Look at the equipment and the techs when they arrive
A good ice dam company will be extremely professional. The techs will be uniformed, courteous, kind, and well-trained. Anyone considering hiring someone for ice dam steam removal service should learn how to distinguish between low-pressure ice dam steaming equipment and a hot pressure washer. A hot pressure washer, which many companies call a steamer, will cut holes completely through the shingles. If you don’t like what you see send them packing.
Also, they will need access to your water spigot which is probably frozen. The only correct way to thaw the spigot is by using a heat gun. If they try to thaw it with a small propane torch tell them thanks but no thanks. Anyone using an open flame on a house just doesn’t care about your home or the potential consequences of using an open flame on the exterior of your home.
A good ice dam company can rake or shovel the snow on your roof and will be glad to give you ice dam prevention tips in-person, happy to share their ice dam expertise with you. A good ice dam company can also help repair any damage caused by interior leaks.
When it comes to prevention there are a couple of ways you can prevent ice dams. The first is to get a home energy audit. Enhancing your insulation and ventilation and sealing your attic bypasses is the best way to protect your home. Also, be sure your energy audit includes a blower-door test. If your home is properly insulated, ventilated, and your bypasses are sealed, your attic won’t get too warm, which means there’s a good chance your roof will not have ice dam issues.
You can use a roof rake and clear off as much snow as you can safely reach from the ground. Make sure it’s either made of plastic or if it’s an aluminum roof rake make sure it has rollers that keep the metal edge from making direct contact with your shingles.
If you’ve already let the snow and ice get beyond what a roof rake can do, then you probably need professional roof snow removal. Professional roof snow removal companies will have the tools to get the job done safely. Most ice dam removal companies also offer roof snow removal services.
Also, a good ice dam removal company can take photos of your ice dams, so you know exactly what you’re looking at on your roof. The more informed you are about ice dams, the better off.