submitted by Bernie WaibelDear Neighbor,
The Feb. 13 Star Tribune carries a story about ice dams on page one of the B section. The story makes the point that ice dams are very common this year and in fact, that the situation is as bad as it’s been in many years. Dams are worrisome because they result in the backup of melt-water into the house. There are rumors circulating that because ice dams are not an act of God but a result of failure to maintain, insurance companies are increasingly reluctant to cover the damage once it’s occurred.
I hired a roofing contractor this winter, Donovan White for a re-roof and he phoned me several days ago to say that on the urging of Jeff Brouwer, the owner of Gopher Roofing located in Seward, he had bought a steam de-icing machine (Jeff is quoted in the Strib article).
I’m doing something that I’ve never done and that is broadcasting a recommendation for a contractor’s service because time is dear at this point. The roof that Dean installed for me (Dean is Donovan’s nickname) was done properly and in a businesslike manner for a very low price. When repairs to the roof deck were needed, they were done at a very reasonable hourly rate and I was quite pleased with the job. Dean did everything that he said he’d do.
Dean states that to pay for the new de-icing machine he will be pricing his services at about 2/3 of the going rate in order to gain volume. Dean says that given the economy, if a home-owner can’t afford his services he can work out a solution –his own construction business has been very slow and he knows what it’s like to be without. A solution could mean simply melting vertical channels into the ice so that drainage can occur.
Residents with ice dam problems can reach Dean on his cell phone at: 763 234 7094. Dean’s licensing is current and he and his employees are insured. The company is named ‘Donovan White Construction Inc.’ with license number 20636422. I am interested in hearing of your experience if you hire Dean as I can only recommend reputable people.
The Strib article makes the point that ice dams are caused by inadequate attic and wall insulation. Seward’s new NRP Phase II Housing Program funding, administered through Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) can help fund the insulation that will reduce future ice dams and their damage. I’ve reprinted information on the several energy programs below [the info was previously published here], and urge you to make use of the opportunity, especially the Federal Stimulus Funds through the Energy Saver Rebate Program. The folks at CEE say that the funds are limited and because the program is nation-wide, the funding could run out within weeks –please act now.