would be pretty easy to pickup work if you drop some money into moisture detectors and a infrared camera.
 

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I have a firend who is a land scaper. He gives me quite a bit of gutter cleaning leads if the gutters can not be reached by A frame ladder. His landscaping insurance prevents his guys from getting on any roofs period.

He may have submitted documents saying that he is insured but what do those documents actually insure? we all know there are exclusions. for example I have insurance, but my insurance does not cover over spray. Painters know what this is, but alot of roof coatings and adhesives are also sprayed. I had to sign a waiver saying we don't spray to get a slighly lower premium.

Just because I have insurance doesn't mean I have insurance. know what I mean?


Here is another note about the snaky and tricky insurance companies. When I got my house I specifically requested sewer back up because I recall when my parents got it how devestating it was. I "assumed" that it was all lumped under the main policy limit. Wrong. It was a $5,000 limit. $5,000 is squat. Had I known, I'd have opted for the 10,000. Well I found out when my basement had sewer backup and what I got didn't cover the necessary repairs. Again sometimes you have insurance, but don't have insurance.
 
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