Utah has become world renown for having the Greatest Snow on Earth. It is not uncommon to get six to ten inches of snow in the valleys along the Wasatch Front and several feet of snow in higher elevations, from just one winter storm. Although it is great for skiing, the build up of snow and ice can do considerable damage to the roof of a home in the mountains. Roof contractors in Utah are all too familiar with the problems snow and ice cause.
Consider twelve inches of snow on a pitched roof. Snow melts from the top of the roof down and the water runs down the slope of the roof under the snow layer. The layer compacts and gravity slowly pushes it down the slope. At night the whole thing freezes into something like a mini glacier.
The next day melting starts at the top again, but it is slowed by the layer of ice at the lower edge. Ice cycles form at the roof’s edge and into the gutter. With each cycle of freezing and thawing the ice becomes thicker at the roof’s edge and the mini glacier becomes more compacted. Ice blocks the flow of water so it tries to flow over the top and the ice layer becomes thicker that night. The glacier becomes more dense because its holding more water while gravity is pushing it down the slope. The only thing holding it back is the gutter. With more storms and enough pressure the gutter eventually breaks loose from the building. Someone in Utah is injured every year by snow and ice sliding off their roof while removing ice cycles from their gutters.
Utah roofing contactors install ice shields and electric heat cables near the lower edge of the roof to combat this problem. Typically the cable is installed over the top of the roof in a zig-zag pattern starting at the edge of the roof to about three feet up the slope. These systems do a good job at preventing ice from building up at the lower edge of the roof, but they are not maintenance free and they are not very efficient.
Heat cable systems that are installed over the top of the roof are exposed to UV rays (which are more intense at higher altitudes) that break down the protective coating of the cable and they seldom last as long as the roof. Occasionally the cable mounting brackets get torn loose from sliding ice, freezing and thawing, expansion and contraction of the roof materials. Over the top systems are not very efficient because most of the heat rises directly up above the cable into the air.
We custom design and install invisible radiant roof heating systems that are maintenance free, highly efficient and have greater longevity than over the top cable systems. With our design we install the heat cable under the top layer of the roof, which offers benefits that over the top heat cable systems don’t.
1. Longevity: Our cable is not exposed to UV rays and won’t break down due to the elements.
2. Maintenance Free: Our cable will never get torn from mounting brackets.
3. Efficiency: Heat is conducted into the roofing material, not lost into the air providing more even melting across the heated band at the lower edge of the roof.
4. Energy Savings: Due to the efficiency of conducting heat through the roofing material you will realize considerable savings on your electric bill. Over the top methods are like heating your home from the outside in verses our system of heating your home from the inside out.
5. Aesthetics: Our system is built inside the roofing system so your roof looks natural. There are no unsightly cables lying on top of your roof.
We have developed a number of creative solutions to your Utah roofing problems. If you have a roofing problem, contact us today and let us solve yours.