Ice Dam Myth #1:
“You need to heat the roof several feet up from the eave edge to prevent ice dams”
. . . False!
Ice dams begin to form where the meltwater exits from under the layer of snow at the roof’s drip edge. They then build upward to the wall line, creating a standing water condition, resulting in interior leaks.
Snow is a great insulator that enables meltwater to flow even across this 8′ unenclosed, unheated overhang before re-freezing at the drip edge.
Left unabated, an ice dam will, of course, build up the roof to the wall line and create ponding water that will leak into the structure.
Summit stops drip edge ice dam from forming in the first place, meaning no ice dam proliferating up the roof.
The well-intended but obsolete methods of roof heating from the drip edge to well inside the wall line stem from erroneous assumptions. Exposed zig-zag heater cables were the original attempt at ice dam abatement. They were installed along the eave edge in a zig zag fashion to provide a melt path through the developed ice dam to help prevent leaks. They do not prevent ice dams nor icicle formations and often exacerbate ice problems along the eave.
Do think twice when considering an ice melt system that heats a large portion up the roof. They are not only expensive to purchase and install (they require you to remove and replace your roof), but the monthly power consumption is also excessive and unnecessary.
Stops Ice Dams
Summit’s patented technology focuses on where ice prevention is needed: right at the eave edges and valleys. in this photo to the right the ambient temperature is 15* and the Summit system has kept the roof edge ice free, while neighboring homes are fraught with ice dam formations.
We’ve optimized heat transfer efficiency up to the melting surfaces while minimizing heat loss downward to the roof deck. That’s one of the reasons why our products use much less energy than the competition. We have the smart design because we follow the Four Rules Of Thermodynamics.