While icicles hanging off the roof may look like a scene from a quintessential New England picture, they are a sign of trouble for your roof!

The Problem:

When water gets into cracks and crevices in the roof or in gutters, and then freezes, it can cause ice to form in those areas. As the ice forms, it expands the cracks, creating the risk for serious structural damage to your roof, eaves, or gutters.  This can lead to damaging leaks as the water melts.


The Solution:

Heat tape!  This product sometimes referred to as gutter heat tape or a roof heat cable, can warm these surfaces just enough to prevent ice from forming. The benefits of using heat tape on your roof are numerous. For example, when used along gutters, it helps to stop icicles from forming. This can protect the lifespan of the gutters. The biggest benefit is minimizing the risk of ice dams. This alone can save you a significant amount of money if you live in an area where temperatures vary significantly. It also extends the life of your roof.


What Is Heat Tape?

Heat tape is a type of electric heater cord that’s protected from the elements. When used in pipes and gutters, it works to generate just enough heat to keep water from freezing. The roof heat cable is placed in areas of primary concern. As the weather gets colder, a homeowner can plug in the tape, which warms the area and works to stop any precipitation from forming into ice or icicles. As a result, water continues to flow and there’s no ice obstruction on your eaves, valleys, or gutters.

The Details:

Before you invest in heat tape, it is important to understand both the pros and the cons. To start with, your gutters, fascia, roof,  and other areas need to be in good condition before the heat tape is applied. This means leaks need to be repaired first. Then, it’s important to place them properly inside the gutter or along the roofline where the risk of ice forming is the greatest. It only works in a small area where the tape is placed – which means you need to add a substantial amount to critical areas. The biggest drawback, aside from energy use, is that they must be installed properly to avoid any electrical hazard, so it is not a DIY task.


If considering installing heat tape on your roof or gutters, call the experts at Horch Roofing. With offices in Warren and South Portland, Maine, Horch Roofing is your local roofer.


Need Help Deciding?

If you are worried about your roof this winter and aren’t sure what the best option is, contact your trusted, local roofing contractors at Horch Roofing. Since 2003, Horch Roofing has installed metal roofing, asphalt shingle roofing, EPDM rubber roofing, and seamless gutters for both residential and commercial roofing projects throughout Maine.


Horch Roofing offers free roof or gutter replacement estimates.  We serve the communities of Maine from our offices in Warren and South Portland. Call (207) 273-1111 or contact us online.