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Cleaning Roofs

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JTVLandscaping, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    Anybody offer this service to clients? I've never really had the need to do it here but everyone up here needs it. I have no real clue about what I need to consider when doing it or what to charge. If anyone offers this service, please chime in, any help would be great. Thanks.
  2. Freebird

    Freebird Member
    Messages: 41

    I have never done it but I know that there is a lot of business on it around here. It all depends on the size of the job and what you are doing. Ice removal is more than just shoveling off the snow. Ice removal with salt is one price (though be careful because salt can distort some shingle colors) and with 3lb sledge hammers, Hot water pressure washers etc. to remove the Ice Dams.

    From what they tell me it goes anywhere from $50 an hour to $125 per man and the average job is taking 5 hours or more. Some jobs are priced by the job and I know a small house is $900 and medium are $2000. Commercial's of course are a lot more. I know one gas station they charged $7000 to shovel and remove the ice.

    Hope this helps.
  3. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    can you imagine how much the insurance would cost for shoveling snow and ice off roofs????? payup
  4. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    Dang, I thought I'd thought of everything, but I didn't figure on the pressure washer. I'm pretty confident that I'll never get that kind of money around here, and figuring the insurance to be very high, I'd need to make that much to make it worth it. Maybe I'll just sit around and wait to clean the snow off the ground. Just trying to capitalize on a situation we may not have again for a long time.
  5. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    We have been doing it. I am charging between $300-500 for normal ranch roofs with shallow pitches. We wear yak traks on our boots. I won't do any steep pitched roofs. Its taking 3-6 man hours per roof.
  6. Freebird

    Freebird Member
    Messages: 41

    The insurance would be expensive, but I think with a shovel and a 3lb sledge you can remove most of the ice dams. Its just easy to get injured and or cause damage to the shingles if you are not careful. If you limit the roofs you do it will help. I will say that flat roofs are more likely to collapse because of the snow than a peak, so look for buildings like that.

    One of the local Home Depots closed for 3 days because of the weight on the roof and they had to use a fel to lift a snowblower up to the roof.
  7. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Ive been doing them, charging about what others have said. May want to wear a harness and tie yourself off to the chimney if there is a sturdy one up there.
  8. cpmi

    cpmi Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 167

    Been doing them for two weeks now-$55 per hour per guy-includes ground clean up. Salt/gutter deicing is extra. Phone has been ringing off the hook-doing as many as we can between storms.
  9. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Salt will eat the aluminum on the gutters, calcium should be the only ice melt product used on roofs. That information came from a friend of mine who is a roofer.
  10. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,231

    Correct on the salt I did a few for a contractor that flips houses. Ones with no gutters I used regular salt on. You can get actual roof melt that is safe for gutters and such.
  11. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    Been using the air chisel on the ice dams, works well but be careful.
  12. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    I just use a 14' stepladder and 28ft avalanche snow rake. Works good only a few places I cant get the very top and for the most part isn't a really need to get the snow off the very peak. With the snow rake I dont need to get on the roof and all the snow comes off faster then I can keep moving the step ladder. I cleared a apartment twice the size as the neighbors house that had a roofing crew on his roof before they finished shoveling off the roof. Honestly I see very little reason to get guys on the roof unless its a flat roof. I stopped winter roofing for this very reason.
  13. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    I did our own office building last night, 15,000 square foot flat roof. We had 7 guys shoveling it off of the roof and tossing each shovel full 4 stories down to our parking lot.

    I haven't done it for customers, but at some point would consider it. Maybe call in 10-20 labor ready guys or something, I know there is money in it. One thing I have been doing is removing the snow the roof guys dump in the parking lot. I did a staples last night, there was 25 foot snow piles going up the sides of the building.
  14. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    We have a 1" coating of ice on top of the snow. Roof rakes aren't working very well in that, especially on shallow pitched roofs.
  15. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    The Avalanche roof rakes have a bar that goes underneath the snow and it slides down the slip'n'slide plastic. Look into them I'm by no means connected to them at all. I just got my hands on it this year and think its amazing. Its extreme circumstances your in but I betting you'd still be able to use it if the fiberglass pole to head holds up.
  16. JCPM

    JCPM Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 323

    Here in CT companies are getting $250 per hour for each man. My friend just got $20,000 to shovel off an old stop and shop building.
  17. motodad

    motodad Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 91

    Just testing something
  18. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    I've done a few, but i don't really like to. We do some roofing in the summer, so I am already Ok in the insurance department, but it is still very dangerous for the guys doing it and there is a huge risk of damage. If someone calls, I'll consider it, but not if its steep. Nothing more than a 4 or maybe 5 pitch. Anything over that and it's not as much of a weight problem anyway. I think the only roofs I have ever cleared were for people I know or previous customers that we have done some type of work for in the past. I don't advertise it as a service, but there's money to be had and I won't necessarily turn them all down either. Just something in my gut that doesn't like it, lol.
  19. Eronningen

    Eronningen Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    We are a roofing contractor. We do quit a bit of it. When shoveling roofs off we charge a minimum of $65 and hour per man.
    When it comes to ice the only real way to do it safely for the roof components is to use a steam machine. Most charge $200-$250 an hour with a one hour minimum.
    Don't beat on ice and shingles with hammers.
  20. zabMasonry

    zabMasonry Senior Member
    from vt
    Messages: 101

    The only reason why its even necessary is to prevent ice dams, which a properly insulated building won't have problems with. Pretty much any building that was built to any sort of code in this area is rated for something like a 60lb/sf static load and a 60lb/sf dynamic load (don't quote me on those numbers, its been a long time since I last did any sort of load calculations). BTW a cubic foot of water weighs around 64 pounds, so its quite doubtful that snow would ever come close collapsing a roof. Most insurance companies encourage or require shoveling roofs so that ice dams don't occur, thus causing the roof to leak back into the house.

    so. when i do get a call about shoveling a roof, I usually end up getting a job insulating the building