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Monday, January 26, 2015

Roof Snow Removal and Shoveling West Hartford Connecticut

Roof and Ice Dam Snow Removal West Hartford Winter 2015 

 Here we go again!  Blizzard Colbie is expected to bring 18 to 36 inches of white fluff to West Hartford and most of the state of CT.  Colbie is supposed to be the storm of the century, it seems like every other year we have the storm of the century, doesn't it?  Every winter, at least since 2011, has been epic in one way or another.  I am sure you are not reading this to reminisce, more likely because you need either your roof shoveled because of concerns of collapse, you are fearing leaks from ice dams, or you want my phone number now, because leaks are not a concern, but a reality.  Please note that we do not do estimates, this is billed at $125 a man hour.  If you are unable to pay these rates, we will allow payment over time, in some cases we have done this service for free if there is serious financial hardship.  Here is the number, you can text or call, (860) 942-3555, email also works,

  I will try to cover what I think you should know.  I am not an engineer, so these are only suggestions.  I am not an insurance adjuster, so I cannot guarantee coverage if you have a loss, only tell you what I have seen. I am a roofer/general contractor, I can make this not happen again, and also repair any and all damages that have happened because of this storm, the weight of snow, and the ice dams. 

  Let us start with our capabilities.  We can get the snow off of any roof, in its entirety.  Whether it be a ranch home, a flat roof, a 200,00 square foot commercial building, an "A Frame" house, we have and will do it, this week.  At my disposal I have 35 contractors, insured and experienced.  We do not bring snow blowers on the roof, we do not bring socks full of rock salt on the roof either.  We harness up, and shovel the snow off.  If you would like us to clean up the ground we will do that too, but, because of the urgency, we ask that you take care of that or hire someone else to do so as there are so many customers in need of our roofing services at this time.


 This is always an option.  There is a sufficient demand for our services, I will not hesitate to ADVISE you as how to best handle this yourself.  These are suggestions, if you get hurt, its because you did not use common sense, I am not in any way liable for your poor decision making. 


 DIY Flat Roof Snow Removal

  The likelihood of an ice dam causing leaks on a membrane flat roof are low.  Leaks would likely be caused by an already problematic flat roof.
   If you have an EPDM rubber flat roof, you may have a material issue, called micro-fracturing.
Please note, that if chemistry, commercial roofing products, and a whole bunch of roof jargon that likely does not apply to you as a residential client with a shingle roof, you may want to skip these 5 images.

Your roofing membrane's chemical composition is not as it should be. To cut costs, the manufacturer withheld sulfur, the membrane, under weight of heavy snow, will allow water to enter via osmosis.  This is not uncommon and many EPDM manufacturers are experiencing class action lawsuits because of widespread material failure throughout the country.  Back to the DIY part of this:  You need to get the weight off the roof.  This is important. While shoveling a flat roof, DO NOT get down to the roof itself with a shovel, leave 3 inches of snow!  DO NOT hit, slam, pound, axe, hammer, or impact the roof in anyway.  You will put holes in it.  You will destroy your roof.  You will not be happy.  DO NOT bring a snow blower on the roof! Flat roofs have seams. Using a snow blower will damage those seams. Trust me, I have repaired hundreds of roofs that have been damaged by landscapers and other unqualified peoples who have done this. Getting the weight off is of utmost importance to prevent collapse!

Ranch Style Homes.

  The greatest thing about shoveling snow off of a home is that it is surprisingly easy to walk in on a roof, more so than the shingles themselves.  I like to shovel left to right, horizontally, not up to down.  This way I do not have to walk back up to the top of the roof, until then end.  I have also created a giant pile at the bottom.  Knowing your home and yard, you can often walk off the roof into a 10 foot snow bank.  Please, never do this alone. If you do fall off, it is nice to have someone to call an ambulance, or at least know where you are as they call the life insurance company.


Cape, Colonials, and all those other roofs you should not get on!

  These roofs should be done by a professional.  We may make it look easy, but it is dangerous.  It is easy for us because we do it every winter. In 2011 we shoveled 1,100 homes!  We have 3 crews removing snow from residential houses in West Hartford and Newington.  All of our labor assets are in these towns. Under no circumstances should you get on a ladder and go up on your roof.  If you have read this and want to be proactive here is what you should do.  Get that snow rake in your garage, get to it before 24 hours after the end of the storm and remove the snow from at least the bottom 4 feet of the roof.  This will prevent the ice from freezing up at your gutters,   You will have exposed the shingles, and surprisingly, once the sun hits them they will warm up, and start to melt the snow.  This will help immediately with ice dam prevention, and will help mitigate, keyword is HELP, the risk of collapse.

Ice Dam and Roof Collapse Prevention

  I am often asked, "how can we never have to have you over again for this?"  The answer to this question is so very complicated. 

What causes an ice dam?

It is not just snow,  in fact, many think that melting the snow on the roof helps, it is quite the opposite.  Your roof has a warm zone and a cold zone.  The cold zone is the area outside the exterior walls, from there to the gutter.  The warm zone is all areas inside of the exterior walls.   A poorly insulated or ventilated house, will melt snow in the warm zone, which will then freeze once it hits the exterior wall or overhang, creating a "dam" , and then melting snow will start to back up. Water will have nowhere to go, but into your house! Under no circumstances will ice and water barrier hold long term standing water. A shingle roof is water shedding not water resistant! The goal should be to either address the melting snow issue, or devise a way to get the snow off the roof, without a professional being there to do it.


Is there something wrong with my roof?  This always happens...

Your roof could have been installed a day before the storm, or be 30 years old.  Ice dams are an environmental event.  A new shingle roof, with all the ice and water barrier in the world, will likely not function any better than the 30 year old roof.  Without cooling the attic and eliminating heat loss, you are only polishing a turd.  Sorry for the gross analogy, but it is reality. I have redone numerous roofs in West Hartford, as well as floors and plaster walls, my workmanship warranty points this out in line 5, a new shingle roof will not prevent ice dams.

OK Marcus, what do you suggest?

Move to Hawaii.
I do suggest that.  I will do your roof there as well.  In fact, I am supposed to be there right now, I have a winter consulting gig I have not been able to get out of Connecticut for because I have such a backlog of work from last winter's storms.

We need to get the snow off you roof permanently.  That can be best accomplished with a metal roof.  Snow and ice slide off of metal roofs, they do not have the granules to freeze to.  We install beautiful metal roofs, whether it be copper, steel, standing seam, or stamped steel made to imitate slate or shake.  These roofs come with a 100 year warranty, you get a nice discount on your homeowners, and your roof will always look the same, from day 1, till year 100, it will be beautiful. Because they are made of metal, they cannot support life so no ugly green algae streaks in the summer either. The warranties are also transferable to the next homeowner, which is a great selling point. This is the product I have on my own home. It's quite frankly the best out there.

Flat Roofs

  Connecticut Building Code dictated a 0.25 inch rise for 12 inch run pitch as a minimum for flat roofs, at least those that my competitors install.  Those roofs are modified bitumen or EPDM rubber.  We do not install those roofs, we fix them, because they fail.  We ONLY install Elvaloy sheets and PVC membrane.  Our roofs are monolithic, meaning seamless.  They can withstand ponding water indefinitely, I can get a 50 year warranty on a ZERO PITCH roof.  My flat roofs can be any color, green, grey, red, white, brown, made to look like marble, or even have a shingle pattern printed on them.  They will not leak.  I am yours for 10 years, you will be so happy, you will tell all your friends and I will be happy, hence I will bring you bottles of vodka or money. My customers become my friends because I deliver what I promise, every time. 

Insurance Claims

  Let me be clear, I am not a Public Adjuster, I cannot negotiate policy.  All I can do is write a really good estimate in the same format as your insurance carrier uses. They will pay your claim and if they do not,  I will call my wife, she is beautiful, and she is a licensed Public Adjuster.  She and her associates will go to bat for you, and one way or another, your carrier will pay your claim. I will also be very forward, I will be very upset with you if you abuse my good will in this process, it takes many, many, many hours to write these estimates. The software I use is the same that 97% of insurance companies use. It is not cheap nor easy.  Having me not do the job so that you can pocket money is immoral, illegal, and over all bad karma.  No, I will not pay your deductible, that is insurance fraud.  No matter how much you like me, I do not like you enough to go to prison. Sorry.

I hope you found this blog post informative.  I hope to see you soon, I greatly appreciate your business.  Please stay safe.
 Thank You,
Marcus Keilch
Owner of Marcus Anthony Construction, LLC.
(860) 942-3555

1 comment:

  1. Here is my question for your beautiful wife: I got an expensive new roof 2 years ago with several feet of ice and water shield. I religiously roof raked after every snowfall this winter. I still got ice dams. I mitigated the damage by cutting off my frozen downspouts with my sawzall. I poured boiling water on the ice dams to try to break them up. I carefully sledgehammered the ice on the roof. I now want to replace my new roof with a Marcus Anthony metal roof so that I never have to do this again. Is there any way that my insurance company can help me with the cost of my new roof. Does it matter that I saved them thousands of dollars in claims by mitigating the damage? Or should I have just allowed the damage to happen, filed a claim, and used the insurance $ to pay for a new Marcus Anthony roof?