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One of the main safety concerns when it comes to winter weather systems is the buildup of snow and ice on roofs. When icicles grow large and have a long way to fall, they can cause serious injury and even death. And, only two feet of snow buildup on a roof can cause enough stress for the entire structure to collapse.

Making repairs now should be a priority before the harshness of winter sets in fully. Access your roof and gutters during milder weather to ensure that you have solutions in place before heavy ice and snow conditions begins.

Let’s look at systems that can be installed to melt ice and snow from roofs to bring protection to buildings facing tough winter weather.

What Are Roof Ice Melt Systems?

Roof Ice Melt [RIM] systems provide total roof and gutter de-icing solutions. Whether your area faces light or heavy snow, these systems can be tailored to both residential and commercial properties.

The roof and gutter de-icing system provides a continuous path on the roof for snow melt to drain out. Typically, they can be used on most roofs, including shake, single, rubber, tar, wood, metal and more.

There are two types of electric RIM systems.

  • RIM System: Best for heavy snow load areas over 15” (38cm) and annual snowfall over 100” (254cm).
  • RIM2 System: Designed for areas with a more moderate snow load. Can handle snow accumulation between 6-15” (15-38cm) and annual snowfall between 20-100” (51-254cm).

How Do RIM Systems Work?

RIM systems are composed of a variety of different parts.

  • Aluminum base: An extruded base is secured to the edge of the roof.
  • Self-regulating heating cables: The system of cables runs through the roof and gutter and can automatically adjust their power output in relation to temperature changes. When low temperature or moisture is detected, the heating cables will activate.
  • Channels: These are designed to hold the heating cable tight, which results in the most efficient heat transfer.
  • Metal cover: For protection, and to create an aesthetically-pleasing look.

What Are the Benefits of RIM Systems?

There are benefits to installing a RIM system if you are living in an area that experiences heavy ice and snow during winter months.

  • Safety: Reducing ice dams and icicles from your property can solve major safety issues.
  • Reliability: Reducing the possibility of roof damage or leaks that are often caused by heavy ice dams.
  • Easy-to-install: Investing in a RIM system means you are signing up for a one-time installed solution. These systems can also be retrofitted on existing structures. The systems are a long-term solution, and often require little maintenance
  • Energy-efficient: With the system only turning on when ambient changes are identified, an electric snow melting system can be an energy-efficient solution.
  • Aesthetically-pleasing: RIM systems show no visible cables, meaning it blends seamlessly with your roof. These systems also come in a variety of colors and finishes.

nVent offers a Roof and Gutter De-Icing Calculator, an easy-to-use online calculator where you can preview how a complete RIM system could work for your home or business.

Winter weather waits for no one. Making sure your structure is ready for whatever winter brings should be a priority.