Raychem Ice Dam Prevention


Ice buildup on a roof can be extremely damaging to the home. When snow accumulates on a roof, certain areas can melt at certain times of the day. Melting might occur when the sun is high in the sky and the temperature is at its peak for the day or when the heat is cranked up inside the home and warm air escapes to the attic to create warm patches on the roof.

During these times, snow melts and water flows toward the edges of the roof, often to the eaves and gutters. Because the edges of the roof are cooler, the melted snow may freeze before it can run off the roof. This is how ice dams form.

Ice dams are common problems for homeowners in Ames and other areas around Iowa during the winter, and they can cause major home damage if not dealt with properly. One solution for ice dams in Ankeny, Huxley, or Ames is Raychem heat cable installation. While this doesn't deal with the source of your ice dam problem, it offers your roof and gutters significant protection by minimizing water buildup behind ice dams. Heat cables conveniently provide a clear path for melted water to flow off the roof.


Self-Regulating Heat Trace Cables

These heating cables automatically adjust their power output as outdoor temperatures change. They contain a heating core with conductive polymer and two parallel conductors housed inside. The heating core is also radiation-crosslinked to ensure long-term reliability (PENTAIR).

These heating cables self regulate by generating heat as electricity passes through the polymer core, between the two parallel conductors. When temperatures drop, more electrical currents are stimulated to pass through the cables to produce more heat. On the other hand, when temperatures increase, fewer electrical paths are stimulated, so less heat is produced.

Raychem offers several types of self-regulating heat trace cables for both commercial and residential properties. Applications include pipe freeze protection, roof and gutter de-icing, and hot water temperature maintenance.

Self-Regulation: Because the conductive polymer core is able to adjust automatically as needed, you don’t have to worry about cables overheating or burning out if they overlap.

Other Advantages to Self-Regulating Raychem Heat Cables

  • They are quick and easy to install.
  • They can be cut to the exact length desired and easily spliced or teed as needed.
  • They can last for years.
  • They can be either hardwired or plugged in.
  • Because you can cut cables to specific lengths to avoid wasted cable length or worrying about your cable not being long enough, they are economical.
  • They can be used on both metal and plastic pipes because they self-regulate and adjust their power supply appropriately.
  • They are energy efficient.


Warning: It is very important that heat cables are installed properly and carefully to avoid electrical damage and fire. Pentair Thermal Management (owner of Raychem) requires heating cable branch circuits to incorporate proper ground-fault equipment protection.

Raychem also offers power-limiting heat trace cables, mineral-insulated heat trace cables, in-pipe heat trace cables, and many more products that can assist in preventing ice dams.


If you have questions about Raychem ice dam prevention or any of our other products or services, give us a call at 515-597-7663, shoot us an email at shawn@hedrickconstructioninc.com, or fill out the online form by clicking the button below. We provide ice dam prevention in Ankeny, Huxley, and Ames via heat cable installation.