Ice can wreak havoc on your roof. It can damage the gutters or block them completely and cause leaks in the roof, and even threaten the foundation. Most people living in areas that experience the full force of winter know just how troublesome and dangerous ice can be. There are several solutions that can address this problem, but none really do it effectively. The only way to ensure that your roof isn’t damaged by ice is to strengthen the roof ventilation and insulation.
However, even with these improvements, it’s very likely that you’ll still experience some ice on your roof. That’s because the sun is a factor too. It does cause the snow to melt and ice to form when the temperatures drop. In such cases, one of the more effective ways to stop ice damage is to install heating cables on the roof.
What are Heating Cables?
As the name suggests, these are cables which apply a moderate amount of heat to stop ice from forming and direct the water to the gutters and down the spouts. These cables usually look like an extension cord and need to be carefully laid on the edge of the roof. The cable can be plugged into a standard outlet and is easy to install and remove.
The cables are usually available in different lengths and can measure anywhere from 20 feet to 120 feet and more. You can pick a cable depending on your requirements as you’ll need to cover the entire roof edge for it to be effective.
How to Install Them
Proper installation is vital to achieve the desired result. If the installation isn’t good, the ice damage would happen regardless of your expenditure. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to hire a professional. The following is the proper procedure to install heating cables on your roof:
- Be sure to install these cables before winter sets in as it would be nearly impossible to install the cable once it starts snowing.
- You need to first measure your roof and determine just how much cable you might need.
- After you’ve purchased the required amount of cable, you need to clip it onto your roof.
- Make sure that you clip it in a zigzag pattern along the edge of the roof before running the cable back through the gutters.
- Drop the cable into the downspout to prevent ice build up on it.
If you install the heating cables properly, it’ll provide you some protection against ice damage. You still might sustain some damage but this precaution would minimize it.
Things to Keep in Mind
If the cables aren’t installed properly, they can pose a risk. Keep the following precautions in mind:
- You shouldn’t use extension cords with the cable as they’ll cause the cable to overheat and that can be dangerous.
- Make sure not to overlap the cables or crisscross them as it can lead to them getting overheated as well.
- Plug the cable into a properly grounded outlet and make sure it’s weather proof.
It’s a good idea to call a professional and handle the installation. This is your first line of defense against ice damage and should be installed properly.