Updated: June 8, 2015
Roof and Snow Deicing Kit Reviews:When it comes to maintaining roofs and gutters, most of us are prepared for decent amounts of rain. The real problem comes when the snow piles up and creates ice dams that can lead to gutters falling off the roof and water issues on the roof itself. For most of the country, snowfall is minimal, but in places like Minnesota, the Dakotas, and in the New England states, snow can be a real hassle. Homeowners needs to be prepared and have a solution when there is 2 feet of snow on the roof and it starts to freeze up. There's a reason that hundreds of products like Easy Heat Roof Snow De-Icing Kit are bought each year to try and combat the snow and ice. The snow and de-icing kits help protect gutters, downspouts, and roofs. What you want is an uninterrupted path on your roof so that the melting water has somewhere to go. Ice blockages only lead to the water seaping through others areas and this could lead to indoor leaks or dry rot problems with the boards below the shingles. Heated cables are the best option, unless you can consistently get up to your roofline and remove snow and ice that builds up. That is something we don't suggest since it can be very dangerous in the winter months.
Choosing a Roof/Snow De-Icing Kit - The kits are sold in many home improvement stores and online at websites like Amazon.com. The kit includes a pre-defined measurement of cable and clips to hold it in place. It's almost like strining up Christmas lights. You plug the unit into an outlet and then string the cable along your gutter and near the roofline where it meets the gutter. Ultimately you are hoping to clear enough of the snow and ice to allow the melting water to flow to your gutters and down the downspouts. Some of the kits come with mounting screws, but we say be prepared to buy your own since that is the most common complaint of these kits is that the clips/screws don't work that well or there aren't enough for the footage of cable you have. Once the cable is activated and turned on, the unit will thaw out the gutters and snow/ice near the gutters to keep things moving downward. The Easy Heat ADKS-1000 200-Foot Roof Snow De-Icing Kit provides 5 watts per foot and 120 VAC and is perfect for the job. Keep in mind that these products aren't designed to clear a roof of snow and ice. They are, however, a good solution to the ice and snow that builds up near the gutters and downspouts. If you can keep that area clean and open, then the water will find a way off the roof and down the gutters. Other complaints we read online from customers were things like - make sure you test the product before putting them up. Just like faulty Christmas lights, these wires/cables can also fail and that is the last thing you need to find out once you have secured them in place. Test them on the ground first to see that it works and then hook it up. The cables can also work on things like a canopy that overhangs a front door. The vast majority of owner comments and feedback are positive with only a few saying the product failed them. One customer actually uploaded a video to Amazon showing the huge ice dam that was overhanging his gutters and showed that the cables were unable to handle that big a load. There are only a few brands that are worth considering - Easy Heat and M-D. For the 200 foot cable from Easy Heat you are looking at $100. M-D offers similar products at about the same price. Overall reviews for Easy Heat were better than the M-D products. You can browse the best selling snow and de-icing cables online here.