By Steven D. Bench
This past winter was a particularly difficult one for many people and their homes and other structures. Record snow fall levels and low temperature measurements were recorded in many parts of North America.
As the snow melts, and spring flowers emerge from the ground, the previously hidden structural damage caused by ice and snow becomes evident. The damage to structures can range from relatively minor bent or dislocated rain gutters and/or downspouts to significant interior water encroachment and compromised roof covering caused by ice dams and sliding snow and ice.
Repairing the damage is only one very important part of restoring the beauty, functionality, and integrity of any structure. An equally important step is designing a method of making those needed repairs in a manner which will eliminate the problem for years to come. In other words it it’s important to both design and make the repairs in a manner that insures that the problem does not reoccur during the next heavy winter.
Effectively and permanently eliminating the cause of roof, rain gutter, and downspout damage, caused by moving snow and/or freezing water, may be as simple as properly installing heat trace, heat tape or GutterMelt cables. Cables designed to be installed in rain gutters, downspouts and along the eaves of roofs are designed to provide a path for water to escape to an area where it does not matter if it refreezes.
Heat trace, heat tape and GutterMelt cables come in both Self Regulating and Constant Wattage versions. Both Self Regulating GutterMelt and Constant Wattage GutterMelt technologies melt snow and ice off of roofs and from rain gutters and downspouts. Both GutterMelt products come with industry leading warranties and, both, are listed to UL and certified to CSA standards.
Where cables zig zaging along the eave will distract from the ascetics of the building or, when a permanent solution is desirable or removal of the snow and ice in its entirety is needed, then ZMesh or Tuff Cable in Invizimelt deliver the perfect solution. ZMesh is appropriate for installation under most non-electrical conductive roofing materials, while Tuff Cable in Invizimelt is perfect for installation under valley metal, flashing and other conductive materials.