Many people believe that a heated gutter, gutter cables or a combination of both will be sufficient in preventing ice dam formations. Here are several reasons why:
The problem is that this water often freezes on contact with the gutter, or larger sheets of ice end up causing a gutter clog.
Ultimately, this will lead to ice dams because water has no means of escaping. Water will then remain on the roof or find any nook or cranny in your roof that it can seep into and eventually cause an interior leak to form.
Heated gutters may help stop the formation of ice dams along the gutter. After all, most of these heated options have been shown to work to keep ice out of the gutter and stop buildup. But the root of the problem is still present: heat loss. The snow will still continue to melt, and ice dams can form on areas above the gutter, causing heated gutters to be virtually useless in some cases.
Downspouts are also known to freeze up, so a heated gutter guard, for example, may allow the water to flow into the downspout that eventually freezes up and causes the gutters to be filled with ice. This can cause greater strain on the gutters and the roof itself.
Heated cables are an option, and a heated gutter guard may be used in conjunction with these cables for results, but these still may not be enough to combat an excessively harsh and cold winter.
Custom solutions can be created that heat both the gutter and downspout. These solutions will allow the water to flow all the way out of the gutter as normal and will keep ice dams away from the edge of the roof.
With that said, ice dams typically will start to form on other areas of the roof far away from the gutter itself. HotEdge provides the only UL Accredited Ice Dam Prevention system that is guaranteed to prevent ice dams from even forming. Contact us today to find out how easily our roof ice melt system can be adapted to your existing or new roof!