Wintertime conditions create all sorts of issues that need to be addressed by the homeowner. You’re prepared to shovel or snowplow the walk or driveway, scrape ice from your windshield and salt the front walk or stairs. However, many people never consider how these winter conditions affect their roof. The consequences of accumulated snow is that it creates ice dams which can lead to damage to your roof, gutters, walls and ceilings, and other areas of your home. The moisture created by the ice dams can also enter your home and lead to mold and mildew growth.
What is an ice Dam?
An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. Unfortunately, if water pools on the roof for long enough, it may sneak under shingles and flashing, creating a leak.
This could result in waterlogged insulation and mold growth inside your attic, as well as brown splotches on the ceiling inside your house. Since ice dams form during the winter, the pooling water will also be stuck in a repetitive freeze-thaw cycle, so the dam won’t resolve itself until spring arrives.
The Benefits of Using Heat Tape to Prevent Ice Dams
Heat tape, heat cable, heat wire…they’re different names that mean the same thing. They’re hot wires that run up and down your roof to melt snow and prevent ice buildup on your overhangs and in your valleys.
First and foremost, it is very important to understand that heat cables do not prevent ice from forming or get rid of it altogether. Heat cables DO melt channels through the formed ice dams to minimize the amount of build-up.
Advantages of Installing Heat Tape
- Professionally installed heat Tape can minimize the water build up behind ice dams
- Heat tape is a more affordable solution than the alternative, which is creating proper ventilation, sealing all air leaks and installing adequate insulation, etc.
- Heat cables protect your gutters from filling with ice and then breaking away from the roof which can cause additional harm to the roof.
If you’d like to find out more about heat tape installation or any other questions you may have about Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Electrical and Drain Cleaning, stop by our booth at the HOMESHOW at booth E11, and we’d happy to help you.
Here at Central Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical your ‘comfort’ is always our CENTRAL concern! Call 406-756-6656. We service Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Bigfork, Polson, Lakeside, Somers or anywhere in the surrounding Flathead.