Everything You Need to Know about Roof Ice Melt Systems before Installing

March 2, 2022

During the winter months, the accumulation of snow and ice on the roof can lead to serious problems. One common issue that homeowners face is the buildup of ice dams. An ice dam forms when the heat from the house melts the snow on the roof, which then runs down to the eave overhang, where it refreezes. Over time, this process can create ice dams that can cause water to back up under the roof and cause damage to the structure. To prevent this, many homeowners have turned to roof ice melt systems. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about roof ice melt systems before installing one on your home.

What is a Roof Ice Melt System?

A roof ice melt system is a device that is installed on the roof to prevent the buildup of ice dams. The device typically consists of heating cables that are attached to the edge of the roof and along the gutters. When the system is turned on, the heating cables warm up and melt the snow and ice on the roof, preventing the formation of ice dams.

Types of Roof Ice Melt Systems

There are two main types of roof ice melt systems: electric and hydronic. Electric systems use heating cables, while hydronic systems use heated water. Electric systems are the most common type of roof ice melt system, as they are easier to install and more cost-effective. Hydronic systems, on the other hand, require a boiler and a series of pipes to carry hot water to the roof.

Choosing the Right System

When choosing a roof ice melt system, there are several factors to consider. The first consideration is the size of the roof. Larger roofs will require more heating cables, which will increase the cost of the system. Additionally, the layout of the roof will also affect the design of the system. Roofs with multiple valleys and peaks will require more complex systems.

Another factor to consider is the climate in your area. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, you may need a more powerful system that can handle the extra weight of the snow. You should also consider the energy efficiency of the system. Look for a system that is Energy Star certified, as this will ensure that it is designed to conserve energy.


Installing a roof ice melt system is a complex process that should be done by a professional. The installation process typically involves attaching the heating cables to the roof and running them along the edge of the roof and gutters. The cables are then connected to a control panel, which allows you to turn the system on and off. The installation process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the size and complexity of the system.


Once the system is installed, it will require regular maintenance to ensure that it is functioning properly. You should have the system inspected at least once a year by a professional, who can check Roof ice melt systems the heating cables, control panel, and other components to make sure that they are in good condition. Additionally, you should clear any debris, such as leaves, from the gutters to prevent blockages.


A roof ice melt system can be an effective way to prevent the buildup of ice dams on your roof during the winter months. When choosing a system, it is important to consider the size and layout of your roof, the climate in your area, and the energy efficiency of the system. Installation should be done by a professional, and regular maintenance is necessary to ensure that the system is functioning properly. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your roof ice melt system will keep your roof safe and secure for many years to come.