Winters in the Northeast have been consistently hard on all of us in the recent years and has not been kind to our homes. As a gutter company who aims to be a five-star contractor, The Brothers that just do Gutters have been working very hard every winter to battle the elements and bring the best resolution to homeowners. In the past, we offered snow and ice removal, but decided to focus more on just gutters and less of anything else. We have come to realize that the better solution for dealing with ice and snow buildup in winter is to be proactive and plan for them well before the snow falls.
Keeping ice and snow out of the gutter system entirely will greatly reduce the risks associated with the ice expansion at the roofline. Ice in the gutters push against the hangers and fascia and can add thousands of pounds to your gutter systems. We highly recommend the installation of Rhino Guard to strengthen the gutter system. Much as we recommend Rhino Guard, they cannot resolve or stop ice damming alone. In fact, most guards are known to have icicles early in the winter. This doesn’t mean the guard is defective, it’s just the easiest spot for icicles to form from the snow sitting on the guard. Shy of insulating your attic with spray foam, properly installed heat cable is the most effective way to deal with ice and snow in the gutters, as well as combating ice dams.
In the years of installing the heat cable, we discovered the proper strategy for installing heat cable. Properly means running the cable over the hangers and along the bottom of the gutter in a loop. Then we cover the gutter with a leaf guard system. After our part is done, a licensed electrician makes the connection from the gutter to the electric panel. Using this installation practice allows the process to be smoother, faster and cost less. With rhino guard and a heat cable, the gutter system creates a heat zone hot enough to melt the amount of snow and ice we experience in the winter.
As a company we have researched this topic extensively and drew from our years of experience, to come to this conclusion. Being based in the Hudson Valley we have been bombarded with ice dams for the past five years, so we have seen it first hand. But don’t take our word for it alone. We talked to our good friend Eric Self of Self Made Electric and asked his thoughts on the best way to install heat cable. He gave us the following suggestions:
“Installing heat cable on the roof adds unnecessary costs in time and product expense. Installing on the roof can triple the costs to have heat cable”, he said. He went on to say, “The idea with heat cable is to get the water from the roof to the ground. Using it in the gutter system will most efficiently get the job done.” And just for added emphasis, he went on to say, “installing cable on the roof is unnecessary if you have the cable properly installed in the gutter system”. He did warn us though that sometimes, there can still be problems with ice dams since gutters are not the only source of ice damming. We touched on this very idea in our Ice Damming blog and encourage you to look into using many methods to prevent ice dams.
If you would like some more information on ice dams be sure to read our other blogs on the subject. If you’re interested in having heat cable installed give us a call or head on over to our website to schedule an estimate.