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Roofers Mesa AZ

Mar 30

Do you need heat cables to prevent ice dams?


Heat cable is a controversial option for preventing ice dams. It is difficult to understand what it is or how to install it properly. This three-part series will cover heat cable. It's what it is, how it works, where it's not, what you should avoid, and how to install it by roofers Mesa AZ.


A dam of ice


Many Minnesotans reminisce about the terrible memories made by the early-2019 snowflake storms. The picture includes impassable streets, flooding basements, and pictures of ominous, dangerous ice dams that adorn both small and large homes. An ice dam, which is usually formed around the eave on roofs, is a ridge made of ice that forces meltwater through roofs and into your home. These ice dams are like mini-glaciers and can cause havoc in your home if they are not addressed. Minnesota, greetings!


Most insurance companies will pay for the repair of ice dam damage. However, they won't cover future costs. This leaves homeowners wondering how to avoid such a costly and inconvenient problem. In response to ice dam claims, some insurance companies have made it clear that they will require homeowners to pay for expensive modifications to prevent future ice dams. If these modifications aren't made, future ice dam-related claims could be denied.




Industry experts agree that the best way prevents ice dams in your home is to improve its architecture. This includes insulation, ventilation, sealing any air leaks that let heat escape and melting snow that shouldn’t be there, and most importantly, sealing any air leaks. Keep in mind that the ice dam cycle is fed by the melting water. Over the past quarter-century, we have completed hundreds of these home improvements projects with an average cost of $10,000 to $30,000. Below is a video that shows the scope of the project.


These are not your average air-sealing or insulation projects. This is a dirty, difficult job that often involves the demolition or reconstruction of the exterior or interior of the house or both. It can be a major house improvement that decreases the likelihood of ice dams and improves energy efficiency. If done wrong, it can lead to more ice dam problems. Bummer.




Roof shoveling can be an effective way to prevent ice dams if you follow a few key guidelines. First, you must remove all snow from the entire roof that has been affected by ice dams. Contrary to common belief, clearing snow from the roof's lower tiers can lead to a much worse condition, called a double dam. This is when an additional ice dam is created.


Dam on two levels


Double dams can be difficult to remove and can cause serious damage if they are not addressed. The impacted roof planes can be up to three stories high, or inaccessible. It is not possible to remove all the snow from the peak using roof raking or a ladder.


You can remove snow at your home.


This means that someone must climb up to the top, which is not a good idea for rookies. Many homeowners are forced to hire professional help, which can prove costly.




  • Tape to keep warm


All ice dam prevention heat taps have the same basic idea, regardless of whether they are called heat cable, roof deicing cable, or heat coil. These cables produce heat through electrical resistance, melting snow or ice on the roof. These channels let water escape from the roof and not back up into the house. The sole purpose of heat cable is to create relief channels through snow or ice and not to keep the eaves clean.


  • Installation of heat cables has been completed.


If placed correctly and with a quality cable, heat cables can provide a decade of reliable prevention from ice dams. Sometimes heat cables can be the only viable option to prevent ice dams. These houses are common occurrences during our inspections. Some industry skeptics still believe that heat wires can be dangerous.


Mesa Roofing Pros

930 N Mesa Dr #2001 Mesa 85201