Do you have an issue with ice in winter?
Some people actually think icicles hanging from their eaves are a beautiful decoration for the season. It’s nice of them to see that silver lining, but icicles are actually a sign of other problems and can potentially cause serious harm to buildings. Water damage from ice dams is a major concern for the inside of your home and outside the weight of huge ice pulling on your gutters, roof and fascia can have a cumulative effect to cause bending and breakage damage. But what should be the bigger worry is the liability of ice falling onto someone as well as damage to items below.
Our first suggestion for icicles is to look at improvements that can be made to the insulation levels and air sealing of the attic. If those issues are in good shape along with correct handling of ventilation then heat tape may be the solution you need.
We have found an excellent way to maintain the clean appearance of the LeafGuard system without adding heat tape zig zag along the roof eaves. In most instances a run of heat tape under the hood, in the trough and down the downspouts of the LeafGuard system handles the snow melt from heat loss through the roof. The objective is not to melt all snow along the roof edge but rather to maintain a drip path for the melted snow to remain as water and drain away safely.
Our Product of Choice
Our experiences have brought us to utilize the best heating cables available, Pentair’s Raychem WinterGard Wet Gardian Gutter De-Icing Heat Cables. These self-regulating heating cables are designed for residential and commercial roof and gutter de-icing applications as well as metal and plastic pipe freeze protection. The intention of the system is to provide drainage paths to help prevent dangerous icicles and damaging ice dams by providing a continuous path for melt water to drain from the roof. By maintaining a heated path to allow for the safe discharge of melted ice and snow ice dams will not be able to form.
We made the switch to WinterGard Wet after a couple of instances finding issues with the standard heat tape you can find in every home improvement aisle. Pentair prides themselves on manufacturing quality control. Lot numbers from every batch of cable are warehoused in case of a question down the road. You can rest assured they will be in operation for years and years to come. Another reason we prefer WinterGard Wet is the ability to splice and repair cables if ever necessary. Pentair makes splice and Tee kits which seal repairs to restore the safe performance of the system for your building. So if something happens to break or cut your cable that section can be repaired without having to redo an entire length.
Safety to Prevent Overheating and Damage
Speaking of safety the self-regulating conductive core is probably the most beautiful part of the system. This conductive polymer in the core regulates power output in response to the exterior temperature. It’s an extremely reliable technology that allows the cables to be overlapped (if necessary), cut to specific lengths, prevents burn out, saves energy and won’t overheat roofing materials or plastic gutters.
Whole Building or Address Problem Areas Alone
You may not need to trace your entire gutter or roof area and can reduce the footage needed. If the area of concern is a walkway or specific entrance you may be able to treat that area alone there by saving install costs as well as energy output to operate the system.
If you have concerns about ice at your home, business or place of worship please contact us for help to review your options. These visits are always free and our representatives will be able to help with a variety of possible solutions.
Contact us at 716-695-1010 in New York or 814-898-8517 in Pennsylvania to schedule a visit or send us your info at our contact page.
Cut away view to see example of how heat tape is placed above the patented LeafGuard clip system and loops around to lay in the bottom trough of the gutter.
Here is traditional zig zag of heat tape with an open gutter. Notice how the snow is melted along the path of the tape, not the entire shingle area. This is how it is intended to operate. This may be used with our typical LeafGuard heat tape application if necessary.