All posts by Jordan Ricks

Making a Wise, Long Term Investment in Your Home

Prevent Costly Repairs – Explore the Many Options for Roof Deicing

If you’re like most folks, owning a home is the centerpiece of living the “American Dream”, but as every homeowner can attest, owning a home also means maintaining a home, which can seem like a full-time job without end. But there are smart home improvements and wise investments that not only help to reduce your maintenance chores, but can pay for themselves over the years and prevent the need for expensive repairs in the future.

Is your roof protecting your home the way it should? Investing in your roof can be one of the most important decisions you can make in safeguarding your home over the long haul. Your home’s roofing provides the front line of defense against the ravages of winter, and doing all you can to protect it and make its job a little easier makes good sense.

A mountain lodge in dire need of a roof deicing system
A mountain lodge with a dangerously heavy slab of ice and snow weighing down the roof. Roof heating systems eliminate this type of danger and help to protect roofs.

In cold weather climates even the best of homes can fall victim to the persistent, destructive forces that patiently attack your roof every winter. Your roof serves as the barrier between your family and the ravages of Old Man Winter, but standing up to the determined forces of Mother Nature year after year is no easy task. For the most part, a well-constructed roof will repel the bulk of each icy annual offensive; however, after years of repeated assaults, winter may quietly string together a series of subtle victories that can eventually add up to threaten the integrity of the roof.

Water needs only to find and exploit one small weakness in your roof to inflict major damage. The water seepage from roof vulnerabilities, often caused by ice dams, can be like a Trojan Horse that infects your home and quietly wreaks havoc before you realize the extent of the damage.

Ice dams are one of the most common problems associated with roof and water damage. A ridge of ice forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining properly. The water backs up behind the dam where it freezes and melts again. The repeated process of water freezing and melting gradually wears down even some of the best constructed roofs, and eventually water exploits the smallest opportunity to seep inside and gain free reign of your home. It can inflict costly damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation that can get out of hand in a hurry. Before long, mold and mildew join in the fray. Despite the growing damage, there are usually no visible signs that the roof has been compromised.

Warmzone roof deicing and gutter trace systems can eliminate ice dams and heavy ice buildup in gutters and downspouts. These radiant heating systems may well be your roof’s greatest ally, extending the life of your roof and preventing costly structural damages to your home.

There are several roof heating options that can be customized to meet your roofing needs as well as your budget. Warmzone deals only in top quality, proven systems at the best prices possible. Perhaps the service most appreciated by customers is Warmzone’s expert design services and radiant heat consulting. Simply call Warmzone to learn more and find out what options are available. You can also receive a free roof heating quote for your project. Call 888.488.9276 for more information.

Radiant Floor Heating in Chicago

Many homeowners in the Chicago area are installing radiant heated floors for use as their primary home heating source as well as in select rooms to supplement their existing home heating system. As many owners of radiant floor heating systems attest, nothing is finer than walking on a warm floor during a cold winter day. Radiant heated floors are also ideal for rooms where children spend a lot of time playing on the floor.

Warmzone offers a variety of electric radiant floor heating systems, as well as hydronic heated floors for homeowners in Chicago and the Midwest. And because Warmzone manufactures and carries the industry’s most trusted floor heating systems, our experts can evaluate your needs and determine the ideal system for heating your specific floor type. Our selection helps to ensure that you receive the most effective floor heating system for the unique layout and floor type of your home.

While there are some standout radiant floor heating systems, it is important to know that no single floor heating system is ideal for every type of flooring. That’s why it’s so critical to speak with a provider who can offer you a wide selection of reputable floor heating options without bias towards one system. Don’t be talked into purchasing a floor heating system simply because it’s the only system that the provider offers. Deal with an industry leader that can show you a wide selection of radiant floor heating solutions and explain the benefits and traits of each one.

Heating Tile Floors
The most proven system for heating tile floors is the ComfortTile floor heating system. ComfortTile features thin 1/8 to 3/16-inch diameter heat cable that is available on spools or pre-spaced on flexible fiberglass mesh backing with adhesive so it can be rolled out and then secured to the subfloor for easy installation. ComfortTile heat cable is also one of the most versatile floor heating systems.

ComfortTile heat cable can also be used in conjunction with the HeatShield floor heating insulation panels. HeatShield features ½-inch thick, lightweight polystyrene insulation panels covered with thin, specially profiled aluminum to reflect all the heat upwards to the floor. ComfortTile heating cable is inserted into the grooves of the HeatShield panels.

Heating Hardwood and Laminate Floors
Many homes in the Chicago area feature hardwood or laminate flooring. Warmzone offers several choices for heating hardwood and laminate, but the most popular solution is the low-voltage FloorHeat STEP system.

This unique floor heating system features a self-regulating, semi-conductive polyethylene heating element. Because the flexible heating element is so thin, it won’t affect the floor buildup, weight loads, or your choice of flooring.

Heated hardwood floor

The unique attributes of FloorHeat STEP make this versatile heating element a popular choice for heating roofs as well. RoofHeat STEP is one of the most trusted roof heating systems available. (Learn more about heating hardwood floors. and tips for Installing Heated Floors.

Heating Concrete Underfloor Slabs
The In-Slab radiant floor heating cable is designed for installation in new concrete slab applications. The heat cable is embedded at least ½-inch below the floor’s surface. In-Slab cable uses the concrete slab to efficiently store and distribute heat evenly throughout the intended area. The cable is affordable and can be installed to warm any type of flooring, including hardwood, carpet, tile, and more.

Heating Existing Floors
Warmzone also carries RetroHeat, a thin “film” heating element that can be stapled up between floor joists to heat existing floors. The paper-thin heating element can be cut on site and is then stapled up between the floor joists and common Batt insulation is then installed over the heating panel. This directs all the heat upwards to warm the existing floor.

These are just some of the choices Chicago residents have to heat their floors. Whether you’re looking to heat carpet, tile, marble, hardwood or any other type of floor, you won’t go wrong dealing with Warmzone.

In addition to Warmzone’s industry leading products, Warmzone provides unparalleled customer services, which include professional system design, free installation training courses, and personal installation support. Call a radiant heat expert today at 888.488.9276 to discuss your floor heating options.

Attract More Customers to Your Car Wash

Increasing Profitability While Reducing Liability

The car wash industry boasts annual revenue of approximately $5.8 billion. That’s a large pie to be sure, but with over 113,000 automated and self-serve car wash facilities vying for a slice, the pickings can often be slim and the competition fierce for owners of these businesses. Unlike most significant markets that are typically dominated by large conglomerates, 90 percent of car washes are owned by small businesses or individuals. Given the limited budget of most of these business owners, it is vital to keep maintenance costs at a minimum while keeping the facility operational at all times.

Outdoor car wash

Abundant Demand and Abundant Competition
According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 8 million cars are washed every day. Of the 113,000 car wash facilities competing for business, 58,000 are in-bay automatics and 36,000 are self-service car wash bays. With so many car wash facilities dotting the landscape, how do you distinguish your car wash and attract the most customers? What are the “selling points” that entice consumers to choose one self-service car wash over another?

First, it’s important to know that the busiest and most profitable time for the car wash industry is during the winter. Thirty-two percent of the annual earnings are realized during the cold weather months while spring and summer seasons each account for 25% of yearly revenue and fall income dips to 18%. With winter being the peak earning season for the car wash business, downtime during the cold season must be avoided at all costs.

The Challenge
The very challenges that threaten your operation in the winter (ice and snow) are also the factors that generate increased business. Consumers are eager to wash the salt and sludge from their vehicles after each winter storm, but if your car wash has ice packed around the entrance and exit, you can be certain that you are losing business as a result. Most owners apply salt or snowmelt chemicals or use other labor intensive means in an effort to keep their bays free of ice and snow. Not only can the icy property hinder business, but the dangerous conditions can lead to personal injury and costly litigation.

The demand for safe car washes has become a serious topic due to preventable accidents and expensive settlements in recent years. In addition to the winter precipitation, the overspray from a car wash often creates dangerous, slick areas in and around each bay. Insurance is a necessity but not a catchall solution, and it can come at a high cost. However, installing a radiant snow melting system can decrease your liability as well as reduce your insurance premiums. When comparing the cost savings for insurance and the decreased chances of an expensive lawsuit, installing a snow melting system makes good business sense.

Selling Points
Certainly insurance is essential for your business, but if you are serious about increasing your profits then you must also be aware of the key “selling points” that influence consumers when searching for a self-service car wash. Perhaps the most important factor responsible for attracting business to your car wash is appearance. Customers look for clean and safe (ice-free) property as well as functional looking equipment. But how do you maintain safe, clean conditions around the clock during the icy winter barrage? And how do you avoid downtime to take advantage of the increase in demand during extreme weather conditions?

The Proven Solution
Car wash owners are discovering the reliability, affordability and effectiveness of electric radiant heat systems. Easy to install and surprisingly affordable, electric radiant heat has proven to be the ideal technology to complement the self-service car wash industry.

Warmzone is one of the country’s leading radiant heat solutions providers, and offers both hydronic and electric radiant snow melting solutions. Hydronic snowmelt systems can be very efficient for heating large areas, but for small, custom areas such as car wash bay aprons, electric radiant heat has proven to be the best answer. Electric snow melting systems can be easily customized, so heating small strips of pavement at the entrance and exit is simple and affordable. There’s no need for a control room and electric systems feature rapid response times so the pavement is heated quickly and efficiently. Warmzone snow melting systems are also maintenance free and fully automated, but can also be controlled manually when needed.

In addition to providing one of the most comprehensive radiant heat information resources on the web (www.warmzone.com ), Warmzone also makes it easy to explore the options for installing radiant heat by offering free quotes and professional consulting. Simply call a representative to discuss the options and costs with no obligation (888.488.9276).

Statistical Sources: MSSP, IRS, Professional Car Washing and Detailing, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Installing Heated Floors Enhances Comfort for Homeowners in Newark NJ

Many homeowners in the Newark area are installing radiant heated floors for use as their primary home heating source as well as in select rooms to supplement their existing home heating system. As many owners of radiant floor heating systems attest, nothing is finer than walking on a warm floor during a cold winter day. Radiant heated floors are also ideal for rooms where children spend a lot of time playing on the floor.

Heated bathroom floor
Radiant heated floors are a common addition to bathrooms and rooms where children spend the majority of their time.

Warmzone offers a variety of electric radiant floor heating systems, as well as hydronic heated floors for homeowners in Newark and New Jersey. And because Warmzone manufactures and carries the industry’s most trusted floor heating systems, our experts can evaluate your needs and determine the best system for heating your specific floor type. Our selection helps to ensure that you receive the most effective floor heating system for the unique layout and floor type of your home.

While there are some standout radiant floor heating systems, it is important to know that no single floor heating system is ideal for every type of flooring. That’s why it’s so critical to speak with an unbiased radiant heating expert who can offer you a wide selection of reputable floor heating options to choose from. Don’t be talked into purchasing a floor heating system simply because it’s the only system that the provider offers. Deal with an industry leader that can show you a wide selection of radiant floor heating solutions and explain the benefits and traits of each one.

Heating Tile Floors
The most proven system for heating tile floors is the ComfortTile floor heating system. ComfortTile features thin 1/8 to 3/16-inch diameter heat cable that is available on spools or pre-spaced on flexible fiberglass mesh backing with adhesive so it can be rolled out and then secured to the subfloor for easy installation. ComfortTile heat cable is also one of the most versatile floor heating systems.

ComfortTile heat cable can also be used in conjunction with the HeatShield floor heating insulation panels. HeatShield features ½-inch thick, lightweight polystyrene insulation panels covered with thin, specially profiled aluminum to reflect all the heat upwards to the floor. ComfortTile heating cable is inserted into the grooves of the HeatShield panels.

HeatShield floor heating system being installed
ComfortTile heat cable being placed into the grooves of HeatShield floor heating insulation panels.

Heating Hardwood and Laminate Floors
Many homes in New Jersey feature hardwood or laminate flooring. Warmzone offers several choices for heating hardwood and laminate, but the most popular solution is the low-voltage FloorHeat STEP system.

This unique floor heating system features a self-regulating, semi-conductive polyethylene heating element. Because the flexible heating element is so thin, it won’t affect the floor buildup, weight loads, or your choice of flooring. (Visit our heating hardwood floors. and tips for Installing Heated Floors. pages online to learn more about radiant floor heating systems.)

The unique attributes of FloorHeat STEP make this versatile heating element a popular choice for heating roofs as well. RoofHeat STEP is one of the most trusted roof heating systems available.

Heating Concrete Underfloor Slabs
The In-Slab radiant floor heating cable is designed for installation in new concrete slab applications. The heat cable is embedded at least ½-inch below the floor’s surface. In-Slab cable uses the concrete slab to efficiently store and distribute heat evenly throughout the intended area. The cable is affordable and can be installed to warm any type of flooring, including hardwood, carpet, tile, and more.

Heating Existing Floors
Warmzone also carries RetroHeat, a thin “film” heating element that can be stapled up between floor joists to heat existing floors. The paper-thin heating element can be cut on site and is then stapled up between the floor joists and common Batt insulation is then installed over the heating panel. This directs all the heat upwards to warm the existing floor.

These are just some of the choices Newark residents have to heat their floors. Whether you’re looking to heat carpet, tile, marble, hardwood or any other type of floor, you won’t go wrong dealing with Warmzone.

In addition to Warmzone’s industry leading products, Warmzone provides unparalleled customer services, which include professional system design, free installation training courses, and personal installation support. Call a radiant heat expert today at 888.488.9276 to discuss your floor heating options.

What’s not to Love About a Heated Driveway?

Radiant Heated Driveways Boast Many Perks

Seriously people, what’s not to love about having a heated driveway leading to your domicile? You literally say goodbye to back breaking snow removal after ever single snow storm for the rest of your life. You should love your radiant heated driveway for that perk alone, but it does so much more.

Heated driveway

Having a heated driveway allows you to stash your snow shovel, snow blower, salt and deicing products. No more harsh chemicals to keep the ice away since your radiant heated driveway will do that for you. So in a round about way it even helps keep the environment clean, by avoiding cruel environmentally toxic products.

Radiant heated driveways are cropping up everywhere. They are a sound investment to any new home construction and a valuable resale home improvement project to your lived in and loved in home. The costs are more minimal that you might imagine as the technology is perfected and the competition more savvy, pushing everyone to improve on the radiant heating cables being used as well as the overall cost to the end users. There are so many pros to using a heated driveway system that you’ll honestly never have an answer to the question above. You’ll love everything about having a heated driveway. Everything

Electric Underfloor Heating Systems

Electric underfloor heating systems are particularly well-suited for heating small to medium sized floors and areas. Electric radiant heating systems are energy efficient and cheaper and easier to install than hydronic radiant heating systems. Radiant underfloor heating systems are controlled by a thermostat with an in-floor sensor, and the systems are ideal for heating tile floors, hardwood, laminates and more. Electric radiant floor heating systems are also maintenance-free and feature rapid response times.

Thinset can be applied directly over heat cable

One of the most proven and popular electric radiant floor heating systems is the ComfortTile heated floor. The thin ComfortTile floor heating cable has a ⅛-inch diameter, and when installing a heated tile floor, the cable can be installed in the thinset, so there is no need for floor buildup.

In addition to being able to purchase the heat cable on spools, ComfortTile is also available in easy-to-install mats that can be quickly and conveniently rolled out during installation. The heat cable is pre-spaced and attached to a durable mesh with adhesive-backing. The heat cable on the spool is best for installing in large, custom shaped areas while the mats are typically used for heating standard shaped rooms and areas.

Warmzone also offers several other electric underfloor heating systems, including the HeatShield floor heating insulation panels, In-Slab radiant heat cable, low-voltage FloorHeat systems and RetroHeat electric under joist floor heating systems.

Placing heat cable in the grooves of a HeatShield floor heating insulation panel

HeatShield underfloor heating insulation panels maximize radiant floor heating system efficiency. The systems are best suited for heating laminate and engineered wood floor applications, and are also commonly used for heating carpeted floors.

Featuring ½-inch thick polystyrene insulation panels covered with thin, specially profiled aluminum, HeatShield floor heating systems ensure excellent downward insulation while optimizing the upward heat distribution, thereby reducing energy consumption.

The underfloor heating system is also easy to install. Simply lay the insulation panels on the existing subfloor and clip them together, then press the heat cable into the grooves provided. (The reflective floor heating panels eliminate the need for heat cable to be embedded in a mud/cement base.) Next, place the finish floor on top.

In-Slab (SlabHeat) underfloor heating cable is excellent for a variety of concrete applications. Ruggedly designed for installation directly in cement slabs, the In-Slab radiant heat cable produces 10-15 watts per square foot and can efficiently radiate heat to warm any type of flooring, from ceramic tile to marble, hardwood, slate, and more.

FloorHeat radiant heating systems feature a unique, self-regulating polymer heating element. This low-voltage underfloor heating system is extremely thin and requires no floor buildup. Because of these attributes and that it can be easily secured to the subfloor with nails, adhesive or staples, FloorHeat is ideal for heating hardwood floors. The system utilizes a step-down transformer that converts the 220 line voltage to the low voltage of 60V (or less).

Stapling up RetroHeat floor heating element

Existing floors can also be retrofitted with radiant heat, using the FloorHeat or RetroHeat under joist floor heating systems (providing you can access the floor joists under the floor you wish to heat). RetroHeat features a paper-thin heating element (available in 12, 16, and 24-inch widths) that can be cut on site and safely stapled between the floor joists. After stapling the floor heating panels between the floor joists, the electrical connections are made and common batt insulation is then installed to direct the heat up through the floor. The RetroHeat underfloor heating system is an outstanding value for retrofitting radiant heat under any existing floor covering, including tile, hardwood, and carpet.

While Warmzone offers one of the best selections of underfloor heating systems available, it is best to call and speak with a radiant heat expert to determine the ideal system for your needs (888.488.9276). In addition to offering the best radiant heating products and systems on the market, Warmzone also includes complete radiant heat system engineering and design services. This ensures that your radiant underfloor heating system will perform as well – or better – than expected. Warmzone’s radiant heat design services include a detailed autoCAD of your system, so you’ll know all the system installation requirements and power needs prior to laying down any heat cable. So if you are considering installing a radiant underfloor heating system, deal with the best, most trusted radiant heat professionals at Warmzone. Call to speak to a radiant heat expert today, at 888.488.9276.

Electric Radiant Floor Heating vs Baseboard Heating (Part I)

The Battle of the Home Heating Titans

For years baseboard heating has been the home heating system of choice for many consumers. Relatively cheap and easy to install, baseboard heating systems were installed in new homes in the 70s, and without knowing their other options, consumers have stuck with it—until now.

Radiant heated floors are quickly trumping baseboard heating as the titan of the home heating market. With its superior heating capabilities and maintenance-free logistics, radiant heating is persuading consumers everywhere to make the switch from baseboard heating to radiant heating.

Heated hardwood floor

By taking a look at how the two different systems work and their pros and cons, you’ll quickly see that saying goodbye to baseboard heating is the best decision you’ll ever make as a homeowner.

Weighing the Differences
While both baseboard heating systems and electric radiant heating systems use similar concepts, they are certainly not created equal.

Efficiency: Baseboard heaters aren’t exactly known for their efficiency. Heating a whole room with a baseboard heater can take quite a while, so you have to plan ahead if you want the room to be warm when you’re home. Because they take so long to heat up, baseboard heaters can quickly rack up your electricity bill.

Because electric radiant floor heating heats the floor and the objects around it, it takes half the time to heat up a room. Radiant floor heating is 100 percent effective, even at 50 percent capacity. Additionally, 100 percent of energy consumed by your radiant heating system is used to heat the room.

Installation: Baseboard heaters are relatively easy to install, but you have to waste a large amount of wall space to do it.  What’s more, baseboard heaters are quite unsightly and noisy, and they must be strategically placed as to not conflict with furniture placement.

While heated floors require a little more elbow grease to install, it’s not difficult. Any motivated do-it-yourselfer can install heated floors. Additionally, radiant heated floors require no wall space, and you don’t have to worry about an unsightly heater sticking out of your wall. After all, what’s a warm room if it’s an ugly room?

Maintenance: Baseboard heaters use heat coils that need to be frequently vacuumed. Dust on the coils reduces the effectiveness and efficiency of the heater, taxing your heating bill and reducing the lifespan of the system in general. What’s more, a dirty heater makes your house smell like burnt dust—not the most pleasant smell in the morning.

Radiant heated floors require absolutely no maintenance.  It’s as simple as that. There are no moving parts or coils to clean, and with the high-quality heat cable and thermostat, you can count on your floors to provide warmth for years to come.

Safety: Consumers with baseboard heating systems must take great care to keep furniture and other objects away from the heater. This not only interferes with design decisions, but also presents a serious safety hazard. A home in Colorado was destroyed after two suitcases leaning against a baseboard heater ignited, causing $50,000 in damages.

Radiant floor heating is guaranteed to be safe. The heating cable used is safely insulated and uses no high voltage, no combustible gases, and doesn’t create any hot surfaces.

( Continued; Read Part II )

Electric Radiant Floor Heat vs. Baseboard Heating (Part II)

The Top Benefits of Radiant Floor Heating aver Baseboard Heating

Read Part I

Radiant heated floors certainly beat baseboard heaters in several aspects, but perhaps the crowning feature of heated floors is the maximum flexibility they offer consumers.

Electric radiant heating offers three main aspects of flexibility that baseboard heating systems don’t: installation freedom, variety, and custom design plans.

Installation Freedom
Baseboard heaters can usually be installed in any room, whether the house is old or new. Finding the wall space, however, can be a tricky task. Additionally, having to rearrange your room to accommodate a baseboard heater is far from convenient.

Heated bathroom floor

Radiant heated floors, on the other hand, can go in any room on any surface. Whether you’re building a brand new home or sprucing up an old one, you can experience the benefits of radiant floor heating. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about keeping your furniture away from a dangerous heater. Feel free to place that fabulous new sofa wherever you see fit.

Additionally, heated floors can be installed on virtually any surface you can think of. Install one in your carpeted living room, your hardwood dining room, your tiled bathroom, or all of the above.

Variety
When it comes to choosing a baseboard heater, there aren’t that many options to choose from. All baseboard heaters are essentially the same poor quality mechanism that leave much to be desired.

With a Warmzone radiant heated floor system, however, you have a slew of high-quality products to choose from. Whether you choose ComfortTile heating mats, In-Slab heat cables, HeatShield panels, or FoilHeat, you’re sure to be satisfied with your heated floors for years to come.

Heated bathroom floor

Custom Design Plans
Perhaps the greatest part about switching to radiant heated floors is the unparalleled service from Warmzone. When you are ready to make the switch from baseboard heating to electric radiant heated floors, the friendly Warmzone staff will walk you through the whole process from start to finish.

We’ll design a radiant heat system tailored to your specific needs. We realize your needs aren’t the same as the next customer’s, and we’ll design a customized plan of action (complete with CADs) to make sure that your radiant heated floors not only meet but exceed your expectations.

When it comes down to it, there’s just no reason to continue to wallow in your baseboard heating blues. Radiant heated floors offer superior efficiency, quality, and convenience that baseboard heaters couldn’t even think of touching. Say no to noisy, unsightly heaters and yes to cozy, consistent heated floors that will keep you, your family, and your wallet happy all winter long.