Installing Heat Cables

Calculating How Much Heat Cable You Need

You can use the calculator to the right to approximate the length of heat cable that you will require to cover the area of your roof/gutters effected by ice dams. It will also approximate the amount of Roof Clips and Downspout Hangers you will need for your install, based on your input.

It is important to make sure you have made correct/accurate measurements of all dimensions when determining how much ice dam heat cable you need for your particular situation.

Ice Dam Eave Depth

Installing Preassembled Ice Dam Heat Cables

For a detailed PDF manual on our Ice Dam Heat Cables click the following:

Ice Dam Heat Cable Manual

Your Pre-assembled Ice Dam Heat Cable will arrive at your chosen length. It will be plug-in ready and will not require any electrical wiring.

To install your preassembled ice dam heat cable, you will require the following installation accessories:

  • Heat Cable Roof Clips – Recommended Qty: 1.5 clips per linear foot of roof edge (as a general rule)
  • Downspout Hangers (if there’s a downspout) – Qty: 1 per downspout transition (e.g. – if your cable goes down and then back up the downspout, you will need 2 hangers)

Installing Custom Length Ice Dam Heat Cables

For a detailed PDF manual on our Ice Dam Heat Cables click the following:

Ice Dam Heat Cable Manual

Your Ice Dam Heat Cable by the Foot will arrive at your chosen custom length, and will need to be hard-wired to your home electrical system. Always consult a licensed electrician when hard-wiring heat cables into your home electrical system.

Heat Cable Roof Clip Installation Tips

Heat Cable Roof Clip Installation Tips

Heat Cable Roof Clip Installation Tips

There are two methods commonly used by heat cable installers around the United States; Blind Nailing and Face Nailing. There are pros and cons to each approach. The advantage to blind nailing is that the head of the nail is hidden and therefore less likely to result in a leak. The disadvantage is that blind nailing is often difficult or impossible to perform when the roof is either frozen or brittle due to age. Trying to blind nail on a frozen or brittle roof can result in damage to the roofing material, which is a far more serious threat to the integrity of the roof than an exposed nail head. Face nailing is faster than blind nailing and can be done regardless of the temperature of the roof or the degree of material embrittlement. However, face nailing theoretically creates a path for water to potentially travel down into the roof decking (after the silicone around it fails). For this reason, some professional installers are not comfortable with face nailing. That said, when a heat cable roof clip is face nailed the shaft of the nail is traveling through silicone, through the thickness of the shingle and through an ice & water membrane before it hits the roof decking. Our experience is that there has never been a single verified case of damage to a roof as the result of face nailing (based on the thousands of projects installed by us or the contractors we sell heat cable to each year). The bottom line is this: If the roof is warm and flexible enough to blind-nail, do that. If it is not, face nail.

Blind Nailing

Pry up the shingle using a 4” putty knife to break the bond of the adhesive strip between the layers of roofing. We suggest freeing at least 12” of strip on either side of the clip location to prevent damage to the shingle. Lift up the shingle as shown below to allow for the clip to be nailed under the shingle. The nail head should be hidden from view after the clip is installed and the shingle is laid back down. Install a small dot of silicone on top of the nail head after before laying the shingle down.

Face Nailing

Install a dime-sized dot of silicone on the face of the shingle where you intend to install the clip. Seat the clip down onto the silicone. Drive a nail until the head is flush with the clip. Wet your finger and gently smear the silicone down around the nail head. Done.

Here is a handy PDF you can check out for more info:

Heat cable Roof Clip Nailing 

Ice Dam Removal, Ice Dam Prevention

Removing Ice Dams in Minnesota: We Serve Many Areas in the Minneapolis Metro

The Ice Dam company based out of Hopkins, Minnesota, about 5 miles west of Minneapolis. We've done gutter ice removal, roof ice removal and ice dam removal all over the Twin Cities, on new houses and old ones.

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