We have been asked to answer the very important question, “Why are pressure washers dangerous?” We believe that almost everyone has had some experience with a pressure washer in a car wash. Or experience pressure washing around their home. We believe that most people understand that a pressure washer can remove the paint off your car. Or destroy the wood on your deck etc. You may know someone who had the bright idea to put their hand in front of a pressure washer. They possibly ended up losing skin from the extremity. Now, considering the above facts, a shingled roof is no different then any other material. And the bottom line is, a hot pressure washer is not safe for ice dam removal!
We have placed hot pressure washers to the test on mock-up asphalt roofs (as pictured) and other roofing materials. We have found that a pressure washer will do extensive damage to literally every kind of roof. The number one reason a pressure washer is dangerous is pressurized water is very abrasive and has the ability to cut through materials easily. Nowadays water jets cut through steel! This is the same principle as a pressure washer.
Ice dam steaming on the other hand is very safe on all roofs. Low pressure steam does not have the ability to cut materials because it’s no long H20. It’s now an atomized version of water. Hot pressure washers cannot produce steam temperatures or low enough pressure to be safe on roofing materials. Pressure washers and steamers can look nearly identical to the average person. Learn how to tell the differences between hot pressure washers and steamers.
Pressure washers are also dangerous for ice dam removal because they add unnecessary amounts of water to an already bad situation. Most ice dam removal calls come because the property owner already has water coming in the building. Adding water on top of this leaky situation is a recipe for disaster! Pressure washers are not only dangerous on roofing materials but extremely slow at ice dam removal! They cannot safely cut between the ice and the roof without damage. A low pressure steamer can safely melt between the roofing material and the ice dam with no fear of damage to the roof. Another thing to consider is the unnecessary amounts of water pressure washers add around sidewalks, driveways and your home. To much water around cement can cause frost heaves as discussed here.
If you are looking for a good low pressure ice dam steaming company, please look for our IDSAFE clickable logo upon companies websites. We do extensive research to verify the company’s steam equipment is indeed low pressure. Now, if someone asks you why are pressure washers dangerous for ice dam removal you can explain this to them. Please contact us with questions or for help finding our members.