If you follow us on social media, live in Central Oregon, and/or have gone outside in the winter months, you know that we deal with monumental ice dam issues. Sadly, many of our friends and neighbors in Bend and beyond have faced serious water damage following snowfall. We do our best to keep up with the demand for ice dam removal, working some Serious hours thawing away rooftop ice with our steam machines.
As we’ve shared so many times before, preventative measures are the BEST line of defense against ice dam buildup. And, consequently, they’re also your best defense against the water damage that is almost sure to follow.
Since this won't be our first wintertime rodeo, we have spent a LOT of time investigating how best to combat this recurring threat. And, we have an answer.
Heat cables, installed along the edge of your roofline, are designed to keep ice dams from building. The science is simple: they warm up, prevent the water from freezing, and can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Keep in mind, not all heat cables are created equal! The versions from your local big box store can leave something to be desired, often providing disappointing, ineffective protection.
We found a manufacturer (after much research) that we believe in; one that offers superior design quality and performance. For all of the details about installation, benefits, and ice dams in general, read Heat Cables Are the Best Way to Prevent Ice Dams in Central Oregon.
Today, let’s get down to brass tacks.
Most problem areas on your roof (and we’ll help you identify these) can be addressed and protected for about $2,000. And, most homes here in Bend have 1-2 problem areas. Problem areas are places on your roof where Ice Dams are most likely to form. Although 80% of ice dams form on the eaves of your roof, other common problem areas are valleys, skylights, and vent or pipe openings.
What impacts the cost? Well, it really all comes down to how much cable we need to install. The amount of cable is unique to every home and depends on the size of your roof, unique features, and how many problem areas you might have. Every home is different. Variations include things like gutters, downspouts, eves, soffits, and valleys. If there are gutters and downspouts, then cable needs to be run through them so the water has a way to drain, and so more cable is needed. Soffit or eve depth also plays a role, because the deeper the eve the more cable is needed. If there is a valley feeding into the problem area, then we also need to run the cable up the valley. We'll determine the length of heat cable needed for your home to give you an exact cost.
Webfoot offers the versatility to choose between plug-in or hardwired systems. Plug-in systems like ours are limited in length, maxing out at 150 feet. We try to use every foot as efficiently as possible, but if you have a large or unique roof you may need to look into a hardwired system. A hardwired system incurs additional costs by needing the consult of a professional electrician.
Well, that’s an equally valid question. Truly. After seeing so much damage caused by trapped rooftop water that had nowhere to go but IN, we can’t overemphasize the value and importance of protecting your home with a system like this.
It’s a little like investing in routine oil changes for your car. Sure, it may not be fun to spend the $50-60 bucks, but it’s better than replacing a seized motor.
Chuck Hendricks, one of Webfoot’s lead experts on heat cables has some pretty helpful tips when it comes to this subject! Let’s see what he has to say:
We recommend having our team visit your home, and let us review your roof, its lines and features, and propose a plan. There’s no obligation, but it IS good food for thought. We simply want to help you be able to rest easy during our next snowstorm, not wonder if you’re going to have an interior waterfall.
Have a question? Give us a call! We’d Seriously love to serve you.