Correct ice dam steaming temperature is extremely important for proper/damage free ice dam removal. Running ice dam removal equipment slightly below steam temperature means pressurized water is being produced and not steam. Even at low pressure water can be abrasive and damaging to roofing materials. This is a perfect example as to why hot pressure washers are bad on roofing materials. Pressure washers cannot produce steam. There is a fine line between to cold and to hot. Running a steamer to hot is damaging to the equipment and running to cold could damage the roof. Most companies run their steamers between 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit. There are several reasons running the equipment hotter than 275 degrees may be ideal such as cold conditions and very steep roofs. This will ensure the worker has a longer duration of “safe time” before the roof becomes ice again under his/her feet. Remember this key information, “water is abrasive and steam is not!”
Correct Ice Dam Steaming Temperature
Water begins to boil at 212 degrees F depending on altitude. Altitude does change the boiling point of water but for ice dam steaming the numbers have little effect. So at about 212 degrees F we begin to see water change into steam because that is the boiling point of water. But if we simply brought water to its boiling point and used it under pressure to remove ice dams, essentially we would still be just using boiling water and not steam. Water becomes super heated at about 250 degrees F and changes from all water to almost all steam. So the correct ice dam steaming temperature is 250-300 degrees F. The hotter the steam the more gentle it becomes because it becomes drier. Beware: “the appearance of steam” does not always mean they are using steam as described in this blog post.
As an association we provide the industry and those in need of service with a great wealth of information to educate themselves. We hope that you will learn all you can here before hiring a company to remove your ice dams. No matter what, avoid pressure washers on roofs. Hiring our members is a safe bet! Simply look for our logos on companies websites and click on it to verify them. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact us.