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Roof heat strips

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by 11 Bravo, Aug 22, 2007.

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  1. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    With fall approaching I am thinking it is time to look into roof heat strips to keep the ice dams clear this winter. Anyone out there have any experience with these ? I saw them on a business last year, weaved up and down perpendicular to the roof. I typically use a snow rake and tube socks filled with potassium chloride to clear them off my roof, but this only works occasionally. Any advice.....experience ? Expensive ?

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  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    My father has the heating wire run on his roof at the eaves & valleys, gutters & down spout. Works very well.
    He swears by it.
    It does not melt heavy thick snow, but what it does is keeps a path free for the melting snow water to run, he has not had any problems since having it installed.
    I will prolly be putting it on my place when I get other projects completed first.
  3. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    Ok.......will look into it. I have only seen them from a distance and after the leak last winter, I think it's a good idea. It appears they clip on the shingles, so no holes required ????? Figured somebody here has to have some experience with them and I know zero about roofs......
  4. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I don't have any links for them, but customers have found them as "kits" available at the local hardware/home centers as well as the big box stores.

    Basically everything you need is right in the box. Most of the time they have the hanger clips right in the box. They are available in different lengths and have the plug already on them so all you have to do is "plug them in".

    Of course, on the down side, most people don't have plugs already installed under the eaves... so thats why they call me (the electrician).
  5. TedNH

    TedNH Member

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    My house had heat tape on the roof when I purchased it.
    I think its ugly so I pulled it off. The clips were starting to damage the shingles.
    I have a long roof rake for pulling the snow off the roof.
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Yes clips clip onto the bottom of the shingle tabs, the wire is run zig zag up and down along the lower roof area (approx. 2'-3') then continues up an valleys if so needed, and also sots in bottom of gutter in clips also. Can also be run down & back up the downspouts which is the first place to freeze up solid. The wire is run in as long and continuous run as possible. Obviously each side would have its own setup, unless your roof is designed so that a continuous run could be made all the way around. I am still researching, I would think there may be a linit to how long each run is die to the added resistance coinciding with the length of run.
  7. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    I was having problem with ice dams on my gabled end of the house where the valley for the garage met the house. It would always dam. I put the heat wire things up but the set I bought did not have a very good clip set up but it worked and then I realized my problem for the ice dam.

    My garage was not insulated and when we would have snow on the roof and have a large heat swing if I left the garage doors open the heat would warm the under side of the roof and it would melt from the underside of the roof then from the top. After that happened a couple of times I had a nice thick dam of ice in the valley to create a holding area for water until it found another way out.
    After I insulated the garage the problem went away.

    Just my experience.
  8. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    They do use quite a bit of electricity And have to be run all the time to be effective with roof snow cover. They only last a few seasons before they do not work and need replacing

    but will get the job done
  9. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    Loc:
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    I don't have gutters on the house, and from what I am reading and my high electric bills....and the hassle......think I'll stick with my wife using the snow rake and tube socks filled with potassium chloride.
  10. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    My fathers is controlled by a switch. He uses it only when needed & has had it for over 10 yrs. The newer ones have a temp sensor that kicks it on & off.
    The one my father uses has a fairly nominal electric useage, I am sure it being able to be switched on & off helps alot also.
  11. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I installed these for my parents in their previous house. Theirs had a sensor, I forget if it was temperature or moisture, so that the wire was only heated when there was some melting going on. That should reduce the electric bill. They had bad ice dam problems in part because they were in mid michigan, where the temperature can fluctuate around freezing a lot, but mostly because (they discovered) the contractor they hired to reinsulate the house skipped a whole section. After they made him finish the job I think things improved a lot.
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