The Best Roof De-icing Systems

Finding unique, effective solutions for hazardous winter problems can be tough for contractors. From falling icicles and frost erosion to heavy snow and ice damaging property, home and business owners can be inundated with problems throughout the winter. One of the more costly concerns that many home and business owners may overlook is the ice dam.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms along roof eaves. These dams form when heat that has escaped from the home into the attic melts snow on the roof. The bottom layer melts, and runoff trickles down the roof where it reaches the colder eaves and refreezes. Over time this forms the ridges of ice which hold pools of water behind them. The water pools behind the ice ridge where it can seep into tiny cracks or imperfections in the roof. When the water refreezes at night, the expanding ice can eventually damage the shingles and roof. Over time, water may find its way into the house, leading to additional costly problems, such as mold and mildew inside the home.

Roof with heated valley and edges
A roof with heated valleys and edges.

For contractors looking to offer safety and value to their customers, roof de-icing is an invaluable option. Roof de-icing systems can prevent snow and ice from forming on problem spots on the roof, as well as facilitate runoff by protecting gutters and downspouts.

At ProLine Radiant, there are multiple industry-leading options available for clients. The most often recommended is the top-of-the-line  ProLine RoofHeat STEP low-voltage roof de-icing system. This uniquely constructed system consists of a thin (3/64 inch), semi-conductive polymer heating element that is sold in easy to work with rolls, available in widths of in 3, 6, 9, or 12 inches. The elements can be cut on site and nailed or staple through, making installation quick and easy for any size project.

Low-voltage heating element

ProLine’s lightweight (.23 lbs per foot) low-voltage heating element is polypropylene fused so that it is protected from water, alkaline, and salt damage, and can be installed discreetly under various types of roof shingles as well as metal roofs. The low-voltage heating element is also self-regulating, so when the ambient temperature rises, the electrical resistance increases and the consumption of electricity decreases. This prevents the element from overheating and ensures energy-efficient operation. Each transformer powers a specific section of the roof, and “steps down” high-voltage to low-voltage (60 volts or less), and monitors the power output to the heating element, assuring optimal performance.

ProLine recommends the STEP Touch thermostat as the activation device for the low-voltage system. This advanced thermostat is designed with a user friendly interface, and is compatible with smart home systems. It also stores all settings in a permanent memory for instant recovery in the event of a power failure. The roof de-icing system can be easily customized to meet the customer’s specific roof heating needs.  ProLine’s roof de-icing experts evaluate each project and recommend the appropriate components and system configuration for every customer.

The versatile low-voltage de-icing system can be installed under shake and asphalt shingles, and is even safe for heating metal roofing. Installing the heating panels along roof eaves is the ideal way to prevent ice dams, but the system can also be used to heat roof valleys and problem areas. The 3-inch heating element can be installed in downspouts and gutters to prevent heavy, potentially damaging ice buildup. The low-voltage system can even be installed to heat entire sections of roofing if necessary.

ProLine system designers are experts at evaluating and design systems for maximum efficiency. The systems can be tailored to different areas on a roof to eliminate potential problems where water damage may occur. Roof de-icing can also enhance safety for pedestrian traffic by eliminating dripping icicles. This is especially crucial for businesses looking to ensure their customers’ safety by eliminating falling snow and icicles to keep sidewalks, parking areas, and shipping docks free of ice.

ProLine’s low-voltage de-icing system is the do-it-all product that any contractor or business needs to make sure customers are prepared for winter. Along with durable construction and proven performance, the system is ETL (NTRL) listed and has a 10 year warranty against any manufacturing defects.

Another excellent option for those looking to heat downspouts or gutters is ProLine’s self-regulating heat cable. This cable is durable, extremely effective, and provides an affordable option for specific de-icing needs. The heat cable features an irradiated conductive core that will increase the heat output as the temperature drops. The cable’s exterior is rugged, and features a flexible UV-stabilized thermoplastic elastomer overjacket that will protect the core from water and sun exposure. ProLine’s cable is UL recognized and meets the requirements for NEC section 426. It is available in 110-120 V or 208-277 V, and comes with a 10-year warranty against manufacturer defects. It can be activated manually or automatically by an aerial-mount sensor. The sensor detects the temperature and precipitation and activates the system when necessary, allowing for customer comfort, knowing the system will be energy efficient.

Self-regulating roof heating cable

ProLine’s heat cable is a more cost effective option, making it ideal for those on a budget, and can be used to prevent ice dams with installation along the roof eaves in a zigzag pattern using roof clips. When installing it is important that the height of the installed cables extends across the entire area of the eave overhang , and to allow an extra 5 inches for roofs with gutters and an extra 2 inches for roofs without gutters. This configuration will create runoff channels that prevent the ice dams from forming. Routing cable through gutters and downspouts is also an affordable way to prevent damage from the weight of falling snow and heavy ice, and help ensure proper drainage. For those in industrial or similar businesses, ProLine’s heat cable is also the preferred choice for pipe tracing, and comes in a variety of specifications for hazardous and non-hazardous applications.

For even more convenience, ProLine’s de-icing systems can be combined to creat a completely custom solution for any customer. ProLine design experts are available to help determine which products are best for each project. Each element of every project will be considered. Installation training is also available for installers, and ProLine’s support staff is available to answer any questions during the installation to assure that not only is the best de-icing solution used, but it is installed properly and performing as expected.

If you would like more details about industry-leading roof de-icing systems for your business, reach out to ProLine today at 866-676-9276.