In the winter months, taking care of driveways, porches, and outdoor steps are common tasks. Driveways, porches, steps, and sidewalks are shoveled and salted to prevent injuries.
But the driveway and stairs are not the only places ice collects and can cause damage. How about the roof? Water can seep into the cracks of a roof. When it gets cold, that water freezes and expands which makes the cracks bigger and could potentially cause leaks.
“And even though it may seem like the weather we’ve been having here in the Chicagoland area has been mild thus far, we still have several weeks of potential winter snow ahead,” says David Ariano, Owner Of Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric in Lincolnshire Illinois.
Ariano continues, “So it’s just a matter of time before snow will accumulate on your roof. That snow will partially melt, and when the temperature drops it will freeze and become ice, forming ice dams.”
Those ice dams will slow additional melt, allowing the moisture to penetrate the roof’s shingles and the top layer of your home, causing potential damage. Additionally, the ice dams can form icicles hanging from the gutter. If these melt or break away and fall, they can hit somebody, causing injury and potential liability.
“That’s where roof deicing systems come in,” explains Ariano. “The concept is simple. Heating cables connected to a power source are laid on the roof. The cables heat the snow and ice to prevent ice dams from forming.”
These systems run on electricity, so your electric bill will go up a bit. These systems are generally energy-efficient, costing about 35 cents an hour to heat 300 square feet. And of course, the additional electricity cost is a small price to pay to prevent extensive roof damage or potential injury from a falling icicle.” shares Ariano.
Here are seven advantages to implementing a roof de-icing system and preventing ice dams in the first place:
Safety. Icicles will eventually fall and potentially strike people, causing injury (and potential liability). Or, they lead to ice buildup on the driveways and sidewalks, which can cause people to slip and fall.
Roof protection. Roof cable systems help to prevent ice from building up and causing cracks in the roof and potential leaks into a home. So a system can not only make a roof last longer but also help prevent expensive and damaging leaks.
Installations. Heating cables can be either connected to a receptacle device or cut to size for larger installations. The cables are attached to roofs, gutter, and downspouts using the manufacturer’s specified cabling support system.
Low maintenance. These systems require virtually no maintenance.
Manual Operation. These systems can be manually controlled by the end-user by plugging into a receptacle device or by a pilot light switch device on the interior of the building.
Fully Automated Operation. If desired, these systems can be completely hands-free. Automated systems consist of devices that automatically detect precipitation and temperature so that the system only operates as needed. When not needed, the system shuts down.
Low-cost operation. The actual cost depends on the part of the country one lives in, but generally, continuous snow melting for 300 square feet can be provided for about $0.35 per continuous hour.
Of course, these systems are not a substitute for a properly constructed roof. Also make sure that self-regulating cables are installed. The cables can be installed in factory-made lengths or for larger installations, they can be cut to length. The self-regulating cables are more energy-efficient than basic heating or parallel resistance cables and can overlap without the risk of overheating.
Ariano concludes, “And even though those sparkling icicles hanging from the eaves are pretty to look at, they could signal that there is a more serious problem underneath.”
About the Company: In operation since 1928, Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric is located in Lincolnshire, Illinois, and serves the Chicagoland area. They provide services such as plumbing, heating and cooling, flood prevention, electrical work, retrofitting and remodeling, and a variety of commercial services, as well. Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric provides a 100% money-back guarantee and transparent warranties on repairs and new installations. They are a licensed and bonded air conditioning contractor and one of the most trusted providers of HVAC maintenance, including AC tune-ups, in the Chicago area for over 90 years.
Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric
575 Bond St suite a, Lincolnshire, IL 60069