We drown … the roof? Anti -icing system against vessels, ice and snow on the roof

The peaceful beauty of snow-covered landscapes is brought about by winter, but it also presents difficulties, particularly for roofs. Snow accumulation and the creation of ice dams can cause serious harm and put buildings in danger. Roof anti-icing systems are now essential to addressing these problems. These systems are made to keep snow and ice from accumulating, protecting both the roof’s structural integrity and the people inside.

Anti-icing systems function by combining several preventative actions. Heating components are positioned carefully on the roof’s surface or inside the roofing material, such as electric cables or heated panels. In order to keep ice from forming and snow from piling up, these components produce heat. These systems efficiently melt snow and keep it from refreezing into dangerous ice dams by keeping the surface of the roof at a consistent temperature.

Anti-icing systems offer advantages that go beyond practicality. By reducing the weight of snow accumulation, which might otherwise put stress on the building’s structure, they aid in preserving the structural integrity of the roof. These systems also lessen the possibility of water damage from melting ice seeping through shingles or roof seams. Anti-icing systems improve the longevity of the building’s overall infrastructure by maintaining the state of the roof.

Investing in an anti-icing system can provide building managers and homeowners with peace of mind during the harsh winter months. By preventing icicle formation and slick surfaces, these systems not only improve safety but also lessen the need for labor-intensive manual snow removal, which saves money and effort on maintenance. The installation of an anti-icing system, whether on a residential or commercial building, demonstrates a dedication to both structural preservation and safety.

For both longevity and safety, roof protection is essential in areas that frequently experience ice and snow. Effective anti-icing systems that stop dangers like ice dams and structural damage are discussed in this article. We’ll look at doable fixes that keep roofs clear and functional all year long, from heated cables to sophisticated membranes. Knowing these systems increases the lifespan of roofing materials and provides peace of mind for both residential and commercial buildings. Find out how to protect your property from the harshest winter conditions with modern technology.

What is a roof heating system

The simplest roof heating system or snowmobile system is a heating cable laid on the cornice of the roof, which is connected to a conventional household network 220 V or 380 V and is manually turned on by a chipper. When the current is allowed through the cable, it begins to release heat. Little, but enough that snow and ice that contacts the heating cable or are next to it, began to melt and drain from the roof already in the form of water to the drainage system and further – into collectors. As a result, the cornices are cleaned of ice and icicles with a gentle method without risk to damage the roofing or bend the gutter.

Modern anti-icing systems are, of course, far more complex: in addition to multiple security units and sensors to monitor conditions, the controller also operates in automatic mode, turning and stopping the unit as needed. However, the fundamental idea of labor is still the same. In theory, unless a system of heating the roof and gutters operates more preventively, water cannot seep into the ice crust in weak spots of the roof and the snow will melt as soon as it falls out.

Why is the heating of the roof and drains needed

On the other hand, drains and anti-icing systems for heating the roof don’t always need to be used. After all, not every roof forms the thick layer of ice on the cornices and the menacing kind of icicles; rather, specific conditions must be met.

The physics of roof icing are straightforward: a thin layer of snow directly on the roofing melts when the temperature rises daily or when the roof’s thermal insulation is inadequate, flowing to the cold cornice and down the gutters where it freezes at night when the temperature drops. Day after day, this happens again: the water starts to shimmer through the gutter and solidifies into icicles, the ice on the cornice gets thicker, and the drain gets clogged with ice.

Therefore, on the roofs of a simple shape without attic windows and cuckoos with a slope of slopes of more than 35 °, the ice practically does not grow. Simply because nothing does not interfere with the weekends from the slopes, and due to the relatively large slope, it flows faster than it manages to freeze. Therefore, on houses with a simple single -shoe, gable or hip roof with a large angle of inclination, the installation of a roof heating system is usually not needed. With the exception of buildings built in areas, which are characterized by the alternation of thaws and frosts, as well as a big difference between day and night temperature. In this case, even a steep slope may not save from ice.

However, when installing the heating system of drains and cornices on homes with gently sloping roofs or intricately shaped roofs:

  • effectively prevents the formation of vessels and snowy canopies, providing a safe passage under the cornices of the house;
  • prevents the appearance of ice on cornices, on yndovs, in places of adjacent to the roof to the walls and pipes, protecting the roof from leaks and deformation of the roofing;
  • frees gutters from ice, providing an effective drainage from the roof;
  • prevents the damage and breakdown of drainage gutters due to icing.

To put it simply, even in extremely unfavorable weather conditions, the heating of the roof combined with snow retainers or snow cutters lowers the chance of damage to the roof during the winter. However, this does not mean that you can ignore cleaning the roof altogether. Snow still covers the heating cable, which is installed on the cornices, yendov, and other "complex" areas of the roof. As a result, after significant snowfalls, it is still necessary to clear the roof in the northern and central regions of the nation.

What is the system of anti -icing

The following components make up the current roof and drain heating system:

  • heating cables and fasteners to them;
  • the distribution and information network, which includes power cables and wires that transmit data from sensors to the control panel;
  • The control system consisting of a controller, sensors, switches and protective equipment.

A sizable anti-icing system is split up into multiple zones, each with independent control. Here, the central control panel—which is required to oversee the operation of the entire system—appear as the fourth component of the system.

Heating cables

A crucial component of roof heating is the hearing cable. The complex multilayer structure of the heating cables is designed to withstand the intense summer sun due to their placement on a roof slope. This structure offers:

  • resistance to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation;
  • high strength of both the protective shell and the entire cable;
  • chemical resistance;
  • temperature stability in the range of at least -40 ° C to +60 ° C.
  • heat emission from 20 watts per meter length.

All of this is required to ensure that the heating cable is not broken by the snow layer falling from the roof and that the caustic or ultraviolet chemicals dissolved in raindrops are not harmed by the insulation of the cable.

For the anti-icing system, resistive and self-regulating cables have been developed.

Resistive heating cable

One or two heat-eating conductive veins with metal braid insulation inside and a UV-resistant PVC shell on the outside make up a resistant heating cable. Although one-core cable is less expensive, it presents a challenge to organize roof heating with its assistance because it needs to be installed so that, at the conclusion of styling, both ends of the cable are reduced to a single point. Although the two-core cable is significantly more expensive, it is easier to install without prior electrical experience because you do not need to create a vicious circle.

There are four main drawbacks to the resistive cable:

  1. The cable cannot be cut. The cable is sold in a fixed length, and it must be completely laid on the roof, even if the heating section is very small.
  2. Constant power consumption. Heating on the roof of the house will always consume the same amount of electricity, regardless of temperature on the street and the amount of snow. For example, if the roof is not completely covered with snow, some sections of the cable will generally work idle.
  3. Cables cannot be crossed. The resistive cable is very sensitive to overheating, so when crossing it can easily burn, like a bully of incandescent.
  4. Vapes and fallen leaves are unacceptable. As in the case of crossing, any garbage that has entered a resistive cable can lead to its overheating and even fire.

Certain resistive cables don’t require a control unit to be connected straight to the network. In this instance, the anti-icing system installation is significantly less complicated and less expensive. However, because roof heating is done by hand, the cost of electricity goes up dramatically. The cable must be installed in a copper or aluminum casing for this installation in order to remove heat efficiently and avoid overheating.

Self -regulating heating cable

Self-regulating cables, in contrast to resistive cables, alter the amount of heat released in response to temperature and humidity. A self-regulating heating cable’s multiple segments connected in parallel make it a "smart" semiconductor matrix that adjusts to the local environmental conditions. Generally speaking, the matrix segment with the highest conductivity and highest heat generation is included in the work at low temperatures, while the relatively high segment with the fewest tracking paths and lowest heat generation is excluded. Furthermore, all of this operates at a lower level than the control system, complementing it and enabling a 1.5–2 fold reduction in electrical consumption.

For instance, if the snow on the roof is oriented toward foci, such as the apples, ventilation, and chimneys, from the windward side, the resistive cable will heat the entire area evenly, while the self-regulatory system will only heat the areas with snow fully and operate much less intensely in the absence of snow.

Thermoplastic shell and reinforced insulation encase these two conductive veins, which are connected by a semiconductor adaptive matrix, to form a structurally self-regulating heating cable. It turns out to be a conductive tape that can be severed at any point. A self-regulating heating cable can be as short as 0.2 meters and as long as 150 to 200 meters, depending on the manufacturer. Also, you can easily cross such a cable, which can withstand large voltage drops and better bending. He is impatient for fallen leaves and other debris that may be on the roof’s slopes.

There are only two drawbacks to self-regulating cable-based anti-icing systems that heat the roof and gutters:

  1. Higher price. Even with competent design of the system, it will be more expensive by 15-25%.
  2. High starting currents. Currents when starting such a system is 2-4 times higher than nominal, therefore, when designing automation and selecting protective equipment, you need to leave a significant supply.

The cost of installing self-regulating cable roof heating systems is higher, but the savings in energy usage over time make these expenses worthwhile. For private homes, the payback period is typically two to three years, and for commercial properties, it is one to 1.5 years.

Feeding and information network

Every communication within the anti-icing system is contained in this section:

  • power cables for connecting the system to a 220 V or 380 V network;
  • Information wires that are laid to the sensors, as well as to switches in complex multi -level systems;
  • Distribution boxes.

Special corrugations and couplings, which offer protection against external conditions for cables not intended for external installation, are used for laying the distribution and information network. Additionally, even if protected series wires were used to connect the sensors, the wiring’s tightness lowers the possibility of short circuits and errors when reading data from the sensors.

Control system

One of the most crucial components of the roof heating is, on the one hand, the control system. She is in charge of promptly connecting and disconnecting the heating. However, you can skip it when installing a resistive cable and some self-regulating systems, albeit doing so will result in higher energy costs and usage. Protective gear is still required even if you choose not to install the controller; otherwise, the anti-icing system may only function for a very short time, or until the resistive cable is hit by the first garbage dumpling.

The Termostat controller is typically used to control the roof heating system, but other options include weather stations and multifunctional controllers with programmable features. Regardless, the controller receives data from the sensors and sets the system to operate between +5 and -15 degrees Celsius. The heating system is typically not required below -15 °C because the snow is crumbly, does not form layers, and does not melt at such temperatures. Turn off the anti-icing system only when the temperature is consistently above +5 °C.

The controller receives a signal from humidity sensors in addition to temperature; if the heating cable is submerged in water, the system operates at maximum capacity to prevent ice formation by rapidly cooling the cable. Furthermore, removing any remaining moisture from the roof lessens the chance of leaks.

The protective equipment is the second component of the roof heating system. Use this to safeguard the anti-icing system:

  • Protective shutdown device (RCD);
  • circuit breaker;
  • protection of the heating circuit;
  • magnetic switch;
  • Protective circuit breaker for the controller (can be built -in).

Timer switches, voltage protection relays, automation relays, and programmable controllers can all be used to automate the control of the roof heating system. However, it is preferable to use the least amount of automation when putting an anti-icing system on a private home’s roof. Since complicated work algorithms are typically unnecessary for domestic use, this method lowers the risk of errors while also lowering system maintenance costs.

Installation of a roof heating system

Since the roof and drain heating system is a significant energy consumer, installation should only be done by licensed electricians. The following advice is meant for experts who have completed electrical work before but have not had to deal with anti-icing system installation. Replace sockets and lamps as much as you can on your own; attempting to work on electrical equipment on your own runs the risk of causing damage from electric shock or fire. It will also be helpful to research roof heating system installation recommendations so that clients are aware of what to look for when evaluating and accepting work.

Requirements for the system

The manufacturer’s instructions and the installation guidelines for electrical installations (PUE) are followed when installing the roof heating system. Additionally, when installing, you must abide by the guidelines:

  1. Most types of heating cables should not touch the heated surfaces, especially ondulin and other bitumen roofing materials. For this they are mounted in corrugation or on remote fasteners.
  2. For effective snowmings for the roof, it is necessary to provide heating power 200-350 W/m2, and for drainage 20-50 W/m. Depends on the angle of inclination of the roof, its complexity and climate.
  3. If the heating pipes on the roof are not insulated or poorly insulated, the warming cable must also be laid on the area between the cornice and the lower adjustment of the pipe. In this case, the width of the heated area should be 15-20 cm larger than the pipe width on each side.
  4. The anti -icing system is mounted in sunny weather at a temperature of at least +5 ° C.
  5. For the correct operation of the anti -icing system on the roof, the drainage system must be installed.
  6. Before installation, the roofing and drains are thoroughly cleaned of garbage, dirt and dust.
  7. The heated roof when connecting to one network of network 380 V should not consume more than 5-6 kW of nominal power, otherwise the phase skew occurs. If the heating area is large, the anti -icing structure is divided into three areas of the same power, and each of them is connected to their phase.

Every system component that is put on the street needs to be secured in accordance with IP55 standards and higher.

Planning laying heating cable

A few owners choose to cover the whole roof with heating cable, but this is uncommon because installing such an anti-icing system is expensive and requires a lot of power. The heating cable is typically installed in troublesome areas:

  1. Carnish overhang. The heating cable is attached with a zigzag, covering it with the entire cornice and another 150-300 mm of the adjacent roof.
  2. Endova. The heating cable is laid in the form of a loop so that at least 1/3 of the length of the yendova is heated. If there is a heating pipe or an adjacency next to the apple on the roof, heated its entire length.
  3. Distribution gutter and risers. The heating cable is laid by a loop through the entire drainage system, and the part of the drain that goes into the collector or sewer is heated by a separate cable to the depth of freezing.
  4. Flat roofs. A heating cable in the form of a square is laid on drainage funnels for a roof with a heated area of ​​the roof of a roof with an area of ​​about 1 m2.
  5. Mansard windows, pipes, anti -aircraft lights. The heating cable is laid along their contour and in 1-2 rows in the direction of runoff to the cornice.
  6. Parapets. One thread of heating cable in the corner between the parapet and the roofing is enough for heating.
  7. Wodete. Heat 1 m2 of roofs near them and the pipes themselves.
  8. Places of roofing to the walls. Sufficient heating cable in length in one row.
  9. Droppers. The heating cable is laid only if there is a lot of condensate. Usually one row of cable is enough.

It is advisable to plan the heating cable installation on the diagram. It must be fixed in order for it to create a closed circuit and stay off of the path.

If it turns out that the roof heating cable is too long, it is cut, gradually cutting off the attic windows, anti-aircraft lights, adjoins, driples, and parapets from the circuit. Heating cable installation is only necessary for cornices and drains.

Roof heating cable fastening

Only the manufacturer’s original fasteners are used to lay the heating cable. Aluminum brackets, plastic clamps, adhesive tape, or specialty mounting are some examples. They manufacture installation tapes from copper, stainless, and galvanized steel, specifically for roofs composed of metal tiles, corrugated board, and fold, to prevent galvanic corrosion from the contact of different metals. The roof heating cable is fastened in the drain’s vertical risers using spacers, chains, or cables.

A few fasteners have been installed with the roofing damaged. The installation sites in this instance must be sealed. In addition, the cable is laid without sags, but they do not tug on it, which could cause the insulation to crease and break. Self-regulating heating cables are particularly susceptible to creases because they allow the semiconductor matrix to distort in this manner.

Rules for connecting a power cable

The power cable is constructed in a distribution box that is shielded from dust and moisture and laid in a unique corrugation. If the installation of the anti-icing system is scheduled during the building design phase, it is preferable to provide holes in the home’s wall for the power cable to be laid, keeping it entirely hidden within the structure of the building and only extending beyond where absolutely necessary. This reduces the possibility of an unintentional moisture hit causing a short circuit.

The system’s power determines which section of the power cable to use. Given the high starting currents of self-regulating cables, a substantial supply must be supplied. In the event that the power cable installation must be done outdoors, care must be taken to ensure that there is no chance of a cliff, damage from a strong wind, or snow mass falling off the roof.

Installation of the control system

The roof heating system is operated on a straightforward principle: the warming cable is turned on when the outside temperature drops below a predetermined threshold and turned off when it rises above it. It becomes a little trickier to use when it is added to the moisture sensor system because it now has to consider not only the temperature but also the amount of moisture present on the roof’s slopes. If the temperature is right but the moisture content is low, the warming cable will cut off.

Thus, for the control system to function as intended, the following must be installed:

  • temperature sensor on the north side of the building 30-50 cm below the cornice;
  • Humidity sensors In key areas of roof: at the bottom of the yends, near the fragments of the roof, in gutters;
  • controller or thermostat with mandatory configuration and testing of its work;
  • Protective equipment: RCD, machine guns.

A correctly installed control system allows roof heating to operate in automatic mode while using the least amount of electricity. Adaptive programs in modern controllers allow them to save 25–30% of electricity without sacrificing efficiency. But because they cost a lot more than regular thermostats, you should carefully compare their payback period to that of conventional equipment before making a purchase.

It is essential to shield your roof from the winter’s hazards if you want to keep it in good condition and make sure your house is safe. An anti-icing system offers a preventative measure against ice dam formation, which can result in interior water damage to your house. You can stop snow and ice from building up and possibly causing structural problems by heating up your roof or running de-icing cables along its valleys and edges.

In order to dissolve snow and ice before they have a chance to accumulate and cause problems, these systems function by producing heat. By taking preventative measures, you not only safeguard your roof but also lessen the possibility that hazardous icicles will form and endanger people and property below. Your roof will last longer and require fewer expensive repairs if you keep it free of snow and ice.

It’s crucial to speak with experts who can evaluate the unique requirements of your roof and suggest the best course of action when thinking about installing an anti-icing system. The right kind of system for your house depends on a number of factors, including existing roofing materials, climate, and roof pitch. Purchasing an anti-icing system gives you peace of mind throughout the winter and is an investment in the longevity and safety of your property.

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Alexandra Fedorova

Journalist, author of articles on construction and repair. I will help you understand the complex issues related to the choice and installation of the roof.

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