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Category Archives: Ice Dams

Ice Dams and Your Business Liability

Owning a commercial building is much different than owning a residence. It is expected that a commercial building will have visitors throughout each and every day of operation. If the building is in a high traffic area, like a shopping district or a business district, it is expected that thousands (if not more) of people will pass in front of the building daily, whether the building is open for business or not. As a result, owners of commercial buildings, as well as their tenants, must maintain a higher amount of liability insurance, as the high traffic levels mean more people risk possible injury when passing the building. In the winter months, this type of coverage can also be directly affected by the formation of ice dams.

What is An Ice Dam?

An ice dam is what occurs when ice forms at the top of the roof, melts, travels to the edges of the roof, and reforms. It may or may not create icicles; however, it always brings issues. Depending on your building and its roof design, the ice dam may create a problem for the building itself. Worse, it can be a potential danger to the people walking under it at any given time. Once the ice dam begins to melt, large pieces of ice may fall to the ground, which could easily harm passersby. In addition, ice dams weaken the structure of the building, allowing for water to seep through the cracks in the walls and cause damage to your building. This can become a liability nightmare.

Safety is the First Concern

While liability insurance is of course an issue for most businesses, safety is really the first concern when dealing with ice dams and your business. Unlike residences, commercial buildings often have many more issues within their walls that can be affected by melting ice dams. For instance, one issue is the numerous wires and electrical outlets in such buildings to accommodate all the different commercial needs. When water gets into those systems, sparks can cause fires, endangering everyone in the building.

Of course, the other issue is falling ice or icicles from the roof onto those walking below. Depending on the height of your commercial building, these falling bits of ice can actually become deadly to anyone caught in their path. In any case, it is essential to use great care when removing these structures, lest additional safety concerns may occur. Ice dams require skill to remove. Training is essential to ensure the removal is safe and will not cause additional damage to your building.

RTD Ice Dam Removal trains its employees with both in-house training and DVD trainings to add extra knowledge. We use only the most effective steam removal equipment to make sure your ice dams are removed safely and cause as little damage to your building as possible. Furthermore, RTD Ice Dam Removal wants to avoid any other liabilities to your company. That’s why we carry $2,000,000 in workers’ compensation coverage to protect our employees while on the job. The goal is to make sure your building remains safe for anyone passing under or through the building at all times, even during the heart of winter. Contact RTD Ice Dam Removal at (651) 699-3504 today to make sure they are on your team when the weather is cold.

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Winter Is Coming (Are You Ready?)

It may only be October, and it may still be relatively warm outside. However, the weather is gearing up for change, and it will happen quicker than realized. Winter is coming, and while we may be enjoying an unseasonably warm October, this winter is expected to be one of the harshest on record. Those living in Minnesota and other areas in the North and Northeast know this is the stuff horror movies are made of if you are not prepared. It is best to start the preparations now, while the weather allows you to enjoy being outside, lest your home has an issue on Christmas morning that no one is available to fix for three days or more.

Winterize Your Home

It is common terminology: “winterize your home.” But do we really know what it means? How does one go about the process of “winterizing” anything? What is so different about the winter that we need to worry about the wellbeing of our home, as opposed to summer? By definition, winterizing your home is simply preparing your home for all issues that may occur in the winter. The checklist is in-depth but quite simple, especially if you develop a process to be repeated annually. To begin, test your thermostat to make sure it has no issues. Choose an evening that is not particularly warm and turn your thermostat to “heat” and raise the temperature to 75 or 80 degrees. Make sure it kicks on and warm air is pushed out. Then, make sure your outside vents are closed and if you use oil heat, fill your oil tank as you get towards the end of October. Do not forget to replace the filter in your furnace at this time as well.

Once you have made sure the heat works, make sure it does not escape. Check the insulation in your attic, walls, doors, and windows. Repair any issues you may find. Some older homes may be best served by placing a vacuum seal layer over your windows to keep the heat in and the cold air out. Make sure you take this time to also clean your chimneys and air ducts to allow air to move through without risking a fire. Finally, check your gutters. Make sure they are secure and cleaned to help prevent ice dams and other issues that may occur during the harshest winter months. Since you are already on a ladder, this is a good time to check the shingles on your roof to make sure they are secure and there are no problems waiting to happen.

Ice Dam Issues

If you follow the above steps, it is likely you will not have an issue with ice dams forming. However, if you experience an exceptionally heavy snowfall or several freezes in a row, no amount of preparation can prevent the inevitable ice dam. However, because you winterized your home and stayed on top of any potential issues, the damage may be quite minimal and easy to repair. Should you notice an ice dam on your home, contact an expert to utilize steam to remove the dam quickly and efficiently.

To help you deal with such weather issues or prevent potential ice dams, contact the experts at RTD Ice Dam Removal at (651) 699-3504.

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Why Insurance Is a Must

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In the world of contractors, there are two kinds of businesses- those that follow the rules and those that cut corners. Following the rules entails hiring employees, performing proper training and education, maintaining proper licenses, certification, and insurance, paying all applicable taxes, and registering with the state. These added responsibilities may be a bit costly in the beginning, but in the long run could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and back taxes, not to mention jail time. However, those that cut corners get hired for jobs regularly mostly because their costs for the services are lower than those who follow the rules. This habit can cost the customer additional money to fix the problem or worse, result in a scam wherein the customer will need to hire another contractor to do the work they already paid for. Therefore, it is always the best practice to hire the contractor that follows the rules.

The Long Run

The appearance of a company that follows the rules is as important as their actual reputation. Companies that invest in things such as training, certifications, and insurance are presenting the appearance that they are in business for the long run and are not a fly-by-night operation. They are also showing that they care about their clients and their business by properly budgeting to afford to be in business and by following the laws. The process to obtain such documentation is not immediate and may be costly, and the business owner must show forethought and planning to operate properly. This is a good thing when working with a contractor. You wouldn’t want a contractor to come into your home to do work and not use proper machinery or cut corners on the job, so why would you hire a contractor that cut corners forming his business?

The Caring Contractor

Another benefit to hiring an insured contractor is the fact that insurance indicates the contractor cares. He cares about your home, he cares about your wellbeing, and, he cares about his employees. Properly insured contractors are protecting themselves and you by carrying insurance. If something should happen to your home because of their work, or worse, if something should happen to you or your family, the insurance will help pay for the damages and any financial setbacks that occur as a result. In addition, if anything should happen to their employees as a result of something on the job, proper insurance will care for that employee as well. The contractor is protecting his business because maintaining proper insurance means he will get to keep his business open as opposed to going bankrupt paying for an error.

It is important to remember that contractors are people, too, and they sometimes make mistakes. No matter how careful, honest, and skilled a person may be at their craft, mistakes can occur. Insurance is there to help run your business when a mistake happens. RTD Ice Dam Removal is aware that mistakes and accidents will happen. For the twenty-one years they have been in business, they have proudly displayed their insurance for their customers and others to see. To learn more about RTD Ice Dam Removal, contact them at 1-877-687-3639 and you can see their insurance certificates at their website at http://rtdicedamremoval.com/insurance-certificates.

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Employees vs. Sub-Contractors

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When hiring a company to prevent problems from occurring to your home after a severe snow or ice storm, you should be looking at all aspects of the company, not simply who comes up first in your internet search. First, you want to make sure the company has a great rating with the Better Business Bureau. You also want to ensure they are certified and well trained with the projects they’ve done in the past. Of course, you should be looking online to see any reviews about the company to get a better idea of how they do business. One piece of information that is often overlooked is whether the company will send out its own employees or whether they subcontract the work to independent contractors. It is in your best interest to hire the company that has their own employees do the work. But why? What difference does it really make?

Subcontractors

Companies hire subcontractors to protect their bottom line. In doing so, they depend on the subcontractors to carry their own insurance, provide their own training, and handle their own staffing issues. The company simply has to pay the subcontractor's bill or invoice as received. Of course, a more reputable company may vet the subcontractor to make sure they know what they are doing, are properly licensed and insured, and are willing to say they work for the originating company; however, this does not always occur. If a problem arises and you contact the originating company, you must depend on that company to deliver your message to the subcontractor, and the subcontractor must handle the issue. The originating company must have some form of insurance and a legal responsibility in the issue, but it is much less than if the individual was their own employee. For many types of businesses, this process does work. However, when dealing with your home and prevention of damage, this may be more of a liability than it is worth.

Employees

Companies who maintain a staff of employees reduce their business liability exponentially. By hiring a staff, they ensure their employees are trained properly and continue training as needed. Furthermore, employees have a vested interest in the company for which they work and are only doing jobs for that company. They care about the customer service received and whether you continue to call their employers for work in the future. Finally, the company has a vested interest in their employees, whether it be to protect them from physical harm or provide them work. The employer will ensure the employee is safe when doing their work and reliable in getting the job done, including ensuring their employees are IDRC Certified. More often than not, the employee will get paid hourly as opposed to subcontractors who get paid by the job. Therefore, the employee is going to take the time to get the job done properly rather than rush through it to move along quickly just to get to the next job. While utilizing a company that offers employees to do the work may not be ideal in all situations, but when it comes to issues affecting your home, it is the best option available.

If you are experiencing ice dam issues, contact RTD Ice Dam Removal at 1-877-687-3639 and one of their trained employees will be happy to help rectify the problem.

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In Case of Emergency: Emergency Ice Dam Removal

Some ice dams never need removal and never cause damage. Others are removed before any damage is ever done. Next, there are those ice dams that have been allowed to sit, and before you know it, you have an emergency on your hands, and the dam needs removal quickly. These situations cannot wait another moment and need special care for safe removal so as not to create any additional damage.

How to Avoid Emergency Issues

Obviously, the first way to avoid the emergency issues is to have ice dams removed as they form. However, sometimes that is not an option, or they develop into emergencies too quickly. In these situations, there are other helpful tips to avoid an emergency if possible.

First, it is important to understand what causes an ice dam and when they need to be removed. Under the insulating blanket of snow, it is slightly warmer due to the warmth coming from the house. The snow begins to melt and drain downward to the homes’ edges. When this melted snow reaches the eaves, it meets up with freezing temperatures again as this part of the roof is not insulated. The melted snow freezes, accumulates and forms an ice dam.

Snow that falls at a later time, gets blocked and cannot properly drain, which makes the ice dam larger, and causes some of the water to get into the roof and the home, causing major damage. However, not all ice dams are detrimental to your home. Some very small ice dams may form at the edge of your gutter that really have no effect on any drainage or weight on your roof.

Also, remember to remove snow from your roof as often as you would remove it from your vehicle or sidewalk and steps. During a specifically difficult snow storm, it may be helpful to remove snow from your roof every few hours to help keep your roof clean and the snow lighter to remove.          

What to Do If you Have an Emergency

If you are unable to stay ahead of the snow removal for any reason, such as not being able to be at home during a harsh storm or having too much snow on the ground, making it impossible to get out of your home, you may find yourself in a situation that needs immediate assistance. You may notice that your roof has begun to leak, or a leak may already be draining into your walls. In this case, you will absolutely need to remove the cause of the problem before you can fix the other issues that the original problem created. And in the winter, the longer you allow the results of the problem to fester, the larger the problem will become.

When you determine that assistance is needed, call a reputable company, like RTD Ice Dam Removal (rtdicedamremoval.com/), to remove the ice dam immediately and prevent further damage. This needs to be done quickly and efficiently using low-pressure steam machines to avoid damage to your home. This process is quick, easy, and efficient in removing the ice dam so you can move on to the repairs needed from the water damage.

The next time you're looking for fast and reliable emergency ice dam removal, contact RTD Ice Dam Removal at 651.699.3504. Our ice dam removal experts will be happy to help minimize the damage of ice dams in your home.

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For Immediate Help Call us at 877-687-3639

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why choose RTD

How can we help?



Contact me using
EmailPhoneText


For Immediate Help
Call us at 877-687-3639