How Much Does It Cost to Install Roof Heating Cable or Heat Tape?

Typical Range:

$461 - $1,390

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 178 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated April 14, 2022

Reviewed by Eric Gonzalez, Founder of Regions Commercial Roofing, Inc.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Heating Cable Installation Cost

Expect to pay from $461 and $1,390 on average to install a heating cable on your roof or gutters. The price changes depending on the size and accessibility of your roof. You may pay more for a thermostat-controlled system than a manual one. Heat tape, heat trace cable, de-icing cables, and heat wire are variations of long, insulated products that melt ice from your roof. Pricing is similar among these products.

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National Average $910
Typical Range $461 - $1,390
Low End - High End $165 - $2,450

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 178 HomeAdvisor members.

Heat Tape Cost

De-icing cables cost anywhere from $1 to $6 per linear foot. Self-regulating heat trace costs more than basic, manual options. The biggest factor in determining the price of your heat cable is the size of your roof. The larger your roof, the longer the cable required and the higher the price.

“It’s important to make sure you hire a professional when installing these cables to make sure that you not only get the best use from your investment but also that these cables are installed in a safe manner that will preserve your property for years to come,” says Eric Gonzalez, Expert Review Board Member and president of Regions Commercial Roofing, with locations in five states.

Self-Regulating vs. Manual Cable

There are two types of heat tapes—self-regulating and manual.

Self-regulating heat tape: This type adjusts its own heat output based on the outdoor temperature. 

Manual cable: Also known as a constant wattage cable, this type emits the same amount of heat no matter the external temperature. A heat cable is a simple device and there’s not much difference between brands. Some heat cables run on a thermostat; this type will cost more than a manually controlled system.

Heat Tape Installation Cost

Heat wire costs between $12 and $20 per linear foot to install. This cost varies depending on the difficulty of the project. Steep roofs or difficult-to-access areas can bump up the price of installation. The cost to install a thermostat-controlled system is higher than a manually controlled system. Most roofing installers can complete a job within a day or two.

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Heated Gutters Cost

A heated gutter system can cost anywhere from $475 to $4,000, depending on your home. That wide range is due to many factors, including whether you need to install a brand new gutter system.

New Gutter Installation

Gutter installation costs an average of $1,100 for 200 linear feet for simple vinyl gutters, but that price can go up substantially if you opt for aluminum, steel, or copper. With new gutters, you will also pay for installing downspouts, which are located every 35 feet or so and cost between $5 and $8 per linear foot for vinyl or aluminum. 

Retrofitting Gutters

Installing heated cable in existing gutters can cost as low as $475 for 200 linear feet, making it far less expensive than building brand new gutters with heating capabilities.

When to Install Heat Tape

De-icing tape warms up snowy, icy roofs to melt accumulation. This process prevents ice dams but it has some pitfalls, such as:

  • Heat tape may increase your energy bill by $40 to $70 per month.

  • You must remember to turn it on and off as needed.

  • It can be a fire hazard if installed incorrectly.

  • Lifespan varies by product.

A pro can add insulation to your roof or improve ventilation to prevent ice buildup; the cost to install insulation runs between $1,400 and $6,300. But when traditional methods fail, heat tape is an option. A local home energy auditor or local roofer can help tell you the best ice removal or prevention option for your home.

FAQs

How much electricity does a roof heat cable use?

A typical heat cable uses about 5 watts per foot regardless of the outside temperature. This comes out to 500 watts per hour if the cable is 100 feet long.  You can expect to pay an additional $40 to $70 per month on average in electricity costs. Make sure to turn the cables off in the summer when they’re not needed.

Do heated gutters prevent ice dams?

Heated gutters are designed to melt ice and help to prevent ice dams. Homeowners should be aware that melted ice can refreeze and cause buildup if not completely drained away from your home.

Can you put heat tape in gutters?

You can install heat tape on top of the brackets inside of a gutter. Talk to a professional to find the best place to install this product at your home.

How do you install heat tape on a roof?

Heat tape installation varies depending on the roof. Many pros install the cable in a zig-zag along the bottom edge of the roof, attaching the cable to shingles using clips.

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