So the Blizzard of 2016, also known as Jonas or even David Snowie, is now behind us. We’ve since heard from people who recently installed heated MasterShield on their homes, and thought we’d share their comments and questions.
Heated MasterShield: The Basics
The reason for installing heated MasterShield is to keep water flowing through your gutters during the winter months. A heat cable is installed through your downspout and then laid on the bottom of the trough of your gutter. It is then attached on the bottom of the gutter guard near the center of the panel. We heat only the section that you want heated, making sure there is a path to at least one downspout. Keep in mind the water will refreeze wherever the heat cable ends.
In order for heated MasterShield to work, it must be turned on a few hours before the snow starts and stay in continuous use until all snow is melted from the covered gutter. The heat cable is not designed to melt accumulated snow or completely eliminate icicles and ice dams – it creates a channel in the snow for water to keep moving.
Ice dams are a result of insufficient insulation and ventilation in a home’s attic and roof. Heated MasterShield will help lessen some of the symptoms, but will not cure the problem if it already exists, nor create a problem if you don’t already have an issue. Heating the gutter with MasterShield does eliminate icicles from forming on the edge of the gutter where dripping water can make entryways hazardous.
“I got heated MasterShield installed and there is snow and ice on my roof and gutters.”
This homeowner was from north central New Jersey, which got about two feet of snow in the storm. That’s a lot of snow! While we try not to oversell a heated system, some people are under the impression installing a heat cable with a gutter guard stops all ice damming, no matter where it occurs. Our next step with this homeowner is to have him ensure the heat cable is actually plugged in and turned on (he has it permanently attached to an outlet in his soffit). We’ll also inspect the property to figure out where he’s getting ice, such as a roof valley or a section of the roof that isn’t heated.
“Heated MasterShield worked great over the weekend! Thanks!”
This homeowner was from Connecticut, where they got about 6-10 inches of snow. Clearly, it’s easier for heated MasterShield to work with less snow on it, as the heating system doesn’t have to work as hard.
“When do I switch it on?”
Try to plug the system in a few hours before you know the snow is going to hit – it takes a little time for the heat cable to warm up. There is a heating element right under the MasterShield filter and another in the bottom of the gutter to keep it flowing clearly. If you delay heating the system, it has to work harder to get warm and melt any built-up snow.
Let’s hope that any other snowfalls in 2016 head up north to ski and snowmobile country and leave markets like Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York and poor Glengary, West Virginia alone!