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Regulating Heat Cable? Does it actually work?

October 14, 2022 Jack Byerly 0 Comments

Why Consider Regulating Heating Cable

In many parts of the United States, homeowners experience an issue in the colder months that can cause headaches, stress, and concerns regarding their home as well as the safety of their family. All due to the natural freezing and thawing of water on their roofs and in their gutters! Regulating heat cable may be the ideal solution to this common problem Americans face every winter. 

You see it on eves and in valleys of roofs and even sometimes behind steel or aluminum gutters where water should never be in the first place! Icicles….. 

Ice damming and icicles on home

According to over decades of primary research and firsthand experience, Gutter Helmet has found that, “Icicles and ice dams form when snow melts on a warm roof surface and refreezes once the snowmelt hits the roof’s colder eaves.” Believe it or not, insufficient insulations of home are often the root cause of these cycles of freezing and thawing. As many know, heat rises. Especially in homes where walls and siding funnel heat ultimately into your attic space where it sits. With poorly insulated attic spaces, that heat will actually try to escape through your shingles, causing snowmelt throughout the day. Once freezing cold nights roll around, the snow melt is then re-frozen at lower elevations of your roofline such as your gutters, facia, and soffits.

It should go without saying that icicles are an obvious danger that lurks above household members and guests when entering and leaving a home. However, one must consider the detrimental damage ice damming and icicles may have on the exterior and interiors of a home. Generally, neither aluminum or steal gutters are designer or installed to handle immense amounts of weight. Their purpose is not to support objects levering down on the integrity of their design but instead to flow water to outlets and ultimately away from a home’s foundation. Let’s learn more about Heat Cable and how it can prevent this issue. 

How Does Regulating Heat Cable Solve Ice Issues?

The flow of water throughout the exterior of a home is more important than many homeowners may think. A series of “domino effect” issues are inevitably bound to occur in the lifetime of your home when small issues are not addressed early on. One is the formation of snow and ice on areas of your home including gutters, down spouts, facias, soffits, and more. The freezing and thawing of moisture can cause extremely strong expansion of wood and event metal structures permanently distressing wood facia and bursting aluminum/metal gutters and downspouts. This negative cause and effect cycle will even continue into the warmer months when snow and ice are out of the picture. In fact, the damage that occurred in the colder months may be the main contributor to susceptibility to water damage in the warmer months. 

 

You can imagine heat cable as a simulation tool for your roof to perform in the winter season as it would in summer climates. Professionally installed heat cable installations are installed on multiple elevations of your roofline in which helps regulate the temperature of a larger surface are of your roof and most importunately your gutters and down spouts. It is equally important to properly heat all drainage areas BELOW the area in which you are having problems as water will quickly re-freeze in its exit route through gutters and downspouts. 

Heat cable installed on roof and in gutter

Where To Start Solving!

For many homeowners, the best course of action is to simply call or contact a local heat cable dealer to assess their damage and risk of ice issues. Doing so, you will be better educated on the unique situation on your home and figure upon where heat cable would be best used. 

The second and less optimal option is to buy and install box store heat tape from places like Home Depot or Lowes. However, these box store heat tape products are not commercial grade and generally have much less of a lifetime length of professional dealers and their commercial grade products. It is imperative to the effectiveness of heat cable systems that they are installed correctly. Proper length, surface contact, direction, and electrical safety are all factors to consider when installing heat cable that are required by professionals to addresses during installation. Ultimately, your system will likely last longer and perform better over time is you choose the first option.

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