Just because they are out of sight does not mean they don’t exist. A great example of this is ice dams. Ice dams form when melting snow on the roof refreezes near the edge before it runs off the roof. Repeated melting and freezing creates a thick mass of ice by the edge of the roof, which allows melting snow to puddle behind it. That standing water can eventually penetrate the shingles, causing leaks and potentially expensive damage. Additionally, those hanging icicles can eventually break away and fall, injuring people.
The Best Way to Prevent Ice Dams
The best way to prevent ice dams from forming is to install de-icing cables, or roof heating cables. These cables – which are spaced along the edge of the roof – prevent the melted snow and ice from refreezing. Here are some of the key components:
- These systems run on electricity so your utility bills will go up, but not by much. It costs about 35 cents an hour to heat 300 square feet, and that’s a small price to pay considering the damage an ice dam can cause to your Chicago area home. Ice dams can damage shingles, gutters, and downspouts.
- Systems are automated to detect precipitation and temperature, so they turn on only when needed and turn off when they are not needed. Once installed, you don’t have to do anything.
- Systems are controlled by a small box that can be installed in the garage or house, taking up little space.
- Systems require little to no maintenance.
Here are a few other things to consider:
- While installing roof de-icers can be a DIY project, the combination of playing with electricity and working on a slippery roof convinces many people to hire a professional to do this.
- Make sure your installer uses self-regulation heating cables. They can be cut to any length and are more energy-efficient than heating or parallel resistance cables.
- If you are replacing your roof, consider heated mesh that is installed under the shingles. That way you don’t have to deal with it every year.
- These systems won’t help if your roof is poorly constructed.
Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for Installation of Roof Heating Cables
If you’re uncomfortable working with electricity – or standing on a tall ladder, for that matter – contact the professionals at Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment to install roof heating cables.