5 Costly Misconceptions About Colorado Roof Snow & Ice Dam Removal

Misconception 1 – You should wait as long as possible before having your roof snow removed

Never. Roofs are rated for maximum weight loads, and they should never be tested. It is recommended that once your roof snow load has reached 50% of capacity (maximum load) the snow should be removed.

 The Western Regional Climate Center reports annual snowfall (inches) for:

Winter Park 226.7
Grand Lake 144.2

Misconception 2 – The only reason to remove snow from your roof is the weight of the snow on the roof

Although it is very important to have snow removed from your roof to prevent problems because of the weight of the snow, there are other reasons as well.
When the sun melts the snow on the roof during the day and freezes at night it causes ice to form on top of the snow. Snow that accumulates on top of the ice can cause “roof avalanches” to occur. Pedestrians should not walk under or near a roof that has accumulated snow after a snowstorm after a sunny day. Also, if you are experiencing problems with ice dams, snow should be removed to allow the ice to melt naturally.

Misconception #3  – All roof snow removal companies have roofing liability & workman’s compensation insurance

No. Companies that are reputable, experienced, and have been in business for a while knows the importance of carrying the proper liability and workmen’s compensation insurance. They take the necessary steps to ensure their clients are covered in case an accident occurs.

On the other hand “fly-by-night” companies think that insurance is not necessary and if an accident occurs, they “shut down” and move on.
Did you know that if an accident occurs while work is being performed and the contractor does not carry current liability and workmen’s compensations insurance, your homeowner’s policy would be responsible for any losses?

If someone falls and gets hurt, you would be responsible for their medical bills, loss of pay, etc. That’s not fair!

How do you prevent this?

Insist that a current “certificate of insurance” is sent/faxed to you by the contractor’s insurance agency. This will answer the important question. Do you have current liability and workmen’s compensation insurance?
Beware: There is a trick that is played, unfortunalty quite regularly, where a contractor will start an insurance policy and they will request a “certificate of insurance” from their agency. Once they get the certificate, they cancel the policy.

When a homeowner asks for proof of insurance, they present the “certificate” they received from their insurance agency (certificates show insurance is in effect for the period of the policy, usually 1 year). Actually the insurance was canceled 1 week after it was initiated!

Again, how do you prevent this?
Insist that a current “certificate of insurance” is sent/faxed to you by the contractor’s insurance agency.

Misconception #4 – Having the right equipment is all a company needs to remove roof snow properly

Not true. Many companies own shovels, ropes and ladders but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. This is why it is important to choose your roof snow removal company carefully.
Unfortunately there has been an on-going problem, where a group of people buy a ladder, shovels, rope and harnesses and set out to “take the snow from your roof” That they will, along with your shingles and possibly causing other damage to your roof. (i.e. leaks, damage to gutters, holes in your roof) Just because you have the equipment, does not mean you have the “know how” to remove the snow and ice properly.
Your best bet is once you’ve found a company that you can trust, stay with that company.

Misconception #5 – Any honest roof snow removal company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone

I wish this were true, but it isn’t.  Honest, reputable roof snow removal companies never price roof snow removal over the telephone. Instead, roof snow removal is usually priced by “time spent”. A “ballpark” figure estimate can be given, based on “like roofs” in the area. So if you’d like me to tell you the exact cost of roof snow removal, I can’t do it.

Alternatively, you can set a predetermined dollar amount of work to be accomplished. For example: “I want $600 of work to be performed on my roof”
To give you an idea of how I estimate the cost of removing snow from roofs, here are the three things I consider:

– Size of Roof
– Depth of Snow
– Difficulty of Removing the Snow

Beware of contractors that give an exact price to remove snow from your roof. They may be giving you a “bait & switch” price. Offering a low price to get the job, then half way through or at the end, they will charge a higher price.