How Should You Use Your Heating Solution to Mitigate Ice Dams?

Sep 29, 2021

Snow above guttersNo matter what type of heating solution you’re currently using to help prevent ice dams from forming on your home’s roof, the key to success is consistent usage. Why, you ask? Before we provide the answer, let’s start by understanding how ice dams form in the first place.

The Anatomy of an Ice Dam

When snow melts high on your roof under the snow pack, the water runs toward your roof line. When this water exits the snow pack, it can re-freeze if the roof is cold enough. If this continues to happen night after night, an ice dam can build up on your roof. This ice can actually get under seams and shingle tabs and when it melts, it can damage your home. This process can happen anywhere on your roof, wherever the water exits the snow pack!

Consistency Is Key

Whether you’re using heat mats, Helmet Heat®, heat cable, or tape, ice dams can move up your roof if you turn your system on and off and don’t allow it to provide consistent protection. This can move the potential for damage further and further into your interior living areas. If you want to ensure that your home is protected, leave your system on whenever there’s snow on your roof. Yes, your energy bill may suffer, but you live in Colorado! Would your turn off your A/C in Phoenix or Dallas in August? No, of course not!

Additionally, you should avoid the use of automated temperature and moisture sensors, as these are an expensive waste of money and undermine the heating solutions you’ve invested in. They have a tendency to move your damming problems up your roof—for the reasons detailed above—and do not improve cable performance.  If you’re a part-time resident, consider a WI-FI switching mechanism that will turn on after the first snow and off again in the spring.

Another tip: You should purchase self-regulating heat cable instead of the constant heat tape available at big-box stores—it will save you big bucks in the long run!

Look to Southwest Water & Ice Solutions

If you want to let the experts design the ideal system for your home, look to Southwest Water & Ice Solutions. We offer highly effective options, including Helmet Heat, which integrates our self-regulating cable into the Gutter Helmet gutter protection system. Gutter Helmet strengthens your gutter system against damage in the winter and makes it so you NEVER HAVE TO CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS AGAIN! It also helps with heat retention, saving you money on your energy bill while protecting your cable from roof rakes and harmful UV rays. And, you won’t have to look at the ugly cables on your roof ever again!

Contact Southwest Water & Ice Solutions today if you’d like to learn more about the ice and water mitigation services we offer to homeowners throughout Southwest Colorado.