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Are our heat cables necessary to prevent ice dams?

Mar 1

Are our heat cables necessary to prevent ice dams?


Heat cable has a negative reputation in the area of ice prevention. Most people are not familiar with heat cables and how they should be installed. I'll be diving deep into heat cables to explain their purpose, where it works and why, what to avoid and what to buy, and how to design and implement heat cable systems by roofers in Mesa AZ.


A dam made of ice


Minnesotans are haunted by terrible memories of early 2019, as the snowflakes of October brought back awful memories. Many Minnesotans have terrible memories of early 2019 after the snowflakes in October caused impassable streets and flooded basements. An ice dam is a ridge or ring of ice on roofs that causes meltwater to enter your home. If you ignore them, they can create mini-glaciers in your home that can cause major damage. Minnesota, greetings!


Insurance companies typically cover repairs to ice dams, but they do not cover future costs. Many homeowners are left wondering how to avoid this expensive and annoying problem. As a result of ice-dam claims, some insurance companies require homeowners to pay expensive modifications to prevent future damage to ice dams. Failure to make these modifications could result in future ice-dam-related claims being denied.




Industry experts agree that preventing ice dams is best done by improving the architecture of your home. This includes insulation, ventilation, and sealing all air leaks that allow heat from escaping where it shouldn’t. Remember that meltwater from melting snow eaves feeds the ice-dam cycle. Over the last quarter-century, we've completed hundreds of home improvement projects, with average prices ranging between $10,000 and $30,000. The video below gives an overview of the project's scope.


These aren't the usual air-sealing projects. This dirty and difficult job usually involves the demolition of the interior or exterior of the home or both. This can be considered a significant home improvement, which reduces the possibility of ice dams as well as improves energy efficiency. Incorrectly done, it can cause ice dam problems and be a waste. Bummer.




Roof shoveling, if done correctly, can help to prevent ice dams. First, remove all snow from any roof affected by ice dams. Not as common as it may seem, removing snow from your roof's lowermost feet can cause a second ice dam to form.


Dam on 2 levels


Double dams can be very difficult to get rid of and can cause major damage if left unchecked. It's difficult to remove snow from rooftops or ground because the roof planes may be more than two stories high.


Snow removal can also be done at home.


This requires someone to climb up the ladder, which isn't a good idea. Many homeowners will choose to hire professionals for this job, which is often very expensive.




  • Tape to keep your warm


All ice dam prevention tapes are the same regardless of their name: heat cable, heat coil, or roof deicing cables. These cables use electricity to generate heat, melting the snow and ice from the roof. These channels allow water to flow away from the roof, rather than back into the home. Heat cable's only purpose is to produce relief channels through snow/ice, and not to keep eaves clear.


  • Installed heat cables


A high-quality cable with the right quality can provide 10 years of reliable ice prevention if it's placed by someone who understands what they are doing. Heat cables may not always be the best option to prevent ice from forming. These houses were frequent targets of our inspections. Even so, some industry skeptics believe heat wires are ineffective.


Mesa Roofing Pros

930 N Mesa Dr #2001 Mesa 85201