Ice dams are a fairly common problem during winter, particularly if a house has clogged gutters. Ice dams are a problem because they prevent precipitation on your roof from flowing into the downspouts. This can lead to the runoff seeping underneath the shingles and causing leaks. Fortunately, as the leading expert in gutters in Syracuse, NY, we can offer a solution. Barry Best Seamless Gutters is an authorized Gutter Helmet® dealer and this allows us to install their Helmet Heat® system. This product is a quick, simple and effective way to prevent ice dams.
In today’s article, we explain how ice dams form and discuss how Helmet Heat works to prevent this issue. Since this product is used together with Gutter Helmet, we will also explain how Gutter Helmet works and why installing it is a great choice for your home.
How Do Ice Dams Form?
An ice dam is a hard ice formation that forms at the roof edge and prevents melted snow from draining off the roof. The backed up water runoff can then leak into the home and damage the insulation, ceilings, walls and other areas. Ice dam formation is a result of the complex interaction among the outside temperature, snow cover and the amount of heat loss in the house. Ice dams form when there is snow that lands on the roof melts and then refreezes at the edge of the roof due to the roofing system being poorly insulated.
If the higher portions of the roof are warmer than the lower portions, then snow from the top will melt, only to refreeze as an ice dam once it reaches the roof edge. The ice dam will keep growing as long as the temperatures between the top of the roof remains warmer than the edges. As the ice grows, melted snow at the top of the roof will continue to accumulate, eventually leading to leaks.
How Can You Prevent Ice Dams?
Ice dams can be prevented in several ways. As the leading expert in gutters and gutter guards in Fayetteville, NY, we recommend taking a proactive approach to this problem. The main cause of ice dams is poor insulation in the roofing system, leading to warmer temperatures at the top of the roof and freezing temperatures at the edge of the roof. You can reduce the temperature of the upper portion of your roof by preventing heat from escaping your attic.
You can do this by increasing your attic insulation and improving your attic ventilation. Increasing the insulation will reduce the amount of heat that’s transferred to the top of your roof through conduction and radiation. Improving your attic ventilation will then reduce your home’s heat loss by air leakage and prevent convection from warming up your roof. As a bonus, doing these two things can improve your home’s energy efficiency, making it warmer and more comfortable.
You can also remove the snow from your roof to prevent it from melting and forming ice dams. We recommend hiring a professional for this job to avoid possible damage to your roofing shingles. Finally, you can prevent ice dam formation by keeping your roof edge warm enough to melt snow. This will not only prevent ice dams but it will also ensure that water keeps flowing into your gutters. This is where Helmet Heat can help you.
What Is Helmet Heat?
Helmet Heat is an effective and economical solution to ice dams. It will minimize the conditions necessary for ice dams to form and prevent water damage. It’s a good solution for homeowners who want to be absolutely certain that ice dams won’t form on their roof. Helmet Heat is a self-regulating deicing cable that fits inside Gutter Helmet’s bracket system. The cable gently warms the Gutter Helmet panels to prevent ice and snow from accumulating on your gutters, downspouts and eaves.
How Does Helmet Heat Work?
Video | How Helmet Heat works
Helmet Heat will raise your gutters’ temperature just above freezing, preventing the melted snow from refreezing as an ice dam. It can protect your gutters, downspouts and roof from heavy ice and snow loads that can cause damage and erosion. Helmet Heat uses self-regulating heating cables that detect changes in ambient temperature. These cables cannot overheat and they provide just enough heat to warm and melt the ice, but not enough heat to make the cables hot to touch.
What Are the Benefits of Helmet Heat?
Helmet Heat uses a heavy duty commercial grade self-regulating heat cable that is safe, strong and durable. Since the cables are self-regulating, they do not require a thermostat nor do they require any monitoring or attention from you. Once Helmet Heat is installed, you can have peace of mind knowing that it is constantly working to protect your home. Helmet Heat is a safe, practical and affordable solution to your ice dam problems.
Helmet Heat cables are reliable and they are ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected. They are safe to the touch and they can maintain continuous temperatures for extended lengths of time as long as you need them to protect your home. The Helmet Heat cables are invisible because of how they are installed. This not only keeps them out of the way but also protects them from weather damage. Operating this product is also simple. All you need to do is to turn it on and off at the right time. Turn it on and leave it on as long as there is snow on your roof and then turn it off once your roof is clear.
How Is Helmet Heat Installed?
Helmet Heat should only be installed by trained and authorized Gutter Helmet dealers like Barry Best Seamless Gutters. This is because it is a companion to Gutter Helmet. There are many different configuration options for this product, so your Gutter Helmet dealer will be the one to determine the best setup for your house. As the top expert in gutter protection and seamless gutters in Manlius, NY, we will first plan the circuits and take measurements before installation.
We will evaluate several factors including the power source, wire placement and cable length and type. Since Helmet Heat’s electrical junction box is weatherproof, we can place it in any location on your exterior. A common location is near your downspout at the base of your home because this allows the power to be supplied through the basement or through a crawl space. The wire setup we will use will depend on how much snowfall you will expect to receive during a typical winter. We have a two-wire and three-wire setups.
If your gutters are longer than 450 feet, we might also install additional power boxes. A licensed electrician will then connect the heating cable to the power source, following all national and local electrical codes. We will also use ground fault equipment protection for each circuit.
What Is Gutter Helmet?
Video | How Gutter Helmet works
Gutter Helmet is a gutter protection system that completely protects your gutters from leaves, pine needles, dirt and other debris. It is an effective and long-term solution to the problems caused by gutter clogs. It will completely cover your gutters, preventing even the smallest debris from entering. Meanwhile, water can still flow into your gutters thanks to the product’s unique nose-forward design. We install Helmet Heat together with the Gutter Helmet system. Together these two products will effectively protect your home from the damage caused by gutter clogs and ice dams.
Barry Best Seamless Gutters is an authorized Gutter Helmet dealer that has served local homeowners for over 29 years. We have installed Gutter Helmet and Helmet Heat on countless homes. We also offer custom seamless gutters and install high-quality Sunesta retractable awnings. We’re proud of our first-class services and our attention to detail.