Removing Ice Dams – Mission Accomplished!

My roof, as I have mentioned in the last two posts, is a mess because of ice and snow. The ice is at least 8″ thick along the eavestroughs, and I know enough to know that spells trouble.

With warm weather on the way (we’re supposed to hit nine degrees Celsius on Saturday), all that melting water would be trapped behind the ice dams and likely to back up into my house.

But what could I do? My friend, Greig, who had spent Saturday clearing away snow from the sunroom roof wasn’t comfortable with clambering up to the second storey and my go-to-guy, tradesman Cedric Poon, wasn’t either. We all agreed it was time to call the pros.

I called a number of the bigger roofing companies  in town, and got busy signals, which wasn’t surprising: after all, mine isn’t the only house in this condition.

I finally went to the Better Business Bureau site and looked up roofing companies. Then I scrolled down the names, assuming that those at the top of the list were probably getting lots of calls. I left a few messages (never did hear back, by the way) and then finally got hold of  Bernard Lauzon, the owner of Lauzon Roofing. I think I’ve found a gem.

Bernie told me he’d be over early the next morning to take a look. I had a client meeting and told him I’d leave the gate open but to feel free to check things out and we’d connect later in the day. I thought I’d find a quote for several hundred dollars in the mailbox  and a delay of at least a week for him to get a crew out, given how busy everyone is. Instead, I arrived home to find an invoice. For  the grand total of $ 100.

I called Bernie to see if he’d made a mistake. Maybe he hadn’t checked the back after all, or maybe his invoice was missing a zero. Instead, he told me the job was done.  They removed some snow and cut trenches through the ice at the back of the house.

As soon as they did, he said, water poured out, so I guess we were just in time. As for the front of the house, which I thought was in trouble too, he said he didn’t think the ice there  was too bad, despite the giant icicles. He said that ice was likely to melt and fall off  without any issues.

Why trenches instead of removing the ice altogether? Bernie said they never remove the ice because it can damage the shingles. Trenches give the water a place to escape and it’s not expensive.

Would that take care of the problem for the winter? I asked. He said to keep an eye on things; with more snow and freezing rain, they might need to do it again. But the very helpful tip he gave me was to keep an eye on the siding, and if you see water running down it or ice trails, then that means the water is backing up and you need to act.

I think I’ve found my new roofer. To get hold of Lauzon Roofing, call 613 741-9505. No recorded message: that’s Bernie’s cell and he answers his phone. He even called my office to let me know when he was at the house doing the job. In business since 1999, and registered with Better Business since 2000, he hasn’t had a single complaint against his company. Not one. Pretty impressive.

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