Tips & Tricks

Roof Cables

How do I install my Roof Heat Cables?

Roof Cables Image 1

As temps plummet this winter, ice can accumulate on your rooftop. An ice dam can damage your roof, break your gutters and cause leaks that threaten your home and foundation. In addition to cleaning out your gutters and installing gutter accessories to keep drainage clear, roof cables (also called heat cables) offer added protection from a buildup of rooftop ice dams. Roof and gutter de-icing cables prevent ice from sticking around during sub-zero temperatures. This allows ice to melt and move from your rooftop shingles to your gutters. That water flow reduces the likelihood of roof leaks and shingle damage from hard-packed snow and ice dams. Frost King carries electric roof cables kits in lengths from 30' to 200', each powered by 120V with 7 Watts per foot. These kits come with shingle clips, cable spacers and complete roof cable instructions. These kits are specifically made for inclined roofs with tab shingles. So that your roof cables respond to changing conditions, you may need Frost King's RS-2 Roof Sentry. Assess your entire roof. Where does ice accumulate? Measure horizontal roof sections, depth of overhang, length of each dormer and and length of each downspout. Use the included instructions (download here) to calculate exactly how much roof de-icing cable you need to buy. Install roof heater cables when it's dry outside and it's safe to do the work from a ladder. If you don't have a GFI (grounded) outlet, you may need to hire an electrician to put one close by. Take one end of the cable and begin at the corner of your roof. Run zigzags to create 15" wide triangles, running the cable from the overhang to the warm area of your roof. Secure the roof cable with brackets, affixed to each shingle where the roof cable bends. Run the end of the roof cable along the inside of your gutter and down the gutter's downspout. Plug it into a GFI outlet. Want to see how we install it? Watch DIY podcasters Paul and Brian install roof cables...


Be sure to check back with the Frost King blog for tips on how to take good care of your home. For more timely advice, bookmark this blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Frost King has everything you need to protect your rooftop from sub-zero weather. Find our products at these home improvement retailers. If you have questions about installing and using any of our DIY home improvement products, contact us, view our FAQs or call 1-800-299-5700.

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