Roof Heating Cables
When you live in areas where it snows during the winter months, you often have to take extra precautions to make sure that your home is ready for the long, cold winter. You should have a professional come in and maintain your furnace just before the winter begins, and you should also have a heating cable installed for your roof as well. When you have to battle the ice and snow for months out of the year, you need all of the defences that you can get your hands on.
What is a roof heating cable?
During the winter, snow collecting on your roof can become a problem if your roof is not properly insulated. Even with proper insulation, a roof can only do so much against the cold grip of winter. As the snow melts on your roof, the water runs down and collects in your gutters. As the water sits in your gutters, it turns to ice and creates an ice dam. Over the course of the winter, that ice dam grows and starts to consume the edge of your roof as well. A heating cable is installed on your roof to prevent ice dams and protect your home.
What kind of damage can an ice dam do?
Ice dams can cause a lot of damage to your home and not all of it is from the water. The most prevalent problem with ice dams is water leaking into your home and cause damage to your wooden frame and your drywall. In some cases, you may not see the water as it leaks into your home and that means that you won't see the mold the water creates until it becomes a large problem.
Ice dams also get very heavy, especially if you have one of those winters where the cold weather never breaks. While your gutters are built to carry a decent amount of weight, water that expands into ice can get extremely heavy. An ice dam could cause your gutters to collapse and take down part of your roof with it.
Why heating cable?
The only other way to prevent ice dams is to buy a shovel for your roof and manually keep the snow from gathering. But roof snow shovels damage your roof and can cause more problems than they solve.
A roof heating cable can be run through all of the areas where ice collects and eliminate ice dams before they even get a chance to start. When you have a heating cable installed for your roof, you are giving yourself peace of mind for the entire winter.
Tips for a roof heating cable
Always have a professional contractor install your roof heating cable for several reasons. For one thing, an improperly installed heating cable can damage your roof if you are forced to use it frequently throughout the winter.
Another reason to have a professional install your heating cable is because of the materials used during the installation process. The cable is installed using clips and other sharp objects. If you do not know what you are doing, then you could damage your roof and injure yourself.
Ask the contractor to install the heating cable in a way that allows it to be turned on and off from inside the home. A heating cable is always on when it is plugged into an electrical outlet, and that can add unnecessary costs to your heating bill. When you can control the cable with a switch, then you can turn it on when you see icicles and turn it off when the icicles are gone.
Finding the right contractor
Not every roofing contractor in your area is familiar with heating cables. That is why you have to find referrals from the local home improvement warehouse or a contractor referral website for contractors that have the experience you are looking for.
Get three itemized quotes from three different contractors and be sure that each contractor outlines exactly where they will be installing your heating cable. When you know where the heating cable will be, then you will understand how it can help your roof.
Ask each contractor to submit their contractor's license, insurance information, and references with their quotes. The reputable contractors that you want to do business with will have no issue with providing this information.
When you live in an area that experiences the full force of winter, then you will want to do everything you can to protect your home from the elements. A heating cable is the ideal way to prevent destructive ice dams and make sure that your home gets through each and every winter without incident.