Tag Archives: Roof deicing

Keeping Your Roof Safe, and in Good Condition

Roofs are an integral part of any home or business, but maintenance during the hazardous winter months can be difficult. Cold weather, snow, and ice can lead to many dangerous liability issues for homes and businesses. Dripping water can cause icicles and black ice on walkways, leading to injuries and liability issues. And ice dams along roof eaves can eventually lead to roof damage.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms when snow and ice melt and then refreeze on a roof. Heat from the attic can warm the roof and melt the bottom layer of snow. The runoff trickles toward the roof’s edge where it hits the cold eaves that cause it to refreeze. As it freezes, it forms a small ridge of ice. As addition water reaches this ridge, it also freezes, resulting in an ice dam that prevents water from draining properly. Once the dam is formed the melted snow is trapped, and pools behind the dam. The water can seep underneath your shingles and freeze again, threatening the integrity of your roof. Over time, roof damage can result, which may lead to additional problems inside the home. Seepage can find its way into the house where it may bring about costly problems, such as mildew or mold.

Heated roof edge

The most efficient solution for ice and snow problems on any property is a roof de-icing system. Warmzone offers two of the industry’s most efficient and trusted de-icing solutions: the RoofHeat STEP low-voltage roof de-icing system and the RoofHeat self-regulating heat trace cable. Both systems are operating in residential and commercial structures throughout the country.

When looking for roof de-icing options, determining the best products depends on the size, type, and construction of the roof, as well as regional weather conditions and performance requirements of the system. Taking these factors into consideration will help to ensure that correct components are used and installed correctly.

Warmzone’s self-regulating heat trace cable is an industry-leading product that is an affordable option for any home or business. Its superior construction makes it safe, effective, and energy efficient—the three key qualities of any roof de-icing system. Warmzone’s self-regulating heat trace cable is UL recognized under appliance classification file E 76498 and meets NEC codes section 426a, and also comes with 10-year warranty against manufacturer defects. The self-regulating cable features a durable UV stabilized outer casing built to withstand harsh winter weather conditions. The heat cable has an irradiated conductive core that regulates the heat output, increasing output as the outside temperature falls, and decreasing output as the temperature rises. Roof de-icing systems with self-regulating heat trace cable offer homeowners an affordable solution for heating roof edges, gutters, downspouts, and more. Installing a heat trace cable system is the ideal choice for those with a tighter budget.

Each self-regulating heat trace cable system consists of cable, a thermostat, and an activation device so that owners can operate the systems manually or set them to be fully automated. Running the heat cable along gutters and downspouts provides an excellent means for facilitating runoff, while keeping gutters free from the damaging effects of heavy snow and ice buildup. Using heat trace cable to heat specific trouble spots and roof valleys is also a cost-effective choice that will facilitate proper drainage. Warmzone’s roof heating cable is also consistently recommended for heating roof edges to prevent damage from ice dams and frost erosion. Heat cable is easily installed on roof edges. It is attached with special roof clips in a zigzag pattern along the entire edge of the roof eave. To create drip channels, the cable is installed to overhang an extra 5-inches on roofs with gutters, and 2-inches for roofs without gutters. Heat trace cable is also a great choice for pipe tracing in commercial or industrial applications to prevent pipes from freezing.

Heat trace cable system overview

The RoofHeat STEP low-voltage system from Warmzone is the premier roof de-icing solution for almost any application – including metal roofs. Not only is it one of the most trusted and comprehensive roof heating systems available, but it is a perennial favorite of roofing professionals. Rather than cable, RoofHeat STEP’s heating element is a thin (3/64-inch thick), semi-conductive, polymer heating panel that is polypropylene fused during fabrication to increase its durability, making it waterproof and protecting it from alkaline or salt damage. The element is a discreet, flexible panel that is installed directly under shake, asphalt shingles, or even metal roofs. The lightweight (.23 pounds per foot) heating element can also be cut onsite, nailed and stapled through, and is also available in multiple widths (3, 6, 9, and 12 inches). All these factors make installation quick and easy for any rooftop. RoofHeat STEP also comes with a 10-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

The low-voltage system is also self-regulating, and utilizes transformers to operate the system. Each section of the roof is connected to a transformer that will step down from high to low voltage (60 volts or less), and monitor the heat output to the self-regulating heat element to allow for optimal performance. An automatic sensor will detect precipitation and temperature to trigger the control panel, which then sends power to each section. This system setup will assure any roof is heated accurately, evenly, and cleared of snow and ice, while being extremely energy efficient. RoofHeat STEP is a great choice for any home or business, but is better at clearing snow from large areas or entire sections of the roof than self-regulating heat trace cable. It is especially effective at preventing ice dams, and will also keep roof eaves, valleys, or trouble spots completely clear of snow and ice.

The preferred activation device for this de-icing system is the advanced STEP Touch Thermostat. This industry-leading advanced thermostat has a beautiful, modern design sure to please any homeowner. Simple to use with only two-control functionality, it is maintenance free and will work perfectly with the low-voltage system, or any radiant heat system from Warmzone. It has a 3-digit LED display, interfaces with smart-home systems, and has a permanent memory that will recover all settings in the event of a power failure.

An automated roof de-icing system like RoofHeat STEP is key for effective and efficient roof de-icing and preventing hazards at homes and businesses. When working with Warmzone, each de-icing system is custom designed to meet the customer’s budget and de-icing needs. Professionals will consider each aspect of your roof, such as layout, roof medium, budget, and other factors to find the solution that gives you the best roof de-icing system.

In addition to providing a professional layout/design of the roof heating system, Warmzone also offers free installation training and technical support during installation. Customer service professionals from Warmzone are available to assist with any questions to assure installation goes off without a hitch.

If you would like more information about Warmzone’s roof de-icing systems, reach out to us today and speak to a customer service professional at 888-488-9276.

Roof De-icing – A Smart Investment in Your Home

Roof De-icing Options

Radiant heat is a great solution for many areas inside or outside your home. From floors to driveways, almost any area in your home can be heated with radiant heat. One great and often overlooked spot to install radiant heating is your roof. Inspecting your roof and installing a roof de-icing system during the warmer months is a great way to ensure your home or business is prepared for the cold winter ahead. With Warmzone, top-of-the-line roof heating systems make dealing with winter hazards like snow, ice dams, or icicles hassle a whole lot easier. Warmzone offers a variety of versatile roof de-icing systems that can fit the needs of any home or business owner and keep property safe from costly water damage during the winter.

Radiant heating systems work using three components: a heating element, an activation device, and a contactor panel / power source. The heating element is installed on your roof, valleys or gutters, or in specific areas where de-icing is needed. Once the heating element is installed, the activation device triggers the system to send power to the elements. The activation device is designed to detect specific weather conditions and then signal the contactor panel to send power to the heating element. The system then safely and efficiently keeps your roof clear of hazardous snow and ice.

Heated roof edge

Depending on the needs of the area to be heated, de-icing systems can be installed in a number of places. If you are looking to install radiant heat in gutters and downspouts, Warmzone’s self-regulating heat cable is an affordable, efficient solution for roof de-icing. (Constant wattage and pre-terminated self-regulating cable is also available.) Self-regulating heat cable automatically adjusts to temperature changes, increasing or decreasing its heat output, making it extra efficient, safe, and maintenance free. Warmzone’s self-regulating heat cable features a UV stabilized flexible thermoplastic elastomer over-jacket that protects its core making it extremely durable for wet locations, and protecting it from sun damage. This cable can be installed in gutters, downspouts or even zigzagged along the roof eaves to provide channels for the runoff (and prevent ice dams). Installing cable in these particular areas helps prevent icicles and hazardous ice dams from forming, protecting your home and roof from water damage that often results from ridges of ice that form along the roof eaves. Water can pool behind the ice and seep into tiny cracks in the roof or shingles. Warmzone’s versatile self-regulating cable can also be used for pipe tracing applications to prevent pipes from freezing.

Warmzone’s industry leading self-regulated heating cable is also used in attractive roof heating panels. These aluminum panels feature pre-engineered channels where self-regulating heat cable is routed, resulting in maximum heat transfer. These panels are engineered to be extremely energy efficient as well as an attractive addition to your roof. The aluminum panels are coated with a durable finish that adds to the aesthetic value of your home, and are available in a wide variety of colors to match your existing roof. Warmzone’s RoofHeat panels are extremely versatile and are also a great option to heat the valleys of your roof. These panels are effective at controlling ice buildup and dams with just a 4-6 inch heating panel that will clear both sides of the valley between 6-10 inches. This method of roof heating allows runoff to safely flow down the valley and assures that no water is refreezing on any other part of your roof. These premium quality panels offer an aesthetically pleasing option that is both highly efficient and affordable.

Another great roof de-icing option is Warmzone’s low-voltage RoofHeat STEP system. This innovative system features a thin polymer heating element that can be installed under metal or shingle roofs. It is easy to install and versatile, as it can be cut, stapled or nailed through during installation. RoofHeat STEP is also a self regulating system, so you can be sure that the system will efficiently keep your roof clear of snow and ice in any cold weather condition. This system can be installed to heat roof eaves, valleys, or even the entire roof. Each transformer controls a specific section of the roof de-icing system. This allows for the system to step down high voltage to low voltage (less than 60V ) when necessary, providing safe and efficient heat to clear your roof. The low-voltage system is one of the most effective and highly recommended roof de-icing systems on the market.

Low-voltage radiant heating element.

Because Warmzone’s roof de-icing systems are so versatile, they can be used separately or combined. This is helpful to meet the specific needs of each roof. If there is a tricky area, or an especially problematic spot Warmzone professional system designers can create a roof de-icing system to meet your exact specifications and snow melting needs.

Purchasing a roof de-icing system is a smart way to protect one of the most important aspects of your home – the roof. Damage to a roof can lead to costly water damage in the home, which can even lead to serious health problems if mold develops in the home. Ice dams are the number one problem when it comes to water or costly roof damage. As snow melts on the roof, it can reach the ridge of ice along the eaves where it pools. This pooled water can seep into tiny cracks and refreeze in every nook and cranny of your roof, expanding and eventually causing damage and threatening the integrity of your roof. If water seeps inside walls, it may not be discovered for a considerable time, whereby it can eventually cause mold and mildew inside the home – which is every homeowner’s nightmare.

A quality roof heating system is an investment that can pay off every winter, preventing damage and eliminating stress. Installing one now during the summer months is easier, and will assure your winter is safe and hassle free. If you’d like to learn more about the many roof de-icing options that are available, please contact a roof heating expert today at 888.488.9276.

Self-Regulating Roof Deicing Systems

The Industry’s Most Trusted Roof Heating Solutions

It’s that time of year again. Ice and snow are causing hazardous conditions everywhere, including our homes and businesses. One area of your home you may forget about this winter is your roof. As important as it is, the roof is often an overlooked area during the winter, and not maintaining it can lead to costly repairs. From broken gutters and downspouts to water damage from leaks that can cause mold and mildew, a damaged roof can make your winter season frustrating, cold, and expensive.

An efficient roof deicing system is a great long-term investment in maintenance and safety for any home or business owner, especially when coupled with industry leading customer service and professional system design services provided by Warmzone. Warmzone offers state-of-the-art roof heating systems, including industry leading RoofHeat trace cable and low-voltage RoofHeat STEP to meet the needs of any project.

Warmzone’s roof deicing systems are easy to use and easy to install. These systems have three components: A heating element, a power unit, and an activation device.

Self-regulating heat cable

RoofHeat self-regulating heat trace cable is an affordable, easy-to-use roof deicing option that is typically installed in gutters, downspouts, or along the roof eaves to help prevent ice dams and icicles from forming. Installation is simple. Determine the length of cable needed and then install it in the gutters and downspouts, and/or attach to the shingles with roof clips.

The self-regulating cable features an irradiated conductive core that increases the heat output as the outside temperature falls and decreases the heat output as the temperature rises. This unique construction makes it durable, safe, and extremely energy efficient.

RoofHeat STEP heating elements feature thin polymer that can be rolled out and cut on site, and even stapled or nailed through when installed under the roof shingles. Each power unit for the low-voltage heating element is connected to control specific areas of your deicing system and monitor the heating elements’ output. These units step down high voltage to low voltage (60 V or less) to safely and efficiently melt snow and ice.

Low-voltage heating element

The final component of the low-voltage system is the activation device. While several activation device options are available, Warmzone recommends its state-of-the-art RoofHeat STEP Touch Thermostat. The Touch thermostat works by using a remote sensor to determine temperature to activate the system when it is needed. This activation device is low-profile and features an auto-dimming LED display that interfaces with the outdoor sensor. The user-friendly controller makes operation of your system a cinch. Like the RoofHeat trace cable, the RoofHeat STEP heating element is also self-regulating. This function allows the system to operate safely and at peak performance.

Heated roof valley and edge

With superior performance and state-of-the-art components, an advanced roof deicing system from Warmzone offers many benefits for your home or business.  The first and most obvious is that maintaining your roof prevents costly water or structural damage to your home or business. Heavy snow and ice dams can build in chronic trouble spots on your roof; such as a north-facing valley or roof edge, and block the water from draining properly. This can lead to a compromised roof that leaks, causing damage from your ceiling to your floor, and may lead to mold and mildew growth inside the home.

Maintaining your roof also increases the safety of your home and business. With a RoofHeat system there will be no more worrying about heavy icicles falling and injuring people or creating extra ice on the sidewalk that may lead to falls and severe injuries. Another great benefit of a roof deicing system is the maintenance-free nature of the system. Once installed, the systems don’t require any regular maintenance, so aside from the operation costs, there are no other yearly expenses associated with having a system.

When it comes to operating costs, Warmzone’s self-regulating systems operate extremely efficiently, resulting in low operation cost. While utility prices may vary depending on your location, on average a 300 square foot roof costs around $.35 an hour to operate, making them affordable for any consumer. The automated operation of Warmzone’s RoofHeat STEP and RoofHeat trace cable systems also allows for minimum operation time, decreasing your operating costs. In fact, Warmzone’s heat trace cable system can run up to 30 percent less than other radiant deicing systems, making it a safe, efficient, low-cost choice.

One of the biggest benefits of a RoofHeat deicing system is the versatility. You can install each system on its own, or if you have a tricky area that needs special consideration, you can use both RoofHeat trace cable and RoofHeat STEP elements. When purchasing a top-of-the-line system from Warmzone, you also receive industry leading customer service to help you pick the RoofHeat products that best fit the needs of your project. Warmzone has design specialists to help you every step of the way, assuring your system is perfect for your home or business, as well as free installation training and support.

Still have questions about RoofHeat systems? Contact a Warmzone customer service specialist at 888.488.9276, or check out warmzone.com’s roof deicing pages for information on products and installation today!

Roof Deicing Systems

It’s time for your spring roof and gutter inspection.

According to experts, homeowners should inspect their roofs, gutters and downspouts at least twice a year. Roofing pros suggest checking it during spring time and in late fall, in preparation for the upcoming winter.

Roofs are generally very sturdy and built to last. But sometimes extreme weather or accidents can jeopardize the integrity of a roof.  And even the slightest flaw can lead to costly water damage. So before you fall victim to water damage from a leaky roof, make the effort to inspect your home’s lid so you can rest easy during summer rain and winter snowstorms.

Ice dams pose the single greatest threat to roofs in cold climate areas. Ice can cause problems that start out so small it’s difficult for homeowners to recognize. However, the small problem can grow into a large problem and result in serious water damage to the home. The damage may even take years to develop as ice dams tend to form in the same area year after year. That’s why it’s so important to keep up on the biannual inspections.

Clearing snow off of roof

During winter in locations that receive significant snowfall, warm air can escape from the living area and into the attic where it continues upward, warming the roof and causing the bottom layer of snow to melt. The runoff trickles down the roof, but when it reaches the colder eaves (where the roof extends out and no heat from the attic can reach), the water refreezes, causing a small ridge of ice to form.

This process tends to repeat itself day after day, and before long the small ridge of ice has grown into a large ridge. The runoff from the roof eventually pools behind the ice dam, and this is where things can get ugly. When a pool of water sits on a roof, every tiny crack and imperfection in the shingles or plywood can be exploited. Water finds its way into every crack or flaw in the roof. At nighttime the water refreezes and expands, enlarging the cracks and breaking down the overall integrity of the roof.

After your spring inspection of the roof, perhaps now is a good time to invest in an affordable roof deicing system. Several options are available, ranging from affordable self-regulating heat cable to low-voltage polymer heating panels that are installed directly under the roof shingles.

Self-regulating heat cable can be run through roof gutters and downspouts, as well as in a zigzag pattern along the roof eave. By installing the heat cable in a serpentine pattern the cable provides channels for the runoff to reach the gutters, thereby minimizing the chances of ice dams from forming.

The low-voltage RoofHeat STEP system features thin polymer heating panels that can be installed under shingles or metal roofs. The element can be nailed or stapled through and cut on site. The heating element is also self-regulating.

Low-voltage radiant heating element.

These industry leading roof deicing systems keep the entire roof edges free from snow and ice, whereas the individual runs of heat cable simply provide channels for the runoff. Because the RoofHeat STEP system is low-voltage, it uses transformers to step down high voltage to low voltage (60 V or less). Each transformer controls a specific section of the roof deicing system. And Warmzone roof heating systems can be easily customized to meet the precise needs of each customer.

Industry Leading Support Services

Warmzone is an innovative industry leader in terms of product offering and customer services. Free installation training is provided as well as installation support and professional system design and layout. Electrical and radiant heat experts are on hand to assist you during the training and/or the installation. A library of helpful installation videos is also available on Warmzone’s website, as well as a wealth of product information and documentation.

For more information, check out our website or call us today at 888.488.9276.

December HotNews – Roof Heat Trace Systems

Roof Gutter Trace Systems

Self-regulating Heat Cable for Gutters, Downspouts, Valleys and More

During the winter months many homeowners scramble to find a way to protect their roof gutters from heavy ice buildup. Icicles can also form, creating dangerous conditions for pedestrians below. Not only does falling ice present a danger, but melting icicles drip onto the sidewalk below and the water refreezes in the evening, creating a thin sheet of slick ice. Needless to say, these conditions are a nightmare for business owners.

The most popular and trusted method for keeping roof gutters and downspouts free of snow and ice is installing a heat trace system. These affordable systems are easy to install and are fully automated. The reliable, maintenance free roof deicing systems rely on durable self-regulating heat trace cable.

Self-regulating heat cable

Self-regulating heat cable automatically adjusts its power output to compensate for temperature changes. The cable’s irradiated conductive core increases the heat output as the outside temperature falls and decreases the heat output as the temperature rises. This unique construction makes it durable, safe, and extremely energy efficient.

The UV stabilized, flexible thermoplastic elastomer overjacket protects the durable carbon core for wet applications and exposure to the sun. These features provide more consistent performance, longer lifespan, and easier installation in cold temperatures that most other cable brands. In addition to providing ideal protection for roof and gutter applications, the heat cable can also be used for pipe tracing applications.

The other key component to Warmzone’s industry leading roof deicing and gutter trace system is the WS-8C aerial-mount snow sensor. This advanced sensor is designed primarily for gutter, downspout, and roof ice melting and small satellite antenna deicing. The totally sealed, low voltage, remote mount precipitation sensor allows the user to install the small sensor head in a downspout, the back of a gutter, or at the end of an antenna boom, up to 10 feet away, while keeping the main controller in a more convenient or protected outdoor location.

Warmzone roof heat tracing systems are affordable and effective. And once installed, you never have to worry about it. The system automatically operates when needed.

In addition to installing the cable in roof gutters, downspouts and valleys, the cable can also be zigzagged along the roof’s edge to help break up ice dams. The heat cable prevents water from pooling up behind ice dams by providing channels for the runoff to reach the gutter.

However, if your roof is consistently dealing with ice dams, that may be an indication that your attic is poorly insulated. Certainly, a roof deicing system can be installed at your roof edges to eliminate ice dams, but it is also recommended that you check your attic to ensure that it is properly insulated as well.

Roof in need of a roof deicing system

Ice dams form as a result of warm air rising from the home and escaping into the attic where it warms the roof and causes runoff. The melted snow reaches the colder roof overhang and refreezes. Eventually a ridge of ice forms and then subsequent runoff pools behind the ridge of ice. Water can seep under shingles and when it refreezes damage may occur.

Warmzone can provide a variety of custom roof heating solutions for you. Call today and see what options would best suit your needs. Any system can be customized to meet your specific roof heating needs and budget. Call 888.488.9276 today.

Features and Benefits of Warmzone’s Roof Heat Trace Systems

  • Will not overheat or burnout when overlapped
  • Superior quality outer jacket and carbon core
  • Features advanced technology that results in highly effective, energy efficient operation
  • Can be cut to length in the field
  • Fully automated
  • Maintenance free
  • Protects roofs by preventing ice dams and ice buildup

Take Care of Your Roof

Helpful Roof Information

Most weather related issues for a home begin – or end – with the roof. So, it’s no exaggeration to state that the single most important physical characteristic of a house may be its roof. Trouble areas or a poor quality roof can result in expensive water damage within the house so it’s vital to catch these problems before any damage can be done. As homeowners it’s important for us to inspect and maintain the quality of the roof and consistently ensure the integrity of the roof.

A mountain lodge in dire need of a roof deicing system

Some important factors to keep in mind are:

  • Multiple-layer roofs (shingles laid over shingles) will have a shorter lifespan.
  • An unventilated or poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
  • Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof can shorten the life of roof shingles.
  • Severe weather such as hot summers and harsh winters can affect your roof. Weather fronts that introduce dramatic temperature swings within a 24-hour period can also shorten lifespan because of the rapid expansion and contraction of the roof materials.

What’s the Best Way to Heat My Roof?

Warmzone offers several options when it comes to heating your roof. And each system can be customized to further meet your specific needs.

Roof deicing system installed to heat roof edges

One of the most popular systems for heating roof edges is the RoofHeat STEP system. This system features thin, low-voltage heating element that is installed directly under the roof shingle. (The system is also safe to install under metal roofs.)

The semi-conductive polyethylene heating element comes in 12-inch wide rolls and can even be nailed or stapled through and cut on site. Other widths are available for heating gutters and downspouts. The heating element is polypropylene fused during fabrication to achieve water proofing and protection from alkaline or salt damage.

Heating Gutters and Downspouts

The ideal solution for heating gutters and downspouts is self-regulating heat cable. The heat cable is effective for heating roof edges, gutters and drainpipes to help prevent costly ice and water damage, frost erosion and dangerous falling ice.

The self-regulating roof and gutter heating cable is extremely effective and energy efficient. The UL listed cable meets the requirements of the NEC (National Electric Code) Section 426. The durable cable features an irradiated conductive core that increases the heat output as the outside temperature falls and decreases the heat output as the temperature rises. This proven construction makes it tough, safe, and extremely energy efficient.

Most residential automated self-regulating heat trace systems consist of the heating element and a thermostat or snow sensor (activation device). (Larger systems may require another contactor, depending upon the power requirements. Heat trace systems rely on the thermostat to activate and keep the gutters and downspouts clear of ice.

Warmzone roof heating systems are fully automated and maintenance free. Warmzone roof deicing systems have been installed in Denver and most other cold regions around the country and are still the most effective and discreet for roof deicing and gutter trace applications.

Roof heating systems can be customized to accommodate just about any roof type and configuration. Warmzone self-reg roof and gutter heating cable may also be combined with other recommended roof heating systems, such as the RoofHeat STEP deicing system to create an optimal solution for you. We’ll work with you to create a customized system to best accommodate your specific snow melting needs as well as your budget. For more information, call 888.488.9276 today.

Protecting Your Roof and Gutters

Each spring, it’s a good idea for homeowners to check their roofs and make sure they survived winter’s icy barrage intact.  Look for damaged, loose and missing shingles, loss of granules on asphalt shingles, deterioration of the sleeves and flashing at vent pipes, and corrosion or damage of other roof flashing. (“Flashing” helps direct the flow of water around openings.) Also, take a look after any severe weather event.

Most roofs are designed to take the beating delivered by Mother Nature, but like everything else, roofs have an effective lifespan, so to prevent possible leaks and costly water damage it is recommended to inspect your roof twice a year. (Ideally, homeowners should inspect their roofs in the fall as well as in springtime.)

Clearing snow off of roof

Roofs in cold climate areas are susceptible to gradual deterioration over the years as a result of repeated freezing and thawing of snow in areas where pockets of ice accumulates. Roof damage can be very subtle, but tiny problems can grow into large, costly problems that not only affect the roof, but the inside of the home as well. That’s why careful inspection of the roof is so important.

The origins of roof problems and likely “leak points” are at its flashings (such as the drip edge, valleys, and wall-to-roof flashing). Penetrations such as plumbing vent pipes, chimneys and skylights are also more vulnerable to leaking. This means that a home with an elegant roof line that has multiple intersecting planes, a chimney and maybe a couple of dormer windows is more likely to leak than a simple gable roof on a rectangular-shaped house.

Most roof leaking is the result of an event, such as a strong storm followed by a threshold of deterioration after which the material begins to fail. Failure points can also be a result of manufacturing or installation defects. Also, ice dams are a common culprit when it comes to roof damage and water intrusion.

Snow and ice buildup occurs when runoff reaches the colder roof eaves and refreezes. Over time, the buildup increases, resulting in large rims of ice near the roof’s edge that cause water to pool behind it. The pooled water seeps under the shingles and refreezes at night, which can threaten the roof’s integrity and eventually lead to costly water damage inside the home.

Heated roof edge

Self-regulating heat cable and low-voltage RoofHeat STEP systems are two leading solutions for heating roof edges and preventing ice dams. These automated systems keep roof edges clear of snow and ice, and the heating elements can also be installed in the roof gutters to further facilitate runoff. Ensuring that water and ice are never trapped on your roof offers peace of mind, knowing that ice dams are not threatening your home. View more information and options for heating your roof.

The Importance of Taking Care of Your Roof

Helpful Roof Information

A quality roof is the key protective element of your home. A poor quality roof can wreak havoc with the interior once it starts to leak. Staining, mold, and rot can be the results of water intrusion. So when it comes to installing your home’s roof, keep these factors in mind:

  • Multiple-layer roof – A roof installed over an existing roof will have a shorter life.
  • Quality of roofing material – You get what you pay for. “Economy” roof materials have a shorter life
  • Installation – Sloppy or improper installation shortens roof life
  • Attic ventilation – An unventilated or poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
  • Trees near the roof – Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the acidity from the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof can shorten the life of roof shingles.
  • Harsh climate – Severe weather, including hot summers as well as harsh winters. Dramatic temperature swings within a 24-hour period also shorten lifespan because of the rapid expansion and contraction of the roof materials.
Common Causes for Roof Leaking
  1. Poorly installed or missing flashings
  2. Incorrect installation of the roofing material
  3. Temporary repairs with mastic or caulk
  4. Ice and debris in gutters
  5. Improper deck over roof or low slope roof used as a deck
  6. Bolted-thru satellite dishes, solar systems
  7. Damaged plumbing boots
  8. Trees scraping or impacting the roof
  9. Ice dams
  10. Roofing material deterioration

To protect your roof from winter related damage, view our roof heating options page and contact a roof heating expert at 888.488.9276.

Additional Information

What is the Life Expectancy of a Roof?

The life expectancy of a roof varies, depending on the type of roofing material, the weather, and quality of the installation. With this is mind, here are some lifespan averages for the different types of roofs (based on “average” conditions).

  • Three-tab Asphalt Shingles: approximately 15 years
  • Architectural Asphalt Shingles: 24 to 30 years
  • Metal (Galvalume): 30 to 45 years
  • Concrete Tile: 35 to 50 years
  • Built-Up or Modified Bitumen: 10 to 16 years
  • EPDM (rubber): 10 to 16 years

Many factors contribute to the lifespan of a roof. Here are a few conditions that affect roof longevity:

  • Color of Roof – A dark roof absorbs more heat, which shortens the lifespan.
  • Angle of Roof Slope – Higher pitched roofs tend to last longer.
  • Orientation of Roof Surface – A roof slope facing south is exposed to more UV rays than other roof facings, and therefore results in a shorter life.

An Easy, Affordable Solution for Ground Fault Protection Requirements

Warmzone Continues to Listen to Contractors and Serve the Needs of Homeowners

Electric snow melting, roof deicing and outdoor pipe heating systems installed in the United States and Canada require ground fault protection for safe operation. In many cases, when installing a snow melting system, these breakers can be expensive and difficult to find. However, thanks to Warmzone, this is no longer an issue.

In addition to offering contactor panels with ground fault protection, Warmzone also offers separate ground fault protection units with snow melting systems and activation devices. These units provide an inexpensive, easy-to-integrate solution to meet the NEC requirements for ground fault protection equipment.

The GF-1 unit provides single circuit protection and the GF-2 provides dual circuit protection (for 120/208/240VAC circuits up to 60A). Unlike highly sensitive GFCI breakers, Warmzone’s GF unit maintains a 30mA fault trip point to reduce nuisance tripping. The unit’s unique design allows installation of standard, off-the-shelf overload breakers into the customer load center. Size the breaker and wiring for the system (15A to 60A), then install the GF unit between the load center branch circuit and the sensor/controller and heat cable. The overload breaker protects the wiring while the GF unit provides the ground fault protection.

The unit is housed in a rugged, NEMA 4X/IP65 rated enclosure, suitable for indoor or outdoor installation. The enclosure features a gasket-sealed front access door for easy testing and reset. All internal electronic components are specified for -40°C to +60°C operation. The enclosure can be easily surface mounted near the load center or near the snow melting system, depending on the installer’s preference. Numerous knockout locations on the enclosure provide flexibility for installation and wiring. The enclosure base can accommodate standard ½ and ¾-inch conduit hubs. Four mounting holes outside the enclosure gasket make mounting a breeze while assuring weather-tight performance.

Ground fault protection unit enclosure
Enclosure for ground fault protection equipment

Features

  • Easy installation; convenient access for wiring
  • Works together with inexpensive, off-the-shelf overload circuit breakers
  • Provides true 30mA trip point GFPE protection
  • Meets NEC Article 426.28, 427.22, and CEC 62-300 requirements
  • Protects 120/208/240VAC systems up to 60A (#14-#6 CU-only conductor capacity)
  • Not Compatible With 277VAC or L-N-L 240VAC
  • UL listed (U.S. and Canada) NEMA 4X enclosure for indoor or outdoor installation
  • Latching, sealed, hinged front cover for easy testing and reset access
  • No overload rating means just two part numbers for simple stocking
  • Weatherproof and corrosion resistant enclosure
  • Operating temperature range of -40°F/C to +140°F/+60°C

The GF-1 and GF-2 can be used directly with Warmzone’s WS-2C, WS-5C and WS-8C aerial mount snow sensors. They can also be used with contactor panels, switches, and any system up to 60A. Since the overload protection is provided by the load center breaker, only two GF models are required to cover the full range of 15A to 60A, one or two circuits. This allows ground fault protection with kitted systems without the requirement of identifying the customer’s load center type or need to research if a combined overload/GFPE breaker is available and how long it will take to receive.

Including a GF unit completes the snow melting system and makes it ready to install. And the GF unit provides a ready-made solution when installing or retrofitting a snow melting system in an older facility that was wired well before the term “GFPE” was coined. It’s an easy upgrade to help bring an existing system into compliance with modern code requirements.

Including a GF unit completes the snow melting system and makes it ready to install. And the GF unit provides a ready-made solution when installing or retrofitting a snow melting system in an older facility that was wired well before the term “GFPE” was coined. It’s an easy upgrade to help bring an existing system into compliance with modern code requirements.

As your radiant heat partner, Warmzone makes the process of installing a snowmelt system as easy as possible. For more information, call 888.488.9276 today.


Finding the Right Roof Heating System

Keeping your roof free and clear of ice and snow comes down to proven radiant heating elements, proper system design, and proper installation. A good radiant heat solution is one that addresses all of the potential problem areas of your roof.  Warmzone offers a variety of roof heating solutions designed to not only melt snow and ice, but to keep the runoff flowing from your roof before it has a chance to freeze. Warmzone products are specifically designed to target all aspects of a roof, including gutters, downspouts, roof lines, roof eaves and edges—the places icicles, ice dams, and snow build-up are most likely to occur. To keep your roof free of ice and snow, it’s important to target the typical problem spots.

Heating Gutters, Edges and Problem Areas

Warmzone self-regulating heat cable is an extremely effective and energy efficient way to prevent ice dams and keep water flowing through gutters and downspouts. Comprised of a rugged, durable outer construction and an irradiated conductive core that responds to variations in temperature, this durable cable is the affordable choice for heating problem areas of your roof.

Heating Roof Edges

The single greatest snow and ice problem for roofs is due to ice dams. Snow and ice buildup occurs when runoff reaches the colder roof eaves and refreezes. Over time, the buildup increases, resulting in large dams of ice near the roof’s edge, causing water to pool behind it. As that water seeps under the shingles and refreezes, damage can occur, and may eventually lead to costly water damage inside the home.

Low-voltage roof heating element

Low-voltage RoofHeat STEP systems can be installed discreetly under the shingles to keep roof edges completely free of snow and ice. This advanced system utilizes a thin, semi-conductive polymer heating element that can be nailed or stapled through to make installation quick and easy. The self-regulating heating element is polypropylene fused during fabrication to achieve water proofing and protection from alkaline or salt damage.

A 24-inch roof heating panel for heating roof edges.             An 18-inch roof heating panel

Attractive roof deicing panels can also be installed to eliminate the possibility of ice dams. Available in a variety of sizes, these aluminum panels feature channels of self-regulating heat cable that effectively heats the aluminum to keep roof edges free of snow and ice. The panels have an attractive Kynar finish and can be used in new construction and on existing roofs with most types of roofing materials, including asphalt, wood shake shingles, tile, slate or standing seam metal. Visit our roof deicing panel documents page to learn more.

Heating Roof Valleys

Four and six-inch RoofHeat deicing panels are also available to heat roof valleys. Keeping these channels free of snow and ice facilitates runoff and helps to protect your roof by eliminating potential trouble spots. The Valley Panel system will create an open area (up to 10 inches) for water to safely flow from the roof through the valleys without the possibility of water refreezing over unheated portions of the roof. The Valley Panel roof heating system provides an aesthetic look to any structure while keeping a more efficient and cleaner method of eliminating ice dam issues in a valley or dormer.

Eliminating Icicles

For areas of your roof where gutters are not present heated roof edges can be used to channel water away from the structure. Heated Drip Edge systems are extremely effective in battling icicle build-up while maintaining the aesthetic look of the original roof. This is a common, reliable solution for businesses to ensure the safety and convenience of pedestrian traffic. These Kylar-finished edge lines are offered in a wide variety of materials, including steel, copper, aluminum and more, so they’re great for concealing wiring along the drip line to create a more attractive, polished appearance.  An existing metal roof can also be retrofitted with roof heating panels, which can be laid on top of the old metal roof, in direct contact with the self-regulating heat cable to prevent icicle formation.

Still not sure what you need for your roof? Our radiant heat experts work with customers to evaluate project challenges and determine an affordable roof deicing system that is best for your unique circumstances. Warmzone roof heating experts are also available to walk you through the process, from system selection to installation. Call 888.488.9276 for more information today.

Sid the Snowflake gets Caught Behind an Ice Dam

The Adventures of Sid the Snowflake (Trapped Behind an Ice Dam)

Sid tumbled through the sky at the mercy of the wind. One gust sent him hurling up, back toward the gray mist that he’d just departed from, then another would suddenly push him down, spinning him in a different direction. He tried to catch a glimpse of the ground below as he careened through the stormy heavens, but all he could see was a sky full of his fellow snowflakes, all in the same predicament. Not knowing whether he was going to land in the ocean, on solid ground, or on the backside of a cow, Sid was filled with the angst of an uncertain future. A voice suddenly broke his reflective solitude.

“I’ll see you on the ground!” another snowflake yelled to him, seemingly enjoying his carefree flight.

“Alright,” Sid responded with trepidation as he glided closer and closer to earth. “Good luck!”

Illustration of Sid the snowflake for roof de-icing article

Sid knew the chance of seeing this new acquaintance again was slim. Snowflakes that begin their decent together often ended up miles apart by the time they reach the ground. Still, Sid took some comfort in the friendly words and embraced a small sense of reassurance offered by the stranger. Sid was just one of millions who were facing the uncertainty of an unknown destination. This was all part of their cycle of life.

The gusty winds subsided during Sid’s descent, and as visibility increased he could make out forms on the approaching ground. Sid’s last journey took him on an exciting adventure in the Northern Pacific Ocean, and he was half expecting the same. During that adventure, he enjoyed seeing a wide variety of exotic marine life, and he even had the experience of rolling across the back of a small humpback whale.

But today would be much, much different. There was land below. Not only was there land, there were people! Sid was headed for a city. He had fallen into a small town once before, and though the experience wasn’t horrible, it was far from being his favorite. Being scooped up in a shovel and tossed aside to be splattered by dirty, ill-mannered slush from passing cars was something he really hoped he wouldn’t have to endure again.

As he drifted toward the ground, Sid could see that many of his peers had arrived earlier, blanketing the uneven ground and buildings with a pristine layer of white. He plotted his landing and prepared for his arrival in the front yard of a small farm house. But a sudden gust tossed him aside and onto the roof of the house. He breathed a sigh of relief, grateful to be on a roof and not in some cow pasture. He was quickly joined by others, and the group settled in, not yet sure of their fate.

After four uneventful days on the roof, Sid started feeling a bit “loosey goosey” as warm air escaping from the attic warmed the roof and tickled his rear end. He watched as friends around him collapsed from their frozen state into clear liquid, each letting out a loud “whoo hoo” as they tumbled down the roof valley. They zigzagged their way down the giant water slide before crashing into a growing pool that had formed behind a large ridge of ice near the roof’s edge.

Then it was Sid’s turn. As his last frozen foothold gave way, he cascaded toward his friends, clumsily bumping into a few stubborn packs of ice before being released into the small pool. This would be Sid’s new home for a few days. The large ice dam wasn’t going to allow any of them to drip into the gutter or downspout anytime in the near future.

Illustration showing how roof ice dams form

Apparently, the ice dam had been growing long before Sid’s arrival. The shingles were much warmer higher up on the roof, but the surface near the roof’s edge was still cold. The roof extended out from the house, so there was no warm air from the attic.  When drops of melted snow trickled down into the freezing valley below, they collected and then during the cold nights, they transformed back into their frozen state. Without the warmth escaping from the attic as it did near the top of the roof, the frozen water would remain where it was, completely at the mercy of Mother Nature. Here Sid and his drippy friends would dwell until they could find a way past the ice dam. They could only wait for the temperature to slowly warm.

The process of melting and refreezing behind the formidable ice dam had repeated several times before Sid had arrived. And now, trapped behind the ice, Sid and his friends would also take part in that process. As night fell on another cold day, Sid and his companions once again changed back into their frozen state. They could do nothing but wait for warmer weather.

With each passing day, the crowd grew larger as runoff from warm areas of the roof increased the pool’s size. Milling about like restless concert goers awaiting the opening act, some of Sid’s cohorts grew impatient.

“Let’s work our way through this place and drip inside the house,” he heard one say. Soon, a plan was hatched, and an ample collection of rebellious drips began their unconventional trek. Aided by gravity, they wound their way down through a maze of tiny cracks in the roof. If a crack came to an end or became too small, they would wait patiently for the freezing temperature to grant them their super powers. As they transformed into ice, they flexed and expanded with tremendous force, enlarging the existing cracks and preparing a way for them to continue their journey when they resumed their liquid state. With each day and freezing night, the group inched its way through the aging roof. Before long, a trail had been blazed, creating a small stream for others to follow. It didn’t take long for one of the walls in the home to begin absorbing a budding contingent of melted snowflakes. It swelled and warped as more drips piled in.

“Oh man, this drywall stuff is nasty,” one said.

“It’s an acquired taste,” an old timer replied. “Mmm, mmm,” he mumbled as he slithered down the wall.

“Dude,” quipped another, “like, I don’t think this was a good idea. We’re totally gonna end up getting cut outta here and trashed. Man, I don’t want to end up as a stain on a wall. Ugh, not cool, man.”

Sid had no intention of sliding down into the house. The idea of seeping into a home seemed unnatural. Besides, he hated the taste of plaster and drywall, and the last thing he wanted was to become a filament of mildew or mold on a gross, stained wall. He didn’t mind waiting with the others behind the ice dam.

Unfortunately, the homeowner hadn’t installed a roof deicing system, which would have prevented Sid’s derelict friends from becoming troublesome drips and trespassing into the house. Eventually however, the homeowner used a roof rake to chip away at the ice dam.

“Whoa!” Sid observed to a nearby friend as the rake slammed down and scraped the ice. “If he’s not careful, he’s gonna damage the roof shingles and then more of our comrades will seep into his home next time.”

“Eh, whadaya gonna do?” his friend shrugged. “I just wanna blow this popsicle stand. C’mon man, let’s get outta here.”

With the dam broken away, Sid and his friends tumbled into the gutter.  He’d made a journey like this once before, resting on a Utah rooftop for over a week before finding his way back to a stream, and eventually back in to the clouds – where he was happiest. After another epic journey through gutters and drains and streams, Sid finally found himself swaying gently in a small lake.

Later that evening he looked up to the stars that shimmered through the wisps of clouds drifting in the moonlight. “Someday,” he reflected, “I’ll be back up there.” The ice dam held Sid for awhile, but now he was on his way home – he hoped. He floated on his back and stared at the sparkling nighttime sky and promised himself, “Soon I’ll find my way back up to the sky. Maybe the sun will warm us up tomorrow, and then I’ll float up to the clouds.” He closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.