Thankfully we don’t have to deal with this kind of thing down here in Texas, but for those of you who live in two-season (frozen and not frozen) climates, here’s a product to help save your gutters: a cable-type de-icing kit. Here’s the lowdown: You string this cable around the edge of your roof, then plug it in. Resistance heating clears a path for melting snow, shunting it through your gutter instead of allowing it to run off just anywhere — and possibly damage your roof.
It’s important to note that this product doesn’t clear all the ice and snow off your roof. It just prevents ice-dams from forming. A few other caveats from the manufacturer:
“Never install on a flat roof. Never install on combustible materials. Not suitable for use on metal roofs. Contact Easy Heat for appropriate cable solutions.”
The middle-of-the-road 600 W, 120′ long kit (pictured) will set you back about $60, and Easy Heat offers models starting at just 100 W and 20′ spanning all the way up to 1200 W and 240′. (A handy PDF form on their site helps you determine what size you need.) Each kit includes the cable, shingle clips, cable spacers, installation instructions, and a label for your electrical panel. (You weren’t going to crawl on the roof to turn it on, right?)