Protect Your Home (And Your Booty!) From the Freeze
We’ve seen the season’s first snowfall, and though the temperatures have bounced back to a balmy above-32, it’s officially high time to prep your home for those frost-worthy temps. So in keeping with that theme, let’s talk a little about ice. There are a number of ways to protect you and your home from ice outside around your home: proper landscape grading and drainage away from your walkways and foundation, helping keep you upright as you tromp around and keeping leaks from seeping into the basement; having those snow boots handy when the temperatures start to drop, along with some precipitation; shoveling in a timely manner; putting down an ice-melt product, when necessary; and, having well-planned overhangs, and a gutter and downspout system (if your roofing allows for one).
When it comes to your roof, there are sometimes shady or shallow pitch areas that need a little help to keep snow and ice melting and flowing away from your home safely. Let’s talk about heat tape – but not the heat tape for the water pipes below your house, these are made specially for outdoors on your roof!
Let’s Talk Heat Tape
Thanks to our weather’s rapid mood swings, many Front Range homeowners have experienced ‘ice damming,’ the wintery phenomenon that occurs when snow melts and re-freezes before it has the chance to drain away properly from your roof. It can result in slippery ice flows down below, and precarious icicles hanging from your gutter and roof. Slip-n-slides and tailbone bruises aside, these issues can become more than just a mildly embarrassing, no-fun way to start your day – they can be dangerous for you, and they can potentially create costly and/or unsafe conditions for your home as well. That’s where a heat tape system for your roof comes in as a great solution.
Heat tape systems for your roof, downspouts, and gutters are designed to prevent ice dams and related ice flow blockage on areas of your roof and drainage system that have traditionally been big icy problems after snow storms. When professionally installed, a quality heat tape product, using only the electricity it needs to do its job, safely allows ice to melt steadily, keeping your downspouts and gutters free and clear, making ice dams and icy patches around your downspouts and walkways virtually a thing of the past.
The continual flow of melting snow and ice that heat tape provides keeps your home safe from water and ice damage, and helps keep you and your family safe from unexpected ice injuries – and away from the doctor’s office!
In cases of ice damming that goes unchecked for extended periods of time the risks to your home are numerous – and the benefits (think repair cost$$) provided by a heat tape system are equally impressive:
- Protect your roof shingles, plywood roof sheathing, roof framing, soffit and fascia board from potential ice flow and ice melt damage.
- Protect your attic insulation, and upstairs drywall and paint from potential water damage should an ice dam encroach into your attic.
- Safeguard against potential water-related electrical fire and safety issues in your attic.
- Protect your foundation and basement by keeping water away from the house.
- Protect against damage to your gutters and downspouts due to excessive weight from too much ice!
Maybe most importantly, water from ice dams getting into your attic or other areas of your home (such as exterior walls) can potentially lead to mold issues – a possible health risk for you and your family, and yet another good reason to consider a heat tape system if your home’s roof has suspect areas.
Heat tape can be such a helpful addition to your home’s roof if you’re experiencing related wintertime issues with snow and ice, but only if it’s properly, safely, and professionally installed. You shouldn’t leave this job up to just anyone. Ideally, a highly-trained and licensed electrician will handle the job. They will be able to help you determine where and how the heat tape needs to be applied to properly address your home’s specific problems, and they will be able to ensure the tape is installed exactly as designed, so it works as intended. We get it – the name “heat tape” makes it sound pretty simple – just peel and stick, right? Not quite, not at all in this case. The precise layout, anchoring, and electrical connections and circuit protection for all heat tape systems need to be installed to the finest points of the manufacturer recommendations, and in accordance with all electrical code requirements in your area.
A skilled electrician will help guide you to the right heat tape for your needs – not all brands are created equal, after all! – and will keep your home safe with all necessary electrical safety precautions.
When you’re working with your trusted Save Home Heat electrical staff in the Denver/Boulder area to determine what system might work best for you, make sure to ask the important questions: What’s the strategy behind the system? How reputable and reliable is the brand of heat tape being used? What’s the most important consideration when designing and installing your heat tape system? From Save Home Heat, the answer to that last question will always be the same – you, your family, and your home’s safety and comfort above all else. As we all know (and have already seen!) winter can sneak up on us here in the Front Range, so call now before the flurries start flying again.