LEP can design and specify an electric heating system to prevent ice dams from forming on roofs and gutters of residential and commercial buildings to prevent damage to the building. Ice dams can cause water to enter a roof, damage the structure, or create a safety hazard if ice falls on unexpected pedestrians below.
There are many ways to create effective ice dam removal solutions - from running heating cable directly into downpipes and downspouts, to the traditional herringbone pattern installed at the edge of the roofline, to the latest technology of inserting the heating cable into metal panels which are on can be installed on the roof itself or under roof tiles. These systems are suitable for all types of roof types including flat roofs, pitched roofs, tiled roofs, membrane roofs and vertical seam roofs.
Most systems are installed with a self-regulating cable along with a thermostat or controller that can measure temperature and humidity. This offers maximum energy efficiency as the system only works when needed and the cable automatically adjusts its output power to compensate for temperature fluctuations. Many of our designs have been used for commercial buildings as we incorporate state of the art control systems and connection kits as part of our design service, making these systems ideal for buildings in areas with light to heavy snow loads.
The integrity of an electric gutter and roofing system depends on how carefully the cable is selected and how well it is installed. An improperly designed and installed heat tracing system can result in the system not performing as the end user desires. Our decades of experience ensure your system meets your design requirements and is installed correctly.
Self-regulating electric heating cable
The self-regulating electric heating cable is perfect for heating your roof and/or gutter as it can withstand temperatures up to 65°C (150°F) and temperatures up to 85°C (185°F). It is used for commercial and residential applications on metallic and non-metallic roofs, gutters and downspouts.
Available in 120/208/240 volts and 5 or 8 watts/ft, the self-regulating heating cable increases heat output as temperature falls and conversely decreases heat output as temperature rises, making it ideal for energy efficient roof and gutter applications. Industrial Series cables contain two parallel bus wires electrically connected by a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) conductive polymer fabric with a fluoropolymer dust jacket containing UV inhibitors that protect against sun damage.
Ice can form on gutters and roof edges. To maintain a continuous path for meltwater runoff, we will design the system to run the cable with one pass in troughs up to 6" wide and two parallel passes in troughs 6" to 12" wide .
Million Air Syracuse, NY - Parallel Enteisungkabel
Million Air Syracuse, NY - Aluminum roof with de-icing cables
Ice can form on the gutters and prevent meltwater from escaping the roof. We recommend and provide constructions where the heating cable is fed into the gutter and then back into the gutter.
Although we can design and supply T-joint systems from roof to gutter, experience has shown that without an experienced installer these joints can be unreliable.
If the gutter ends underground, our designs route the heating cable into a heated area or below freezing.
Ice dams can form on a roof in the valley where two distinct slopes meet. To ensure this doesn't happen we provide a blueprint to run the heating cable in the valley, then two thirds of each valley with a double heating cable run. The heating cable should run up to the gutter to avoid creating an ice dam preventing water from running off the roof.
There are many different types of self-regulating heating cables. We have access to many different options including:
- 120, 208, 240 and 277 volts
- 3, 5, 8, 10 and 14 watts per foot
- Circuit lengths up to 660 feet
- Factory Mutual (FM) Approved, UL Listed and CSA Certified for Public Spaces. UL Listed for freeze protection of pipework for fire protection systems
- ATEX, IECEx, FM, and CSA hazardous (classified) location approvals when used with U-Series, HL, DL, and EL accessories
Maximum loop lengths for roof and gutter applications
|120 VAC||208-277 Vac|
Intermittent defrost Aluminum roof
Edge-Cutter® is an aluminum sheet intended to be used as a thermally conductive panel to keep snow and ice off the edges of the roof. The system should only be used with self-regulating heating cables that are certified for use in roofs and gutters as it is designed to be fitted between the roof and the roof substrate. It can be used with various roofing products such as asphalt shingles, aluminum, steel and even slate. This feathered aluminum channel fascia system is an aesthetically pleasing option to prevent ice build-up, icicles or ice dams in roofing applications without the traditional V-shaped contour of heating cables on your roof.
- 4' flashing feathered aluminum complete with lid
- Flat and Square Cover Plates available to meet various application needs
- Significantly reduces the total amount of heating cable needed by up to 75%
- Can be cut to size on site for customization
- Can be used with many different heating cable systems
- Membrane available for metal roofs
- Prevents the heating cable from melting or overheating
- Energy efficiency compared to conventional roof de-icing systems
- Fast assembly with suitable screws, nails and/or adhesives
Our quotes include our best-in-class cable plus a full bill of materials for your project, including everything you need to install the system.
The BOM can contain one or more of the following items:
- Power Connection Kits
- downspout hanger
- control panels
- final seal
- fiberglass tape
- RTDs and other sensors
What happens if you don't use electrically traced gutters and downspouts?
Keeping snow and ice off your roof takes more than just planning and installing the right electrical heating system. Proper insulation of your building and proper installation of gutters and downspouts are also important to protect your roof from snow and ice damage.
Oftentimes, building owners choose not to invest in downspouts and drainpipes because they believe that the electric heating cable will only melt the snow and ice, allowing water to freely flow from the roof to the floor below.
Unfortunately this is not the case as you can see in the photos below.
What happens is that the heat trail melts the snow and ice it comes in contact with, but when the water starts flowing off the roof it quickly changes temperature to refreeze and forms ice that directly below the heat trail begins ends. Therefore, a robust gutter and gutter system is vital as our systems also include gutter liners and heat tracing gutters to ensure water can flow freely down and out of the building.
Do roof deicing cables work? ›
Function. Pro: When properly installed, roof deicing cables work very well, although they don't often make the dramatic visual change most people expect. The cables don't totally clear patches of snow, but rather melt the ice immediately around them, providing enough space for water to run off into your gutter.Do heat cables prevent ice dams? ›
The primary purpose of heat cables/heat tape is to prevent ice dams and create the opportunity to drain melting snow away from the home. Heat cables are an electric heating cord typically installed along the edge of a roofline and through the gutter. Heat cables can certainly help a home that struggles with ice dams.Are gutter heaters worth it? ›
Gutter heaters are worth considering if you live where snow and ice can clog your rain gutter systems. Sadly, few people think they'll ever need gutter heaters until it's too late – then they have to deal with monster problems.When should I turn off my roof cables? ›
Turning the heat cables on at all will help prevent ice dams from forming. It's also best to leave them on until a majority of the snow melts from your roof.Do heat cables use a lot of electricity? ›
On average, heat tape consumes nine (9) watts per lineal foot.How long do roof heat cables last? ›
Most heat cable doesn't even last long to begin with; the average life of heat cable seems to be around 3-5 years.Are ice dams covered by homeowners insurance? ›
Does Insurance Cover Ice Dams? If an ice dam damages your roof, don't fret. It's common for homeowners insurance to cover ice dam damage. American Family's standard homeowner's policy covers sudden and accidental damage from leaking roofs and damage from weight of ice, snow or sleet.How do I prevent ice dams on my roof and gutters? ›
The three main approaches to ice dam prevention are snow removal, insulation, and installing gutter helmets. The most effective is a combination of all three to ensure you never need to worry about ice dams again.Do gutter heaters use a lot of electricity? ›
Home and commercial building owners who have heat tape installed on roofs or in gutters to help prevent winter ice dams often find that heat tape also warms up their electricity bills. Typical heat tape burns electricity at six to nine watts per foot per hour.How warm do roof deicing cables get? ›
Self-regulating electric heating cable is perfect for heating your roof and/or gutter as it is designed to maintain temperatures up to 150°F (65°C) and can withstand temperatures up to 185°F (85°C).
How much does it cost to run deicing cable? ›
The de-icing cables used in heated gutters cost between $1 and $6 per linear foot. Some gutter specialists recommend gutter guards, which cost $1 to $ 10 per linear foot. When replacing the gutters as well, add an average of $1,900 to the total.How much electricity do roof cables use? ›
A typical constant wattage cable might use 5 watts per foot no matter what the temperature is outside. So, if the cable is 100 feet long, it will use 500 watts per hour.How do you prevent ice buildup on eaves? ›
Ice dam prevention
The key to curing ice dams is to make sure the temperature of your roof stays consistent with the eaves. To do this, prevent inside air from reaching attic or roof space by sealing any leaks. You can also upgrade the insulation in your attic and add ventilation to the outside.
If you have an average-sized roof, you will be looking at an average cost of $7.25 per day to run your roof heat cables. In the winter months when you will most likely need to run your heater cables all day for days at a time, that adds up to a lot of extra money.Why are over heating cables a hazard? ›
Overheating of cables: When a very high current is run through a cable, there is a risk of overheating the wire due to too much energy. This overheating could lead to electrical fires.Can heat cables cause a fire? ›
Electric heat tapes are frequently installed in attics and under porches of conventional homes and under floors of mobile homes to prevent water pipes from freezing. CPSC estimates that each year about 1500 fires, 10 deaths, and 100 injuries result from faulty electric heat tapes.Can you put heat cables in gutters? ›
Heat tape is a protected electrical cord that, when used in gutters and pipes, can stop them from freezing. Also known as gutter heat cables or gutter heaters, heat tape helps to prevent ice dams from forming.What is the best heat resistant cable? ›
Glass Fibre Cables, Ceramic & Pure Nickel Cables
This range of cables also resist chemicals, acids, lubricants, and water and can be used as a power, coaxial, thermocouple and control cable. These cables can also be customer specified to operate in high radiation environments.
Heat trace cable is somewhat stiff, but it's pliable enough to wrap it around your pipes, and it does not shrink; Heating tape is extremely flexible, therefore it's better for tight contours and oddly shaped pipes.Do ice dams cause permanent damage? ›
Yes, ice dams can cause permanent damage to your home or business, if your definition of “permanent” is damage so severe that you've moved beyond “repairs” and into gutting or rebuilding.
Is ice damming the roofers fault? ›
Myth: My roof shingles or other roofing materials are incorrectly installed or defective and causing ice dams. Fact: Ice dams are NOT caused by your roofing materials or a result of faulty installation.How do you prevent ice dams in an old house? ›
Getting rid of ice dams for good is simple, in principle: Just keep the entire roof the same temperature as the eaves. You do that by increasing ventilation, adding insulation, and sealing off every possible air leak that might warm the underside of the roof.How much does it cost to put ice and water shield on roof? ›
Smooth ice and water shield costs around $100.00 per square (100 square feet of roof area) to go under a low slope roof. High heat ice and water shield will be a little more expensive and costs around $125.00 per square.Is ice and water shield worth it? ›
No matter the climate, ice and water shield is always a good idea. Think of it as insurance. It's an extra line of defense that protects the structures beneath against potential damage from water infiltration.Does spray foam prevent ice dams? ›
Since heat loss through the roof is the root cause of ice dams, spray foam insulation can definitely help prevent ice dams because it helps to regulate heat loss. More specifically, spray foam insulation on the roof deck of an attic, creating an unvented attic, can definitely help with that issue.Do ice dams cause roof damage? ›
Can ice dams cause roof damage? The answer is yes. They can damage your shingles, gutter system, attic insulation, and drywall. Left untreated, ice dams can even cause mold and mildew growth.Do gutter guards make ice dams worse? ›
A cubic foot of ice weights roughly 60 pounds, and when enough builds up on your gutter guards, they may collapse into the gutter system. When this happens, they fallen gutter protection actually cause a blockage, which can lead to ice dams and expensive damage to your home.How do I stop my roof from ice damming? ›
- Thoroughly clean all leaves, sticks, and other debris from rain gutters and down spouts. ...
- Strive to keep snow on your roof to a minimum. ...
- Keep gutters and down spouts clear of snow and icicles all winter.
- Evaluate the insulation and ventilation in your attic.
Drip edge flashing helps prevent ice dams from forming. They protect your basement: When drip edges redirect water off your roof, they also redirect it away from the part of the ground directly beneath your roof, which often leads to your basement.What is the biggest disadvantage to having electric heat in a home? ›
The largest drawback of an electrical heater is simply the cost of the electricity used to power it.
What are the disadvantages of electric heater? ›
- They May Omit Toxic Gases. ...
- They Can Lead to Fire Hazards. ...
- They Result in Dry Air. ...
- Others Are Quite Noisy. ...
- They Can Cause Electric Shock. ...
- They May Result in Burns. ...
- They Have Extra Expenses. ...
- You Can Only Use Them in Small Spaces.
When heating cables are poorly designed or manufactured, they can pose safety risks that are not worth the cost. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 3,300 residential fires occur each year because of heat cables. These fires cause 150 injuries, 20 deaths, and over $20 million in property damage.What is better than heat tape? ›
Heating Blankets Bolster Safety and Efficiency
Heating blankets are much more effective than heat tape at keeping pipes warm.
An average size bathroom should take about two hours to install the cables and about four hours to install the electrical box, control, and power supply . local codes may require this product and/ or the thermostatic control be installed or connected by an electrician.Can deicing cables touch? ›
Q: Can I overlap the cable over another run or have the cable touching some other portion of it? A: To avoid overheating of the cable, do not allow the heated portion of an operating heating cable to touch or overlap itself or to touch another heating and/or deicing cable.How much does it cost to run cable to your house? ›
Running Cable From an Existing Coax Cable Outlet
If you decide to get a local electrician to run a cable under the floor from the existing outlet to the device you want to connect to, expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $150.
A: The cable only gets to between 70 & 100° F when it is operating. Depending on where it is located, inside or outside. This is about the same or lower then your body temperature.Can you use roof deicing cable for pipes? ›
PSR heating cable may be used to help prevent water pipes from freezing or to help prevent the formation of ice dams on roofs. PSR heating cable is suitable for use on metal and plastic pipes (such as PVC or polybutylene) but not on flexible vinyl tubing (such as garden hose).How far apart should roof heating cable be? ›
The heating cable loop should extend into the gutter to maintain a drainage path. It should also extend to a point 6 inches above the line where the wall joins the roof. The spacing of the loops should be at 2 foot intervals.Does a black roof increase electric bill? ›
Dark roof shingles actually raise the temperature inside your home. In the summer, this may directly translate to increased air conditioning needs — because your cooling system has to work more to even out the extra heat. As a result, your energy bills will gradually escalate.
What can I put on ground to prevent ice? ›
- Rock Salt. The most common way to de-ice your driveway is to use rock salt. ...
- Heat Mats. In-ground heat mats are a means of de-icing your driveway for people who are building a new house or are about to replace their driveway. ...
- “Green” Products. ...
- Sand. ...
- Shovel Regularly.
Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride
Of all the common de-icers on the market, tests have shown that calcium chloride is the least harmful to concrete. It is also among the most effective, melting ice at temperatures as low as minus-25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most heat cable doesn't even last long to begin with; the average life of heat cable seems to be around 3-5 years.Are heated gutter guards worth it? ›
Gutter heaters are worth considering if you live where snow and ice can clog your rain gutter systems. Sadly, few people think they'll ever need gutter heaters until it's too late – then they have to deal with monster problems.How much electricity do roof heating cables use? ›
Home and commercial building owners who have heat tape installed on roofs or in gutters to help prevent winter ice dams often find that heat tape also warms up their electricity bills. Typical heat tape burns electricity at six to nine watts per foot per hour.Can heat cable cause a fire? ›
Electric heat tapes are frequently installed in attics and under porches of conventional homes and under floors of mobile homes to prevent water pipes from freezing. CPSC estimates that each year about 1500 fires, 10 deaths, and 100 injuries result from faulty electric heat tapes.