2023 Roof Ice Melt Systems Installation, Costs, Options

Typical Price Range To Install a new Roof
See costs in your area

If too much ice accumulates on your roof, not only is it a safety hazard, but it can also damage your roof and gutters.

One way to prevent this problem is by investing in a roof ice melt system.

Gutter and roof heating systems are designed to quickly and effectively melt the ice that builds up on your roof.

To get started on your project, contact your local roofing pros for FREE ESTIMATES!

What’s An Ice Dam?

If you live in an area where it snows a lot, you’ve probably already experienced issues with ice dams.

When heavy snow builds up on your roof, it melts during the day but then freezes again when the temperature drops at night.

Ice forming or melting on your roof isn’t what causes the problem – it’s the process of re-freezing.

Ice then forms on the edges of your roof and gutters, which prevents the meltwater from escaping through the drains.

This is how an ice dam forms.

Ice dams are dangerous in more ways than one.

Ice dams cause damage to your roof and gutters, and they can even cause water to back up into the house.

This happens because the melted water has nowhere else to go but under the shingles, into the attic, and further into the house.

There are many reasons ice dams occur.

Your roof may not be properly vented, or the inadequate insulation could warm your roof from the inside, which causes snow and ice on it to melt.

If your gutters are clogged with leaves, twigs, sticks, and debris, this will only make the situation worse.

Pro Tip: One of the most foolproof ways to know if you have an ice dam on your roof is to check for icicles on the gutters. Other common indicators of ice dams are water stains and moisture buildup in the home’s attic or the walls beneath the roof.

How Much Does a New Roof Cost?
Get Instant Price Quote
Roof Size: Sq. Ft.
Roofing Material:
Remove Old Roof:
Your Budget:
US Region:

Your Estimated Roofing Cost
Roof Price:
Cost per sq. ft.
Roof Size:
Roofing Material:

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

What Is A Roof Ice Melt System?

There are different ways to prevent ice dams. But the solution that pays off the most is installing a roof ice melt system.

Roof ice melt systems come in different forms, including eaves, valleys, specialty panels, gutter protection, and heat cables.

Even though these are different products, they all have the same goal: to prevent the ice on your roof from re-freezing and causing an ice dam.

Roof heating cables or de-icing cables are the most popular form of roof ice melt system.

Note that de-icing cables are not supposed to cover the entire roof. They can be laid in different ways to cover the most important parts of your roof, but a zigzag configuration is the most effective.

Heating cables can be operated manually or self-regulating.

Some homeowners opt for heating tape, which is more flexible than heating cables. This is why heating tape is typically used for roofs and pipes with complicated shapes.

Another major difference between these two roof ice melting systems is that heating cables can be cut to fit the roof’s dimensions, while heating tape comes in fixed lengths.

Another popular form of roof ice melt system is a gutter heater.

Gutter heaters are made up of two parts: heating cables and gutter helmets.

Heated gutters help prevent ice dam formation, damage to gutters, and leaks inside the home.

Roof Ice Melt Cost

Some homeowners hire ice dam removal specialists, which costs around $600 to $1,800.

This type of maintenance task is usually charged by the hour.

For example, if you live in a house with 1,500 square feet, it would take around three hours to remove all the ice dams from your roof, which would cost around $1,200.

There are different types of ice dam removal procedures, including the use of ice dam salt, roof melt tablets, chipping, high-pressure water, and steam ice dam removal.

Even though all these ice removal methods are effective, homeowners must repeat them every season, sometimes even a few times in one winter. That’s why homeowners look for a more permanent solution, such as ice dam prevention.

The average cost of a roof ice melt system ranges from $424 to $3,800,depending on the type of product you plan to install.

Many factors can impact the total price, including the size of your roof, its accessibility, the time of the year, the cost of local labor, and the roof ice melt system company you choose.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Roof Ice Melt System Cost Breakdown

Roof heating cables cost $5 to $8 per linear foot.

The total price of installing roof heating cables on your roof ranges from $424 to $1,181. The price depends on the size of your roof and the complexity of the installation.

Similar to roof heating cables is heat tape or heat wire, which costs $11.40 to $19 per foot.

Note that this is the cost with the installation. If you want to install the heat tape yourself, the price will be reduced to $1 to $6 per foot.

The cost of the materials and the entire installation of heat tape or wire ranges from $1,330 to $3,400.

Pro Tip: Heat tapes can be a fire hazard if not installed correctly, so professional installation is highly recommended.

Heated gutters are more expensive roof ice melting systems.

Since heated gutters combine the cost of heating cables and gutter helmets, the entire installation costs between $408 and $3,800.

Roof Ice Melt Systems Cost
Heating Cables per Linear Foot $5-$8
Heating Cables Installation $424-$1,181
Heating Tape per Foot $11.40-$19
Heating Tape Installation $1,330-$3,400
Gutter Heaters Installation $408-$3,800
Total Average Price $424-$3,800

How Much Does a New Roof Cost?
Get Instant Price Quote
Roof Size: Sq. Ft.
Roofing Material:
Remove Old Roof:
Your Budget:
US Region:

Your Estimated Roofing Cost
Roof Price:
Cost per sq. ft.
Roof Size:
Roofing Material:

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Gutter And Roof Heating Systems

If you’re interested in installing gutter heaters or other types of roof heating systems, here are some products you might want to check out.

Grip Clip Heat Tape Pro

The Heat Tape Pro and Grip Clip pack is a roof ice melting system produced by the Radiant Solutions Company.

The Heat Tape Pro is a self-regulating heat cable that can adjust its heat output according to the outdoor temperature.

It offers long-term ice dam prevention and gutter protection.

The cable is 24 feet long, and it comes with a 10-foot power cord.

The Heat Tape Pro system can be installed on flat roofs, metal roofs, asphalt roofs, rubber roofs, and more.

The Heat Tape Pro is installed using the Grip Clip pack that consists of 25 heat tape clips.

With these clips, you won’t have to drill holes in your roof, which might void your warranty.

They’re made out of high-quality aluminum, and you won’t need any tools to install them.

Frost King Automatic Electric Roof Cable Kits

Manufactured by Frost King, the Automatic Electric Roof Cable Kits will keep your pipes from freezing in cold weather.

The kits come in different lengths, from 30 feet to 200 feet.

The cables are pre-assembled, so they’re easy to install.

Each Automatic Electric Roof Cable Kit comes with a built-in thermostat and a plug with a power indicator light.

Not only will this automatic electric cable keep water flowing down to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will also prevent roof damage and leakage.

HEATIT HIRD Roof & Gutter Snow De-Icing Cable

The HEATIT HIRD Roof & Gutter Snow De-Icing Cable prevents ice buildup and ice dams.

The cables come in different lengths, including 20, 30, 60, 80, 100, 120, 160, 200, and 240 feet.

No matter which cable you choose, you’ll receive spacers and clips for the installation.

The cables are pre-assembled, so they can be installed with no effort.

The HEATIT HIRD Roof & Gutter Snow De-Icing Cables can be placed on metal or plastic downspouts and gutters, as well as inclined roofs with noncombustible shingles.

The Roof & Gutter Snow De-Icing Cable will prevent ice buildup, protect your roof and gutters from damage, and keep the meltwater from entering your house.

RHS Snow Melting System

The RHS Snow Melting System consists of a roof and valley heater, ice and snow melting mats, and under-shingle heaters.

With this roof ice melt system, you will not have to worry about ice dams again.

The mats melt 2 inches of snow per hour, while the valley heaters provide 40 watts per foot at 120 volts.

Not only can the RHS Snow Melting System protect your roof and gutters from ice dams, but by doing so, it will prolong the life of your roof.

You’ll receive roofing grommet screws for the valley heaters, which are 100% waterproof and easy to install.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Which Roof Ice Melt System To Choose?

The roof ice melt system you should choose depends on your roof.

You can find metal, flat, and edge snow melt systems, along with roof ice melt panels.

Here’s an overview of different types of roof de-icing systems.

Metal Roof Ice Melt Systems

Metal roofs can be made from aluminum, copper, stainless steel, corrugated galvanized iron, standing seams, and more.

Did you know? Metal roofs are the best type of roof for areas where it snows a lot. If they are slanted, the snow will slip off the metal roof, preventing ice from freezing and creating an ice dam.

However, if your metal roof doesn’t have an adequate pitch, you still might need to find an ice-melting solution.

Even though metal roofs are more durable and less susceptible to leaking than asphalt roofs, they aren’t impervious to ice buildup, which can cause serious damage.

To be more precise, ice dams are formed on metal roofs because they are susceptible to transferring heat changes. An ice melt system can help prevent this by keeping the roof clear and safe.

If you have a metal roof and you want to install a roof ice melt system, look for a product that can prevent icicles from forming on the edges of the roof.

It’s a good idea to choose a self-regulating heating cable specially made for metal roofs.

Flat Roof Ice Melt Systems

Ice dams are more likely to form on flat roofs than on slanted roofs since the snow has nowhere to fall.

If you have a flat roof, you can use a variety of roof ice melt system products. The best solutions are ice melt panels, snow melting mats, and drain channel heaters.

No matter which option you choose, make sure to get the melt system that’s adequate for your roof’s size.

Mats and heaters come in fixed sizing, but some companies offer custom sizes made especially for your roof.

Installing a flat roof snow melt system means you won’t have to climb on your ladder and rake the snow off in freezing temperatures.

Flat roof de-icing systems can fit both new and existing structures.

Typical Price Range To Install new Flat Roof Average: $6,980 - $9,720
See costs in your area

Edge Melt Systems

Edge melt systems are installed along the edge of your roof, and they make sure icicles and snow buildup melt.

Edge melt systems prevent the meltwater from re-freezing as it goes through the gutters. As a result, the entire drainage system, roof, and walls are protected from ice dams.

Another reason why homeowners opt for edge melt systems is that they have a cleaner look than plain heating cables, which have to be installed across the front of the roof.

Roof Ice Melt Panels

Roof ice melt panels use high-wattage self-regulating cables to deliver the high-power output needed for snow and ice buildup.

If your roof has shingles, you could install roof ice melt panels.

Roof ice melt panels are installed along a roof’s eaves.

They vary in size, but they’re usually 3 or 4 feet long and are made from aluminum.

Roof ice melt panels require professional installation since the first few rows of shingles will need to be removed first.

Ice melt panels are usually considered a last resort for homeowners who haven’t had success with other types of roof ice melting systems.

Not only are they expensive to install, but they also usually increase your electricity bills.

What Is The Difference Between Ice Melt And Roof Melt?

Ice melt is a substance made from salt and other chemicals, which is supposed to, as the name suggests, melt ice.

Ice melt can be used for ice and snow that has accumulated on sidewalks, driveways, streets, and roofs.

Did you know? Ice melt can also be applied to surfaces before it starts snowing to prevent ice buildup.

There are different types of ice melt, including calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, liquid brine, potassium chloride, urea, and more.

The most effective type of ice melt is calcium chloride, which can melt ice in temperatures up to minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roof melt usually takes the form of tablets.

Roof melts are made from the same ingredients as ice melt (calcium chloride, in most cases).

Roof melt tablets are easy to use. Just toss a tablet on the roof.

Once the roof melt tablet comes into contact with water, it will create a chemical reaction that will start melting the ice.

The main difference between ice melts and roof melts is that roof melts are made for roofs, while ice melts can have a wide array of applications.

Roof melts aren’t safe for all types of roofs.

If the roof melts are made from calcium chloride, it’s okay to use them with asphalt shingles.

Metal roofs and calcium chloride don’t go well together.

How Much Does a New Roof Cost?
Get Instant Price Quote
Roof Size: Sq. Ft.
Roofing Material:
Remove Old Roof:
Your Budget:
US Region:

Your Estimated Roofing Cost
Roof Price:
Cost per sq. ft.
Roof Size:
Roofing Material:

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

What Is The Best Ice Melt For Roofs?

When looking to buy ice melt for your roof, there are a couple of factors to take into consideration.

The ice melt product you buy should primarily be suited for the type of roof you have.

For example, if you have a metal roof, the ice melt must be safe for metals.

Look for a product that doesn’t accelerate corrosion.

Salt can damage roof shingles, so make sure to find an ice melt that isn’t made with rock salt, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, or blends of these ingredients.

You’ll want to find an ice melt that works quickly and efficiently and that has long-lasting effects.

It should be noted that ice melt can leave behind a white residue that can discolor your shingles, especially salt-based ice melts. That’s why you’ll want to invest in a more high-quality ice melt.

Not only should the ice melt be safe for your roof, but your plants and pets as well.

Salt can cause plant damage, while toxic chemicals can injure your pet’s paws.

Even though you’ll be applying ice melt to your roof, some of it might end up in your yard, so be careful about this.

Does Roof Ice Melting Work?

Whether roof ice melting works depends on the roof ice melting system you install on your roof.

Most of them work by melting the ice off your roof, allowing the meltwater to escape through the gutter drain pipe.

The main difference between temporary fixes like ice melts and long-term solutions like roof ice dam melt systems is the price.

But once you install the ice dam prevention system, you will have peace of mind knowing the ice won’t damage your property.

Pro Tip: If you’re thinking about installing a roof ice melt system on your roof but you’re not sure what type of system to get, it’s best to talk to roofing experts first. They’ll be able to tell you what system will work best based on the type and size of your roof.

Be Prepared For Winter

There are many reasons why you should install a roof ice melt system before the next cold season.

A roof ice melt system can protect your roof and gutters from ice dams, preventing damage to your property.

By installing an ice dam prevention system early, you won’t have to worry about cleaning the snow off your roof every time it snows.

Not all homeowners need a roof ice melt system, but if you live in an area where it snows, this is a good investment.

You’ll be saving money in the long run since you won’t have to deal with expensive roof repairs.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Author: Leo B
For over 20 years Leo has run a successful roofing business in New England, specializing in metal roofing, as well as cool flat roofing technologies. Having replaced and installed hundreds of roofs in New England, Leo has first hand experience with pretty much every residential roofing material and roofing manufacturer available in the US.
There are: 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *