I have heating wires on my roof but still got bad ice dams the first winter I lived here. This caused leaking and I got my roof repaired. The 2nd year I used a roof shovel and heating elements. That worked great but I ended up pulling the wires down. I made it through that winter but it seems those clips to hold the wires onto the shingles can't be reused.

I can't seem to find a place that sells them. I tried putting the wires back. The first time I used my roof shovel I pulled just about all my wires down. What's the best way to keep those wires on the roof?

If I can't find really good wire clips then I guess I will buy a bucketload of clips and reinstall my wires each year but I don't know where to get them without buying the entire kit with heating wires.

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    The better solution is to insulate the roof so its outside surface stays cold, preventing ice dams from forming,
    – keshlam
    Dec 12, 2015 at 22:43
  • Where in the world are you, Durango Dave? Dec 13, 2015 at 3:26
  • I have a manufactured home with a vaulted ceiling. I will look into adding insulation but I'm not sure how. Oh and I live in Durango Colorado. Dec 14, 2015 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


Ice melting cables are just a stopgap. You should fix the real problem. The easiest way to get rid of ice damming is to improve the attic ventilation.

Assuming you have existing vents, the biggest culprit is usually the eave venting. Check your eave vents to make sure they are clear. If so, you need more of them. If not, clear them and then add more.

If you have modern soffit with perforated aluminum panels, pull some of them out and make sure that they are not screwed on to solid wood of plywood soffits (we see this all the time). If so, cut holes in the ply or wood and then reinstall aluminum.

If they are installed directly to rafter tails or the like, look up inside and make sure that there is a free passage way from the eave up over the wall and into the attic space. It's common for overenthusiastic insulators to wedge insulation into that joint, thus effectively preventing airflow from the eaves into the attic space. This is vital for proper ventilation, which eliminates eave icing entirely.

  • Thanks for the reply. I have a manufactured home with a vaulted ceiling. It has roof vents and small soffit vents all around the roof. The home was built in 1999. I'll see if I can find any problem with the roof ventilation. I'm not sure I can completely get rid of the ice dams without a roof shovel and heating elements. I would still like to get my hands on good heating wire clips. Dec 14, 2015 at 0:32
  • i absolutely 100% guarantee you can solve ice damming with proper ventilation. just think about it. if you had giant fans blowing cold outside air through your attic at a 100mph, you would never get any melting of the snow on your roof and refreezing on the eaves, because the whole roof structure would be at the same temperature. the condition only appears when the attic space is warmer than the eaves. if you have zero thermal leakage of your insulation, the problem is solved. since nobody has that, you have to increase ventilation to compensate for heat loss to the atticspace. Dec 15, 2015 at 4:39
  • I don't disagree. Most of the winter I don't have a problem with ice dams but the roof vents are very low. They get covered with snow. That may be when the ice dams start. I will try to keep the vents clear with my roof shovel. I'm not sure if I can reach them. Thanks Dec 16, 2015 at 13:44
  • After my last post we got 5 inches of snow. I got on the roof and used a shovel to clear the roof vents. (My roof has a very gentle slope and I feel I was being safe). I also used a roof shovel to clear the edges of the roof. I now believe keeping the roof vents clear minimizes ice dams but they are very low and get covered by snow easily. Then I left over Christmas week. We got hit with another 2 feet of snow. I did not have heating elements and when I got back I had bad ice dams. I once again cleared off the roof vents and shoveled the edge of the roof. I now have to clear out the ice dams. Jan 1, 2016 at 23:34
  • sorry to hear about the ice damming. if i were you, when it warms up, put some taller chimney vents at the top of your roof. that way your venting stays above the snow no matter how much of it you get. Jan 5, 2016 at 2:56

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