Auburn Roofing: Article About Heat Cable Installation Benefits
Homeowners that have problems with snow or ice freezing on their roof or in their gutters may wish to install heating cables. These heating cables, which may be installed along the gutters, in the downspouts and along the roof line, can be turned on during cold weather to keep snow and water from freezing and damaging the roof components. An Auburn roofing contractor can help homeowners determine whether their roof would benefit from having these cables installed and assist with the installation process.
One of the major benefits of installing heating cables is that they are a relatively inexpensive method for protecting the roof against ice damage. These heating cables prevent the freeze and thaw cycle, which often results in cracked or split shingles, from happening. The cables provide a pathway for water to leave the roof. This reduces the chance of leaks forming during the winter months.
Heating cables can also protect the gutters and downspouts from damage as well. In many cases, as the ice dams melt, the water will run into the gutter and refreeze. If enough ice collects in the gutters, the expansion and the weight could cause the gutters to split or crack. If that happens, the gutter system will have to be replaced. Since the heating cables can be installed on the gutters themselves, the water will not freeze until it reaches the ground.
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One of the biggest disadvantages to these cables is that they do not fix the underlying problems that cause the formation of ice dams or frozen gutters. Often, ice forms on a roof when the roof does not have adequate insulation installed. A poorly designed roof ventilation system may also be the culprit. Additionally, they can also affect a home's curb appeal without providing a permanent solution.
The other drawback to heating cables is that the homeowner must monitor the cables in order to prevent overheating. An overheated cable can pose a serious fire risk that could cause more damage than an ice dam or frozen gutters. Although most of these cables are low-watt, they also can suck up electricity if they are left on when they are not needed.
In general, it is highly recommended that homeowners who are experiencing problems with ice dams contact their local contractor to diagnose the underlying issue. Having the roof properly vented or insulated removes any unnecessary fire risks and energy consumption. However, if these improvements cannot be made, heated cables can provide a simple solution until more permanent repairs can be made. Professional contractors can have these heating cables installed, quickly, easily and safely.