It’s cold outside. You are sitting at home covered in blankets, enjoying a good flick after a long day of hard work. Then a drop of water leaks from your roof onto your head and your peace is ruined. Such can be the case amid winter if proper measures for ice dams aren’t taken.

To prevent further damage to your rooftop and to secure comfortable living space, a roof heating cable will protect you from leaking waters. And to make sure it is properly set up, we have bought you a guide on roof heating cables: how to use.

By following our guidelines on how to install and properly maintain Roof heating cables, you will be assured a comfortable winter.

Roof Heating Cables: How to use 

The electric heat cable gets installed on the top of your house roof. We lay it in a zigzag pattern and put it in the gutter into the downspout. 

This gives the waters that are coming down from freezing a path to go into the gutter and then into the downspout. Therefore it prevents water from getting into your house. 

Roof Heating Cables

Advantages Of Roof Heating Cables

By melting ice, it lowers the additional weight your roof has to bear. Thus heating cable protects your roof and gutter from damages. 

When installed properly, it can be a quick solution to the ice damps. It is also much less costly than other ways of combating ice damps.

Disadvantages Of Roof Heating Cables

If not installed properly, it can lead to a structure fire. In fact, roof heating cables are responsible for around 2000 fires a year in the USA alone

Also, there are limits to how much roof heating cables can cover the roof. It only melts the snow that is around it, basically the edge of the roof.

The center, in most cases, remains in snow. Furthermore, by the end of winter, in the summer and spring, it does not look at all pleasing to the eyes.

Necessary Tools To Install A Roof Heating Cable

It will be easier to install if all the necessary tools are gathered before starting the process. The required tools are as follows:  

  • A hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Power Screwdriver
  • Heat and Moisture Sensors
  • Screws
  • Heat cable roof clips
  • Waterproof wire
  • Weatherproof box
  • Receptacle

Safety Equipment

Your safety is our priority. So, assemble the required safety equipment and wear them. Necessary safety equipment are;

  • A sturdy extension ladder
  • Roof brackets
  • A safety harness
  • Lanyard
  • Rope-grab
  • Roof anchor
  • Hand gloves
  • Hearing protection 
Roof Heating Cables: How To Use


You have to follow some steps to install roof heating cables. The step-by-step guideline is explained below.

Step 1

Place clips to the shingles of your roof. These should be secured in a zigzag formation. The clips should be right above the gutter. Then place the next one about 60 degrees to its left or right.

Step 2

Lay out and attach the heating cable from one clip to the next. Attaching of cables should also be done in the zigzag formation.

Step 3

After the entire roof is secured with cables, grab the end of the cables, fold it into a loop. Then use a clip to hold them together so that you can feed it into the downspout.

Step 4

Mount the sensor with the help of a screwdriver at a corner of your rooftop just below the gutter  

Step 5

Lay the moisture lead along the edge of the roof. Use clips to secure them so that they stay along the edge.

Step 6

Now that the laying of cables is complete, it’s time to give power up to the cables.

Step 7

Sleeve the waterproof wire into your pipe. Install a weatherproof box at the end of it.

Step 8

Install the receptacle inside the box. The cover will protect everything from water

Step 9

Attach the outlet to the side of the house to a hole through the pipe into the basement where you can feed the wire into the panel.

Step 10

Great work. Installation of heat cable is complete.

Please do not skip any of the steps as precise installation of cables is required to prevent any accidents.

Roof Heating Cables: Maintenance

As the sensor of the heating cable is completely automatic, there isn’t much maintenance to be done. The sensor will automatically turn on at the correct temperature and moisture which is below 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

It also needs to have moisture on the sensing lead cables. So, when it’s really cold but it isn’t snowing, the cable will not be turned on.

Make sure that the cables are not overheating. Check regularly if there is any damage to the cables as it can lead to a fire.


I hope you’ve a clear concept now on roof heating cable use. The guideline on roof heating cables: how to use was surely helpful enough for you. 

It is a matter of great importance that the cables are set up and maintained properly so that no accidents can occur.

So, follow the step-by-step guideline and live dry and comfy inside your warm home.


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

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