Icicles can be cool to look at and even slightly therapeutic to break off your gutters/eaves. But do you know they are causing damage to your home? Icicles and accompanying ice dams could be causing thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Heatizon has created this infographic to explain “The WHY of Ice Dams.”
Ice dams have recieved a lot of media coverage in the past year. After a record breaking winter descended on the East Coast, homeowners and businesses were plagued by ice dams, snow loads, and in some cases roof collapse.
Our ZMesh product is a unique bronze mesh which can be used for floor warming, space heating, and roof deicing. Its unique construction allows it to be installed beneath non-conductive roof coverings like asphalt shingles, providing deicing without compromising the look of your roof. ZMesh is also perfect for floor installation beneath hardwood, carpet, and other flooring materials as it can be nailed or stapled through.
Heatizon ZMesh has a long and successful history of floor warming, space heating, and roof deicing. Its unique construction allows the bronze mesh to be nailed or stapled through during installation, making it ideal for heating under carpet, wood floors, or non-conductive shingles. The system is listed to ETL standards for interior floor and space heat, as well as roof deicing beneath non-conductive materials.
Ice dams are formed when interior heat escapes and warms the roof. The melting snow then runs to the colder eave, where it refreezes. This process can cause severe damage to your roof, and potentially expose your interior to water damage.
So how do you know you have an ice dam problem?
By: Steve Smith
(Description of Heatizon Systems’ RPA Showcase Award Winning Project at the
Rothman Residence and Park City, UT)
You can count on two things when your home is located 8,500 feet or more above sea level in the Wasatch Mountains: snow and more snow.
To handle the snow loads on the roof of one 5,000-sq. ft., three-level home, electric radiant manufacturer Heatizon used a bronze mesh product called ZMesh, as well as its Tuff Cable embedded in a heat sink. The ZMesh is protected by a sandwich of ice and water shield, with composition asphalt shingle on the surface. The panel system allows for worry-free nailing. The ZMesh is energized by a step-down transformer, which produces a low voltage current that does not seek ground. The roof deicing system compromises approximately 520 sq. ft.
Meanwhile, a snow melting system using a low voltage resistance cable called Tuff Cable was embedded in the concrete in the window wells to prevent damage to the windows and interior finishes. There is approximately 400 sq. ft. of snowmelt in the window wells.
by Steven Bench
“Good grief, the last thing I thought I would need to worry about is a leaky roof!” Said the owner of a newly constructed Class A office building. “Why does my 2 year old metal roof have ice dam problems?” asked a homeowner that recently replaced a 10 year old cedar shake roof with a standing seam metal roof in an effort to get away from leaks. “The snow causes singles from my tile roof to fall off each winter!” proclaimed a home owner that purchased his tile shingle roofed home new 5 years ago. “How can I keep sliding snow from taking my rain gutters off??” inquired a condo complex property manager.
These are just a few of the questions that I get asked each week from people all over North America. Make no mistake; I am not in the roofing business! I am however in the business of warming things up. My company makes products that warms floors, heats buildings, melts now off of paved surfaces, melts snow and ice off of roofs and warms pipes and their contents.
Of course the simplest, but most impractical, solutions to cold weather caused roof and rain gutter problems is simply don’t build in places that experience snow and cold temperatures during the winter or, budget for, yet to be determined, roof and rain gutter repairs. But the best answer is to rely on a combination of design and snow melting technologies to offer long term solutions to the problems caused by snow and ice.
Many different snow and ice melting technologies are available on the market today, some have been around for years, and thus are tried and proven, while others are new and yet to be fully vetted. When selecting which product is best for any given application, it may be helpful to answer each of the following questions:
1) How important is the appearance of my home or building to me? Electric heating cables or hydronic tubing in an extruded metal pan system, electric heat trace, electric heat tape and all other on top of, or replacement for, the roof covering material and will affect the aesthetics of the building. If the unaltered appearance of your home or building is important to you then look at one of the low voltage under roof covering products available from you radiant heating and snow melting professional.
2) How important is product warranty in my decision? Generally roof covering materials have a life expectancy measured in years or decades. As a result, purchasers of roof covering materials usually expect long periods of trouble free service from the materials they select. It only makes sense that products designed to melt snow and ice off of the roof should also have long warranties and the purchasers ought to expect comparable performance from any other product installed under or on top of the roof.
Steven Bench is Managing Member of Heatizon Systems a Murray, Utah based manufacturer and marketer of low and line voltage electric heating and snow melting products.
By Heather Gwilliam
It’s that time of year where I get to sit back, peek out the window at my next door neighbor and enjoy my annual winter entertainment. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch him slowly and painstakingly remove the snow from his roof using a series of long handled rakes, brooms, and shovels.
I, on the other hand, eliminate ice and snow from my roof by flipping a switch and then settling back with a mug of hot chocolate to take pleasure in the show next door. Melting the snow on your roof with the flip of a switch, you say? How is that possible?
With a roof de-icing system from Heatizon Systems.
Cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls can quickly create dangerous and destructive conditions on the roofs of homes and buildings. Sharp icicles, thick layers of ice known as ice dams, and heavy snow slides cause millions of dollars in damage and injure hundreds of people every year.
Cosmetic Damage. The most obvious damage from snow storms is cosmetic damage, including damage to individual shingles, damage to gutters and fascia and other roofing elements. As the snow melts each day, some of the water re-freezes at night. As this cycle continues, ice can accumulate in valleys, gutters and at the eaves of the roof.
Thomas Remodeling says this freeze-thaw cycle is the cause of most of the cosmetic damage they see each year. Ice will expand in the gutters and cause seams to fail and the weight can bend and break the brackets holding the gutters to the home. Down spouts can split especially as water freezes in the down spout.
Structural Damage from Weight of the Snow. Another type of damage can occur from the sheer weight of the snow sitting on the roof and in the gutters. Not all snow is the same. The water content in heavy wet snow will be much greater than dry light snow. One cubic foot of heavy wet snow can weigh up to 20.81 pounds. That’s twelve inches of snow. Keep adding snow, and you can see how quickly the weight can add up. Excessive weight can lead to structural failure. It is no wonder that we see roof failures after major snow storms.
These types of structural failures are most often seen on commercial buildings with flat or low sloped roofing. Some of the worst collapses occurred where a winter storm was followed by a heavy rain some days later. The rain simply has no place to go.
Personal Injury. Every winter, hundreds of injuries result from people trying to deal with winter roof woes.
Although attempting to clear heavy ice and snow from their roofs is a common occurrence, experience shows that it can also be dangerous. The Journal of American Insurance says that they’ve seen people do “some bizarre and even crazy things…over zealous homeowners continue year after year to attack these rooftop glaciers with an arsenal of household weapons that would have left General George S. Patton’s celebrated Third Army running for cover. These include, but are not limited to, ice picks, hammers, chisels, pickaxes, blow dryers, space heaters, shovels and brooms, garden hoses connected to household water heaters, and even panty hose stuffed with rock salt.
These household warriors, while brave and well intentioned, often don’t do themselves or their homes any good. Ventures onto slippery roofs in cold weather can exact a heavy toll in the form of bruises, broken bones and other serious injuries. Moreover, a homeowner armed with an ice pick or pickaxe has been known to cause more damage than if the roof had been left alone in the first place.” “As you can imagine, falls from roofs can cause very serious injuries, some of which are compensated by millions of dollars,” says attorney Michael Bersani. “Take it from me; my law firm and I have successfully won millions for workers who have fallen from roofs.”
Another source of injuries can happen when icicles, ice chunks or large amounts of snow suddenly and unmercifully slide off roofs onto walkways and entrances. One notable example of this type of injury took place in Dallas in 2011 when six people were hurt by snow falling off of Cowboy Stadium. One person suffered head trauma and a concussion, and five others were hospitalized.
Interior Damage from Ice Dams. Although the most obvious damage occurs on the exterior, with ruined shingles, fallen gutters and even roof collapses, some of the worst damage, takes place on the interior when ice and water penetrate roofing materials and create leaks.
”Ice dams are caused by heat escaping into an attic warming the underside of a roof, which melts the snow,” explains Daniel Morrison, Executive editor of Fine Homebuilding & Green Building Advisor. “The water runs down the roof until it gets past where the exterior wall is, and then it freezes — because the roof deck is no longer warm. The ice builds up and forms a dam as more water runs down onto it.”
The water beneath seeps into the cracks and crevices of the roof filling them with water, which expands when it freezes again, spreading the materials the roof is made from and creating gaps in the seal of the roof that keeps the building dry.
When those gaps become large enough, the roof will begin to leak, causing large amounts of water damage within the buildings structural interior which will require extensive repairs. If the damage is not addressed immediately, it can spread, causing a lot of damage to the structural integrity of the building.
Roof deicing and snow elimination systems help prevent the problems of ice and snow buildup around eaves, drains, valleys or entire roofs. These systems not only stop the damage caused by winter stress on a roof, but also remove the hazardous conditions of falling snow or ice and eliminate potential liabilities.
An effective system can prevent ice dams by heating the critical areas of a roof. The system maintains a consistent water flow off the roof or safely diverts melted water into heated gutters that drain into designated locations. This is achieved by having a uniform heat source properly installed.
“It’s important to prevent the buildup of snow and ice around roof eaves, drains, and valleys,” states Steve Bench, Managing Member of Heatizon Systems, based in Murray UT. Heatizon manufactures low-voltage electric radiant roof snow melt and deicing, radiant snow melting, radiant in-floor space heating and radiant floor warming systems.
An investment in a radiant heating system produces the perfect long-term solution to dangerous and destructive ice and snow build up on roofs, diminishing liability issues and increasing peace of mind. The Heatizon roof deicing and snow elimination system is the only way to permanently protect a home or building from winter woes.
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.