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rforsha 09-02-2006 08:41 AM

Commercial heat tape.
I manage a shopping center. We have a shingle roofed building that Verizonwirless is in one side and the other vacant. The roof in front is U shaped and has gutter on all three sides. The handicapped ramp is in the middle of the U shape. So its exposed to the weather.
The building is only 3 years old and the snow lays on this front section and truns into ice. Its on the north side and gets no sun all day in mid winter. It fills the gutter and builds up on the roof extending up two feet up from the gutter.
We had several people fall from severe icing on the sidewalks. We salted with over a 1000 pounds of salt in a 25 sf area over the course of the winter. Thats how much ice was on the sidewalks from it dripping off the gutter.
The property owner had an extra downspout installed on the U in the opposite corner from the exsiting downspout.
But it never freezes in the downspout only the gutter and roof. So I would like to have gutter heat tape installed.
I called 10 electrical contractors and only two have looked at it.
I would like a commerical heat tape installed. One contractor wants to install a system from Lowe's which I feel is a residential system and not heavy enough for the building.
Another contractor feels that a heavy or commercial will not keep the ice off. He feels there is a major heat loss in the ceiling and a heat tape will not work.
Anyone work with a problem like this?

RobertWilber 09-08-2006 05:11 PM

never worked on a roof gutter freezeup problem, but have done some industrial tape work.
Chromalox-look at this:

jwhite 09-09-2006 08:40 AM

We had this problem on our own electrical shop when I lived up in PA.

We used the industrial heat tape and even ran it down the down spouts and a short way into the drain pipe.

Nothing will be 100 percent, but, we had good success for most of the winter. You still may have to have someone climb up and broom off heavy snow right after it falls.

binary_bubba 12-04-2007 07:41 PM

heat tape designed specifically for your problem
The following link shows a heat tape designed exactly for your problem. Although it has been a while since I have downloaded it, I am sure there is a pdf that completely describes how to install the tape for gutters and roof.

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