Heat tape, which is also referred to as heat cable, is nothing more than coated electrical wire. The heat cable proves to be a great problem solver, in the winter, when it is installed along your roof’s edge to prevent the ice from building up in your gutters and eaves. As you know, ice dams that build up along your roof’s overhangs have the potential to cause damaging leaks inside your home. Just so you understand, ice dams occur because the snow and ice on your roof melts from the interior heat coming from inside your home. When that snow and ice melts it’s flowing down your roof and eventually freezes all over again as it reaches the unheated overhangs.
Over a period of time, the frozen snow and ice builds up into a dam barrier that causes ice and water to back up under the shingles of your roof, potentially causing significant damage to the interior of your home. Just the sheer weight of the ice dams alone can cause damage to your roof overhangs and gutters.
That’s where heat cables come into play. They are a powerful tool, to say the least, to prevent ice and snow from building up on your roof and creating ice dams. Do keep in mind that once ice dams form they can prove to be rather difficult to remove.
No question that heat cables are a worth-while investment for any homeowner to make but it is not an easy task to install them, yourself, on your roof. The good news is it’s Wood and Wood Seamless Gutters to the rescue. Their team of professionals are highly experienced to ensure that the heat cables have been placed properly on your roof for maximum effect and that all electrical safety concerns are handled properly.
Now for all you do-it-yourselfers out there that are thinking right now, “I can handle this job myself” there are few important factors to take into consideration.
First things first, this is a two-person job. One to install the heat cables and the other to make sure the ladder remains stable at all times.
The next and possibly the most important factor to consider is that the heat cable needs to be installed correctly. Improper installation is ineffective installation. In order for the heat cable to correctly do its job, it needs to be placed in areas on your roof where it can be the most effective. This means the cable needs to be installed precisely where roof melt-off reaches places where it can freeze again and create ice dams.
A common mistake that is made by many a do-it-yourselfer is that they purchase heat cables or tape that are manufactured to insulate pipes. This is a definite NO NO. Pipe heat cables will not work on your roof. Please keep in mind that if you’re using the wrong type of heat cable you could possibly be creating a fire hazard!
If you plan to do the installation yourself, be sure you have the correct tape! This should be obvious from the packaging, but there are quite a few options on the market and you wouldn’t be the first person who has purchased the wrong heat cable.
Now for the “serious” do-it-yourselfer here is more techy info that will be sure to “wet-your-whistle!”
First off there is commercial & residential grade cables so you need to make sure you’re purchasing the right grade for the job your undertaking. With each the commercial and residential grade cables there are constant or variable types of wires for you to choose from. You also have to consider what voltage wire you will be choosing. Needless to say your choices are 120 or 240. This part of the job truly requires a licensed electrician and nothing that a do-it-yourselfer should be undertaking on their own.
Once again this is why Wood & Wood Seamless Gutters is your first and best choice. If you hire them to install heat cables on the roof of your home they, among other things, have licensed electricians available to them on beckoned call. This way you will never have to wonder or worry if the job has been done right.
Now if you remain an undaunted do-it-yourselfer there are a few more issues for you to consider when you are purchasing the right heat cables for your home.
You need to make sure you have taken all the right measurements so the heat cables will fit properly on your home. The cables are pre terminated with plugs already placed on the ends so measuring the job correctly is paramount.
Then you need to decide whether you will, as previously mentioned, purchase constant or variable grade wire. Variable grade doesn’t get quite as hot as constant grade but will still create a path for the water to run.
Constant grade lives up to its name in that it stays on all the time. This, subsequently, will raise your electric bill but you will almost immediately see the positive end results, on your snow covered roof, of using a constant grade cable.
Commercial grade cable is thicker and will, subsequently, last a longer time than the residential grade cable.
If you remain determined to install heat cables on your home there is a good likelihood that you will be purchasing those cables from a Big Box Store. Be advised that they usually offer a 90 day to 1 year warranty on all of the cables they sell. Wood & Wood uses Danfoss cable and that comes with a 2 year warranty.
Now if you have purchased a home that already has heat cables installed it’s a really good idea to take the time to make sure that they are functioning properly. Once again, another great reason for you to reach out to Wood and Wood Seamless Gutters. A team of their trained professionals can stop by your home to inspect your heat cable system and advise you accordingly.
As mentioned previously heat cables use a fairly significant amount of power. The reason for this is that to generate a sufficient amount of heat along the entire length of the cable it needs the power to create that heat to melt the snow and ice. Your best bet is to not put the heat cable on the same circuit as you have other high-drawing appliances. Otherwise there is a pretty good likelihood that you can trip a breaker or blow a fuse. Definitely don’t have the heat cable on the same circuit as the blower for your furnace. A worst case
scenario there is that your whole home could be without heat.
Though there are some possible problems with having heat cables installed on your home the benefits far out weigh any issues that might come up. If you are thinking that it’s the right time to have heat cables installed on your home then it’s the right time to call Wood and Wood Seamless Gutters. You can reach them at 860 563 8820. Call today. You’ll be glad you did.