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What Are Heat Cables & Why Do You Need Them?

What Are Heat Cables & Why Do You Need Them?

Meh... A little snow on the edges of your roof isn’t a big deal, right? After all, it’s winter and it happens. It’ll melt when spring rolls around.

WARNING: What you read below may cause some angst, revelation, and healthy concern.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ice can cause a number of dam issues. Literally. “Ice Dam” is the name given to ice build-up, typically along the outer edges of rooflines. Ice Dams can cause critical roof and structural damage. In some of the worst cases, homeowners have lost gutters or had irreparable roof structure damage.

Why Do You Need Heat Cables?

During the winter season, snowfall will naturally settle on roofs. When the snow melts from the heat of the sun, it forms water that should run into gutters and away from the home. However, the inside of a home also generates heat that can cause the snow on the roof to melt. When that happens, the water will still run toward the gutter but it will freeze when it extends past the outer wall of the home, or the "soffit edge."

Because the outside air is still cold enough to freeze, the soffit edge will also be cold enough that the water will freeze just outside the reach of the heat coming from inside the home. This creates a melting/freezing cycle.

This cross-section view of a roof illustrates how the heat from a home can cause snow to melt.

As the heating and cooling process cycles, the ongoing formation of ice will continue to freeze the water running off the roof. The ice will grow and prevent water from reaching the gutters. In other words, it creates an "ice dam."

The formation of ice dams.

The water behind these frozen dams then has nowhere to go... or so it seems. Water is resourceful and can find its way into nooks and crannies of any size, and unfortunately this means it can find a way right back into your home. In fact, every year we see folks with roof damage, gutter damage, soggy insulation, and interior water damage (including wet ceilings and walls). Beyond just ruined drywall, this can also cause electrical issues.

How Do Heat Cables Work?

Because we’re seriously passionate about your home’s health and wellbeing, we got to work finding a practical solution to this annual struggle: heat cables. Heat cables are strung along the eaves of your home, through your gutters, and provide a safe, even heat that keeps run-off water flowing and prevents ice dams from forming.

After much research, we found a quality manufacturer (vastly superior to what you find in big box stores) of heat cables that we really believe in. And yes, our Webfoot team can quickly and easily complete the installation for you.

What are the other benefits?

  • Commercial-Grade Product with a 5-Year Warranty: A high quality design with a 16-gauge tinned-copper wire core and a second layer of braided tinned-copper mesh to effectively distribute heat throughout the wires.
  • Durable & UV-Stable: Featuring an outer jacket made of UV-resistant, rugged polyolefin for maximum durability. As a result, they can be on your roof for years without deteriorating.  
  • Self-Regulating & Energy Efficient: Able to self-regulate and adjust their heat based on the temperature, making them energy efficient.
  • Available as Plug-in or Hard-Wired: Versatile, so you can choose the system that works best for you.
  • Installed by Teams of Professionals: Webfoot's teams are experienced and highly qualified with miles of heat cable installation already completed!

More about what makes our heat cables different.

Have Any Questions About Heat Cable Installation in Bend, OR?

Don’t risk it this winter! Protect your home, your budget, AND your peace of mind. Contact our team today!

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