About Zig Zag Heat Cables

Ice Cables

Zig-Zag Cables Are a Great Solution For Some Homeowners But Not For All

The information below will explain when zig-zag cables can be beneficial in preventing ice dams and when they cannot

For decades, zig-zag cables have been many homeowners’ choice for keeping their roof ledges and gutters free from the dangerous effects of ice dams and their accompanying icicles. These cables are extremely effective under some conditions, but homeowners should be wary of spending money on such a system if it’s not the right solution to meet their needs.

Engineered Roof Deicing carries a full line of high quality zig-zag and other types of open cable systems that are effective for many homeowners under specific circumstances.

When and where can zig-zag or open heat cable be the right choice?

  • When you live in a relatively mild climate ( some Class 2 areas) where total seasonal snow levels never exceed 50″ per year
  • Where snowfall per storm does not exceed 3″ at a time
  • When you only want to use the cable to keep your gutters free from ice

When and where is zig-zag or open heat cable definitely not the right choice?

  • When you live in harsher winter climates (Class 1 areas and Class 2 areas) where total seasonal snowfall often exceeds 50″ per year
  • Where carrying 6-8″ or more accumulated snowfall on the roof is typical
  • When you live in a mountainous area
  • When you live in a “lake effect” area
  • When you want to be absolutely certain that you will never have rooftop ice problems again: no matter where you live

Simply put, zig-zag cable is simply not engineered to handle massive amounts of snow: it is only capable of melting within a 2″ radius of the cable, creating mini channels of water in deep snow instead of melting it altogether. In fact, instead of preventing or getting rid of ice dams and icicles, these dangerous winter phenomena will simply form above and below zig-zag cables!

If a zig-zag cable system meets your needs based on the above criteria, contact Engineered Roof Deicing right away and we will get your de-icing needs taken care of.

Is there a solution that works for homes and businesses that cannot be helped by zig-zag cable?

The answer is yes! Engineered Roof Deicing is an undisputed leader in the de-icing industry, and our T-Panel system provides TOTAL ICE AND SNOW MELT from roof overhangs and gutter areas no matter where you live and under even the harshest of winter conditions.

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  • Our heating panels are easily installed along your roof line and look attractive in any season
  • The heating panels provide complete ice and snow melt where you need it most: along the overhang
  • Heat from enclosed cables is conducted throughout the total surface area of the panels providing total melting capabilities instead of just melting around the immediate vicinity like an open cable
  • Cables encased in our state-of-the-art heating panels use 70% less energy than exposed zig-zag cables, so heating panels are more cost-efficient
  • The panels absorb all the heat from the cables whereas open-air cables waste energy
  • Heating panels are a preventive rather than a reactionary solution: ice dams never get a chance to form.
  • No matter how much snow or ice you get in a given winter, you will have no more problems with ice dams and icicles
  • Thanks to heating panels, you can enjoy winters free from the stress caused by ice dam-related issues


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