Victorian Home Receives Ice Dam Prevention Upgrade

Poorly performing zig zag heat tape system

For years this home suffered from a poorly designed heat cable system using the zig zag method. While these were the commercial style of self regulating heat tape, the zig zag installation meant a lot of heat cable was used but very little is accomplished in relation to the energy used. Pictured here, we can see just how ineffective it was. Notice the small melt areas around the zig zag heat tape. This was only a moderate amount of snow on the roof. The icicles and ice dams were already forming, and this was early in the season. The icicles dripped down on the steps leading to the front door. Because this was not a primary residenct, the homeowner put up with this poor performance for years. Just think of how much energy was wasted with this installation. Heat cable manufacturers and electricians love this method because it means more heat cable is installed. Unsuspecting homeowners accept it because they don't know there is a better way.

Edge Melt System to the rescue!

Victorian Ice Dam Prevention System SuccessWe were called in to help out. Looking at the original installation, it was not hard to see why the zig zag heat tape was not working well. The heat cable was routed up the roof far enough, but it failed to provide adequate heat to the areas that were most important - the roof edge. Using less heat cable, we installed the VersaScreen MaxPro and FEPro heated gutter guards along with the IceBlaster Heated Valley Panel and Channel Melt Panel. This system went from 4 circuits to 2 circuits. The customer will use less energy year after year and not have to deal with the dangerous situation of having the icicles drip down on the stairs leading to the front door. We also installed an energy efficient controller to manage the ice dam prevention system. 

Better products by design.

Our products work better because we understand what works and what doesn't. Zig zag heat cables may work from time to time. You can find apologists for them all over the internet. If you don't get a lot of snow, they will work just fine. If you only have the budget for purchasing the heat coils at the big box store or local hardware store, then try running them in the gutter and downspout only (perhaps doubling up in the gutter bottom) first. You will likely see better results. 

The course of wisdom, however is to invest in an ice dam prevention system that is proven over the years. We install the products from Edge Melt Systems because of their:

  • efficient design
  • proven track record
  • comprehensive product line
  • industry leading heater cables
  • 10 year warranty

Want this system on your home - Contact Us.