How to Choose the Right Ice Melt System

Do you have ice damming on your roof?

Why it can be a problem

A lot of home owners experience dangerous ice and snow build up on roofs. When this happens, the ice can “crawl” up the roof, penetrating the shingles. The moisture that runs down the roof as snow continues to melt then can puddle on the ice dam as the dam is usually quite flat on top. Eventually, the ponding water makes its way under the shingles and will test the underlayment. If the underlayment isn’t comprised of a suitable bichithane (aka ice and water shield), or if the pitch is too shallow, the ponding moisture will find a way to infiltrate the eave and deteriorate the structure at best. Even if the eaves are lined with a nice layer of ice shield, moisture that is too frequently in contact with the nails will eventually rust them out and allow moisture penetration through the nail holes. It does not take much of a hole left by a partially rusted nail to let a lot of water in if there is ponding water around it! In addition, it will also likely penetrate the living space causing damage anywhere from damaged sheetrock, paint and carpet, to furniture damage. Not a comfortable situation!

Any Solutions?

Because you do not want to be bullied by water doing damage to one of the most valuable investments you will ever make – your home, it is important to know what the solutions are for ice dam problems.
Thankfully, there are two solutions:

  1. Heat Tape
  2. Heatizon Z-mesh

Heat Tape

Heat Tape is a cable that heats up to about 34 degrees. The Heat Tape runs up and down across the eave in a serpentine pattern, and then runs into the gutter and down the down spout to keep a conduit of moisture flowing. It usually goes about two to three feet up the roof and back down to the gutter. The high points of the serpentine pattern vary depending on how much snow and ice is expected to form on the eaves. The variance is somewhere between one to three feet on center.

Heat Tape is by far the most common treatment of ice dams because it is less expensive to install. Three down sides are:

  1. It is expensive to run
  2. Does not melt the snow evenly on the eave.
  3. It is also quite expensive to run even if it is a thermostatically controlled system (where it only kicks on when the temperature drops below freezing.)
  4. With some customers, the most difficult aspect to get used to is that you can see the heat tape on the eaves and it really is not very attractive on a brand new roof.
  5. The Heat Tape clips to the shingles and can affect the shingles ability to lay flat and can lead to blow offs.
  6. Do not let a roofer hook your heat tape up to electricity! A roofing contractor is not licensed nor educated on the amount of current that can run through a single breaker and therefore can overload a circuit potentially causing a house fire!

Heatizon

Do you have snow and/or ice build up? Heatizon Z-mesh has a convenient automatic activation device that allows it to sense when the temperature is cold, as well as detecting moisture in the air. Its low voltage usage, along with the automatic activation, makes this system cost effective and efficient.

Heatizon Z-mesh can be applied to most roofing systems including membrane, asphalt shingles, tile and cedar shakes. It is safe to nail and staple making the installation process easier and more proficient.
Another thing to consider is the aesthetics of the copper mesh. How will the product affect the over-all look of your home? Heatizon z-mesh is applied under the roof material leaving no unsightly cables. Your roof will look just as beautiful as it would without an installed heating system.

Other benefits of installing the heatizon z-mesh deicing system is having the peace of mind that it has been installed under the roof material preventing problems such as it shifting from the weight of the snow or being ripped off completely. This will save time and money from costly repairs or replacements.

While heatizon z-mesh does cost more than the more common method of heat tape, it is a smart choice for home owners looking for lasting deicing solutions. Not only will heatizon z-mesh keep your roof line looking its best, it will also last the life of your roof.

When installing any type of roof heating system it is important to have an electrician connect the power supply to the ice melt system. If not properly connected it can result in over-heating and possible fires.
Brady Roofing has a reputable relationship with Heatizon and will ensure the proper installation of the entire roofing system. The goal of the company is to strive for honesty while achieving complete customer satisfaction.