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Radiant Roof Heating - Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. What is roof heating?
A. Roof heating systems are discreetly installed under your shingles (or other roofing) and provide radiant heat to eliminate snow and ice buildup on your roof. Heat cable or other types of heating elements, such as RoofHeat STEP can be used. There are several options for heating roofs. You can heat the entire roof, or just the edges, or simply heat the gutters and downspouts to facilitate runoff and protect your gutters.

A reputable provider will be able to offer a large variety of radiant roof heating systems, including products that are designed for different types of roofing materials. Roof heating systems that are designed to melt snow from the edges of your roof include aluminum panels that are powder coated to complement the colors of your home. A large assortment of roof heating panel colors and textures are available from top providers, such as Warmzone. When mounted to your roof eaves and/or valleys, these roof heating systems eliminate ice and snow in those areas, keeping your home or business perimeter safer and reducing the risk of winter roof damage.
Q. What is Low-voltage RoofHeat/FloorHeat?
A. RoofHeat STEP low-voltage heating elements feature an advanced 12-inch wide, semi-conductive polymer that is self-regulating and can be easily rolled out over the area to be heated. The RoofHeat self-regulating heating element is polypropylene fused during fabrication to achieve water proofing and protection from UV rays, alkaline or other potential physical damages. It can be stapled to the roof decking. Shingles are then secured with nails directly on top. Nails can pierce the RoofHeat, as long as the nails do not come in contact with any other metal objects. The largest RoofHeat system (zone) will cover approximately 450 square feet.
Multiple zones are sometimes required for larger projects. Heating at least 6-inches above the roof eaves is recommended.
Q. When should I choose heat cables vs. other radiant heating methods?
A. Melting snow with cables on roofs is sometimes the only available solution for existing roofs. Only use durable ice melting cables or heating elements that feature UV protection. If you are looking to just heat your roof gutters to eliminate heavy ice and dangerous icicles, then self-regulating gutter heating cables are the best solution. Ideally, it is recommended that gutter ice melting cables be used in conjunction with a roof deicing system. The cable systems are also activated by automatic sensors that sit in the gutter. These systems are energy efficient, activating only when necessary.
Q. Are roof heating systems manually or automatically activated?
A. Both. Roof heating systems can be activated with an automatic gutter-mounted switch, temperature sensor, or manual timer.
Q. What are the power requirements of a radiant roof heating system?
A. The power requirements vary from system to system. Generally, cable heating systems require a 240 volt 30-amp breaker for every 300-square-feet being heated.
Q. What is the best heat cable for melting snow and ice in roof gutters?
A. When installing a roof gutter trace system, it is best to use self-regulating heat cable. (Learn more about self-regulating heat cable.) To speak to a radiant roof heating expert, call 888.488.9276.