Anybody Have Roof/Gutter De-icing Cables Installed?

corunum z6 CT(6)January 26, 2011

The horse is out of the barn for this winter, but-- now that roof raking is almost a daily routine here, I've been looking at heating cables for ice dams and gutter thawing. I've read that some people place the cables on the roof as well as the in the gutters and downspouts. Other folks have said that if the cables are on the roof full time and your have squirrels, that you're better off just putting the cables in the gutters and downspouts. Anyone here have any experience or advice on this subject? Thanks.



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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

No, I don't have them; but I'm going to get some cables installed this summer. We have a flat roof and the snow buildup this past month has been ominous. Roof not creaking (because so much weight on it) but even if I could get up there (17 ft. above the ground), I have no place below to shovel the snow on to, and it's an expensive rubber roof which I don't want to mess up with a shovel blade.

So I'll be getting elec. cables for the gutters & downspouts. the 2000 sq. ft. of roof will hopefully melt a bit. Some day.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 6:00PM
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squirejohn zone4 VT

The heating cables worked fine on my asphalt shingle roof to prevent ice dams. However they did not work melting ice in the gutters so that the melted ice and snow from the roof could flow freely in the gutter to the down spout, thereby necessitating removing the gutters in the fall and putting them back up in the spring - a real pain!

The heat cables were ugly so I also removed them in the spring.

I replaced the asphalt shingles with a metal roof which allowed the snow to slide off the roof. However this would tear down the gutters. I finally had Worth Gutters (not cheap - $1000 for a straight run of 34 feet.) installed which solved the problem by allowing the snow to slide over them and still captured rain water.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:51AM
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sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

I didn't know there was such a thing. Where do you buy the Roof/Gutter deicing cables?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 8:13AM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

After much 'Googling", I am agreeing with you squirejohn - probably more hassle than they perhaps are effective. I have Gutter Helmet and since having it installed about 5 years ago, this is the only winter that has presented me with such problems. The edge on the gutter helmet actually extends out over the lip of the gutter enough to hold ice dams at bay long enough for me to roof rake before the gutter overflows backwards down the fascia board. Thank you for your input and I'm glad Worth is working for you.

carolRI - sincerely hope you have made out okay with your flat roof - not easy. I did find a website (below) that may offer some advice for you. I have no knowledge of this company other than finding it online and am not recommending anything. (is that enough of a disclaimer?)

sharbear: the answer to your question is-- in a hardware store, Home Depot, online, etc. However, long before wiring these things up, it is best to research and discover what, if anything in this line of wiring, is applicable to your specific roof/gutter. And, at the rate we're going, the snow we have now in central CT, will still be here to greet you in March...and April...maybe May, lol. So don't worry about your lapse in memory about snow, we'll get you back up to speed in no time!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cool Roofing Blog

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 2:45PM
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cloud_9(z5 CT)

I have been researching what to do about ice dams and I followed this link through a Fine Home Building newsletter link and found it helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: preventing Ice dams

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 8:27PM
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In 1984 I was the smartest man alive. I graduated from a business school with a 4.0 average. I was working in northern maine planning to be the next lumber barron. armed with a few copies of Mother Earth news I was going to show the hicks how to build a house that almost paid you to live there. A few examples(but not all) double air gaps and vapor barriers, boxed electric boxes inside vs flush to stop air leaks and last to the point of this post roof a 30/60 90 right triagle to capture the skylight sun so no heat was needed on the second floor.It was in maine. In the last 25 years mother, mother and mother Have hounded me. (mother nature, roof design lets no sun on the north side) ( mother of my children, we have to buy new shoes theirs are mouldy from damp north side closits) My mother , why don't you just put up heat tape so the water runs off. What I have learned in the last 6 years. 1 it is a waste of time to plug in heat tape under 20 F. 2 unplug at night unless it is going to rain. 3 don't let your mother know you listened to her or you will hear about it at christmas and thanksgiving. 4 it is better to spring for the longer tape up front then to chop ice and splice in January. A new question "how does a 75 year old know by dipping her finger in a sugar mix when it is time to glue the waco mints to a gingerbread house. I have to know I might have great grand children someday?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:31PM
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