Consider A Heat Tape System For Your Roof, Gutters & Downspouts!

October 17, 2016

How many times have you walked outside your home during the winter and nearly fell on your butt on an ice flow lurking below the roof eaves, or gotten freezing water from an overflowing roof gutter down your back? No fun! Potentially dangerous!

Many Front Range homeowners are familiar with these unpleasant symptoms of a common wintertime occurrence known as ‘ice damming,’ created by snow melting on your roof, and then refreezing before it can safely and properly drain away. Ice dams typically form on the lower edges of your roof near the eaves, where the roof is colder and snow that has begun melting and moving down toward the gutters refreezes, creating ice blockages that prevent proper drainage. Without enough sunshine or warm enough conditions to clear up the blockage, the ice dam will continue to build up along the lower roof edge, at or just above the gutter system.

In addition to blocking your gutters and downspouts, causing the undesirable conditions described above, they can have a number of other unpleasant–and potentially costly!–side effects, including:

  • Damage to gutters and downspouts from the weight of the ice dam, or ice forcing its way between your gutter system and the house.
  • Roof shingle damage from ice forcing its way under the shingles at the lower roof edge.
  • Water damage to plywood roof sheathing located below the roofing material, potentially causing wood rot and mold and mildew issues.
  • Water damage and rotting of fascia and soffit material located on the front and bottom of the roof eave overhang, caused by leakage from above into the soffit area.
  • Insulation damage due to water saturation, if ice that’s been forced under the roofing material finds its way into the attic.
  • Drywall damage, if melting water from the ice dam finds its way to the floor of your attic, or into a wall of your home.
  • Electrical wiring or device damage.

Winter in colorado

Ice Dam Prevention

While proper attic ventilation, more attic insulation, and laying sheets of neoprene rubber ‘ice shield’ on the lower plywood sections before roofing material is installed are great ideas, and may provide enhanced protection from ice dam damage, it’s been shown over the years that these wise measures do not prevent ice dams from forming under many ‘prime’ conditions.

The best way to eliminate ice dams, and protect your home from the water damage and injury they can cause, is to have a heat tape system professionally designed and installed in your gutters and downspouts, and along the lower edge of the roof, right above the gutters. A properly installed heat tape system will allow the ice dam to steadily melt, and keep the gutters and downspouts clear so water is safely drained away from your home. Heat tape systems are typically installed to address specific problem spots around your home, as opposed to all roof and gutter areas–we intall heat tape only where it’s really needed!

Doing the Job Right!

A heat tape system for your roof, gutters, and downspouts should be installed by a highly experienced and skilled technician, preferably a licensed electrician. The brand and type of heat tape used should have a strong track record, with many years of safe, reliable performance, made by a highly reputable, quality manufacturer. Not all heat tapes are alike, so make sure yours is the safest, most efficient product available.

The layout, anchoring, and electrical protection for the heat tape system should be in complete accordance of all manufacturer instructions and recommendations, and be in full compliance with local and National Electrical Code requirements. Just like your furnace or other important household appliances, special electrical safety devices and a dedicated circuit should be installed for proper protection of the system and your home.

Snow on Denver home In the Denver and Boulder, Colorado area, contact Save Home Heat Company’s licensed master electrician for professional service and advice, and for a free quote for a high quality heat tape system to protect your home from damage and danger associated with ice dams on your roof. Winter is almost here, so call now, before snow starts flying, forcing this work back to next season! Save Home Heat’s master electrician has over 20 years of experience custom designing and installing residential heat tape systems in some of the snowiest High Country locations in the state.

Contact Save Home Heat Company for any of your home electrical needs!