michigan gutters ice dam removal

Ice Dam Removal from Michigan Gutters

Michigan Gutters is your premier ice dam Solution. We specialize in all aspects of proper ice dam removal and long term maintenance for the Northern Michigan region.

Michigan Gutters uses low pressure steam to literally melt off dangerous ice on you house. Traditional methods to remove ice include chipping the ice with hand tools that can be labor intensive and cause damage to your roof. Other methods include chemical melts that can damage roof materials and are slow in removing ice dams. With our system super-heated steam is applied to the roof decking at nearly 300 degrees. This allows for the safe removal of ice that will not harm your shingles. Once the roof is clear and ice free our specialists can make recommendations on further work that may be needed to prevent future ice damming. We also offer a full line of heated products that may be viewed HERE.

Ice Dam Steaming Association For Education

What are Ice Dams?

As snow is melted, often due to a home’s heat loss, water runs down valleys and roof pitches. This water soon "refreezes" as it nears the roofs eaves. This creates what is commonly referred to as "ice damming". This ice blockage can prevent further water from exiting off the roof and can actually be driven under the shingles causing great damage to the owner’s home. It is not uncommon for our services to be utilized once great damage has already been done to the interior of the home.
In order to prevent potential damage we recommend that home owners have their roof edges clear and free of ice. Ours services are often on a need basis much like maintaining your lawn in the summer. Required frequency depends on winter conditions, heat loss, and home design. Our professional staff can help determine what is needed for the particular area.

Call us today at (231) 933-1244 for a free consultation.

Pressure Washers, Steamers And Damage To A Roof

December 26, 2012
by Ben Hagemann

I have been employed in the cleaning equipment industry for 16 years and have used, tested and sold hundreds of pieces of equipment. I am very familiar with hot water pressure washers and steamers and as a company we offer both types of equipment and each have advantages and disadvantages for certain applications. Unfortunately, in our industry terms often mean different things to different people and this causes wide spread confusion and erroneous information. The one application I see the biggest abuse in roof steaming of ice dams and I am writing this article to discuss how terms are used and what the risk is to consumers. Pressurized Spray should never be used on an asphalt roof to melt an ice dam.

A hot water pressure washer typically operates at outlet temperatures between 150F and 250F and has a nozzle that sprays water in order to create impact force to clean, this impact will damage a roof. This type of nozzle is never used on a steamer and should never be used on a roof.
Many people will call a hot water pressure washer a steamer, if it is spraying through a nozzle like above, it is a pressure washer and should not be used on an asphalt roof.

At about 250F to 260F the spray changes, at that point, there is enough energy in the water to change it to steam. The steam, because it is now a vapor and occupying much more space, needs to be directed. The steam nozzle is stepped internally and directs the large volume of gentle spray coming from the steamer. This melts a path with heat and does not create the damage associated with even low pressure from a pressure washer spray.

This is the type of nozzle that should be used on a roof.

Flow And Pressure

November 29, 2012
by Ben Hagemann

It has been said that water without pressure is just a puddle, the other extreme is pressure with little water is just mist is also true. When looking at any application both pressure and water volume are key, it is always a balance. On any application there is a minimum pressure that will clean, and beyond that water volume and higher pressure just serve to decrease cleaning time and therefore reduce labor costs. The relationship between pressure and water volume is quadratic, meaning to double the impact or cleaning power of a machine you must either double the water volume or quadruple the pressure. Higher pressure water will also have smaller droplets, causing more atmospheric loss over the same distance and making the equipment more difficult to use. For instance a 2000 PSI washer might effectively clean a surface up to 30 inches away and start damaging the surface at 3 inches, while the same water volume at 4000 PSI might clean the surface effectively up to 25 inches away and begin damaging the surface at a distance of 12 inches. Because surfaces are generally not completely uniform it is easy to have a washer that has enough pressure so it always causes damage when cleaning, because you have to get close enough to clean and at the same time are causing damage to softer areas. This is especially true with wood or other soft surfaces.

Will it Clean or Damage? Generally speaking if you are under 1 GPM for each 1000 PSI of pressure you will cause damage and not clean that effectively. So a 2 GPM @ 3000 PSI washer would simply not produce a spray that cleans well without damage and on surfaces that could handle the spray it would be a very poor choice anyway. Usually 2 GPM for every 1000 PSI of pressure is a better choice. 4 GPM @ 2000 PSI is an effective combination to clean efficiently without damage for most applications.
Why are models available with low flow and high pressure if they don’t clean? Two reasons: It is much cheaper to produce pressure than water volume and a higher PSI is marketed as an advantage. A motorcycle, although it can go fast, is a poor choice to tow a boat or transport a family. It does provide for a high speed at a reasonable price tag.

One of the best analogies is mowing a lawn. The deck width is your volume, the drive speed is your pressure. On many lawns a larger deck will save you time in proportion to the size of the deck. Going faster will also save you time as well but will make many surfaces more difficult to deal with and cause damage more easily when turning. Running two spray wands from one washer will split the water volume in half, this can save job time on detailed work, but usually adds extra labor costs as well.
Summary: Too low of flow with high pressure will damage and not clean. Increased Water Volume more effectively uses power to clean. Find the pressure that cleans and then increase water volume to speed things up.

SnoBlox Snow Guards

snoblox snow guards  

Snow Guards, from Michigan Gutters, Inc

Our Plastic Snow Guards are commercial grade rooftop devices that prevent the dangerous movement of snow and ice by allowing the snow or ice to melt completely or drop off in small amounts. Our clear plastic snow guard products help prevent damage from avalanching snow and ice while remaining practically invisible. Snow guards are a practical, cost-effective addition to any sloped metal roof in winter climates.