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When to Use Heating Cable for Gutters & Downspouts

When to Use Heating Cable for Gutters & Downspouts

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Drain Away Winter Weather Hazards with Heated Downspouts and Gutters

When the temperature dips below freezing, winter weather can damage your roof in the form of ice dams. (Read more about ice damming here.)  But even if your roof is well ventilated and properly insulated, meltwater needs a continuous path to safely drain off the roof. In frigid temperatures, especially at night, water in gutters and downspouts can back up and refreeze before it can drain. Without a clear runoff path,  meltwater can spill over from backed-up gutters and downspouts onto walkways below, creating icy hazards for you and your family or customers. For a complete prevention system, install heating wire inside gutters and downspouts to ensure that  meltwater has a clear, continuous drainage path from the roof to the ground before it has a chance to refreeze and cause damage and dangerous conditions.

What will I need to install to keep gutters and downspouts clear?

If your roof already has adequate ventilation and insulation, you’ll need to install self-regulating heat trace cable inside gutters and downspouts only, to safely direct draining meltwater from walkways below. The self-regulating cable delivers heat when you need it and shuts off when you don’t, adjusting to ambient temperatures for maximum energy efficiency. Heat trace cable is safe for metal, plastic or wooden downspouts and gutters, and it will not overheat, even if overlapped. Cable is available in both 120 and 240 voltages. Choose a preassembled cable, available in lengths between 6 and 100 feet, which plugs into a standard grounded outlet. For larger projects, rolls of cable are available in quantities from 50 to 1,000 feet. You’ll also need components for clipping the cable inside gutters and downspouts. For cut-to-length cable, you’ll need caps to seal the ends.

For maximum efficiency and effectiveness, a complete gutter and downspout de-icing system includes a sensor and controller. Manual systems are available, but they are not recommended. For optimal energy efficiency, add a combination sensor-controller model inside the gutter so the system can automatically respond to ambient conditions, activating while you’re away to keep ice and snow from building up and causing damage when temperatures drop.

An investment in protecting your home today can prevent costly winter weather damage to your home tomorrow and in years to come. Before winter hits, contact Warm Your Floor for expert advice on the right de-icing solution for your commercial or residential project!

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