Welcome to winter, where ice and snow can wreak havoc on your roof and gutters and create hazardous conditions when the water pools on your porch or the driveway. Learn why using an ice melting system is a must to protect friends and family.
The Best Ice Melting System
A quality melting system prevents the buildup of snow and ice on roofs and gutters. It involves using a heating element (heating cable) that increases conductivity to produce heat, which is best for harsh winters. There are two types of melting systems: Electric snowmelt and hydronic snowmelt. See more about them.
Types of Melting Systems
There are normally just two melting systems available for use in exterior slabs on grade. Both rely on four key components to transfer the slab surface into a whole radiant heat source; they are:
- An embedded heating element in the slab
- A power source
- Sensors to detect outdoor air temps and moisture
- A controller to tie everything together (heating element, sensors, and power source)
Electric Snowmelt Systems
These types of snowmelt systems use three components: heating cable, a control unit, and an activation device. Because the heating cable can sustain harsh conditions, it’s suitable for outdoor use. The control units are usually wall-mounted control panels and vary by technology using line and load terminal blocks, relays, activation terminals, along with monitoring electronics.
Heat tapes self regulate and prevent icicles and ice dams from forming in the first place. They deliver the exact amount of heat needed to accommodate any changes in outside air temperature. There are 120 V and 240 V systems, depending on someone’s needs. When the temps drop, the polymer increases conductivity, which then produces heat. When the temps rise, it decreases conductivity for less heat.
Hydronic Snowmelt Systems
With this type of heating system, the heating element is a closed-loop tubing or modular thermapanel system; it’s typically made of a flexible polymer or synthetic rubber that moves around a mixture of hot water and antifreeze—propylene glycol. The fluid is warmed to 61℉ to 140℉ that warms surrounding concrete/asphalt, thus melting snow and ice. Like electric snowmelt systems, hydronic systems can be installed in or beneath the base material (sand).
Why Use Ice Melting Systems?
Melting systems have risen in popularity for both residential and commercial use and are used for:
- Convenience – Installing snowmelt systems in sidewalks, driveways, steps, and patios eliminate the need for shoveling.
- To target trouble spots – If you can’t afford to install the system in all your exterior concrete slabs, you can use them only where snow and ice pose a problem.
- To reduce snow removal costs and liability – business owners may use the system in parking lots, car washes, walkways, and loading ramps to reduce snowplowing costs and to prevent accidents.it’s way cheaper than paying lawyer fees and a possible litigation settlement, as well.
Call M&M Gutters & Exteriors
For more information on our melting system, please call us and ask our experts. Our M&M system is highly durable, economical, and best, well tested for our Utah climate. Contact us today.