You may think the snow and ice looks pretty during Michigan winter months, but it’s not the case on your home. Heavy snow and ice weigh a roof down, resulting in ice dams that can damage your home. Fortunately, there are many measures you can take – like installing ice melting roof cables – to prevent future water damage from ice dams. Learn more about preventative cables and ice dams, so you are prepared for the upcoming winter weather:
What is an ice dam?
An “ice dam” is a large band of ice that stretches across your roof, and if not taken care of, icicles can form along the band. They build with the addition of snow and frozen rain, and once the outside weather warms up, the ice melts. Because of this, ice dams and icicles are a risk to your home’s roof and gutter system, as well as people and pets walking underneath. Although ice dams are very common in areas that experience cold, snowy weather, it is important to remove them quicky to prevent any damage.
How can heat cables prevent ice dam build-up?
Heat cables – also known as roof ice cables, heat tape, and heat wire – are heated materials that can be placed at the perimeter and eaves of your home. This is a great solution in problematic areas that hold water, such as roof valleys and around chimneys and skylights, as these cables can melt already-formed ice dams. At Herbert Roofing, we recommend heat cables to combat roof leaks for the most comprehensive snow and ice removal plan.
What are the pros and cons of installing heat cables?
If properly installed, heat cables minimize water and ice build-up on your home. Although they are not a permanent solution, they are less costly than other options, such as installing additional home insulation, creating proper ventilation, and sealing air leaks.
Keep in mind that electricity is required to operate heat cables, which can result in higher energy bills during winter months. It’s also important to monitor heat cables so they don’t overheat. Generally, heat cables are reliable in the short-term to prevent ice dams until you can identify and fix the underlying problem of your home’s snow and ice build-up.
Who can help me install heat cables on my home?
Installing heat cables on your home is common – and we’ll explain how to do it in Part 2 of this blog series. However, if you’re looking for some professional help with your cable installation, give us a call a Herbert Roofing. We provide expert-level roof installations and repair and can help you with all your home’s preventative measures this winter season. Make sure your home is protected from water damage before the first snowfall of the year!