Although winter has passed, now is the time to think about how to address snow and ice buildup for next winter. STEP Roof Deicing from Maryland Heights, Mo.-based STEP Warmfloor is designed to solve problems with snow buildup and ice damming on roofs, valleys, eaves and gutters.
Ice dams form from the interaction between heat loss from a house, snowfall, outside temperatures and solar energy. The water that accumulates behind an ice dam can cause moisture to seep through the roof and damage ceilings and walls, which could lead to mold growth. The weight of ice also is harmful and can cause damage if it slides off the roof in large chunks.
STEP roof and gutter deicing mats are made of a flat self-regulating semiconductive positive temperature coefficient Nano-technology polymer that allows the elements to heat with maximum power in cold environments while using minimal electricity. The technology operates on 24 volts by connecting to a power supply or by using solar or wind power and can reduce deicing costs by 30 to 50 percent compared to conventional cable systems.
The heating elements are installed under shingles or metal roofs and can bend around corners and be cut in diagonal lines to fit the roof construction; they can be stapled or nailed as long as the conductors on each side of the element are not penetrated. Mats, available in 9- and 12-inch widths, are delivered in rolls up to 33 feet and can be cut to length on the jobsite. They are 3/64-inch thick.
The company also manufactures a complementary product, STEP Gutter Deicing, a 3-inch-wide radiant heating element available in 12, 21, 42, 84 and 126 feet. The products are ETL listed as proof of product compliance to North American safety standards, have the CE (Conformité Européenne) marking to gain market access into the European Union and conform to ANSI/UL.