Gutter systems: cleaning snow and ice

gutter cleaning

Due to the inherent heat of the roof or due to atmospheric phenomena, snow melting can occur, which leads to the formation of icicles. Subsequent melting only increases the size of the icicles. The amplitude of icing depends on the properties of the roof. If the building has a ventilated attic, then snow melting can begin at a temperature of three degrees Celsius. If a thin layer of heat-insulating material is provided in the ceiling of the attic floor, and there is also a powerful heating system for the building, then melting begins at a temperature of -5 degrees. All winter on such a roof, the snow will constantly melt. Such roofs are classified as particularly problematic. It is practically impossible to predict the formation and melting of ice on such roofs. At the same time, gutter systems often suffer from icing of the roof, through which huge pieces of ice can pass, damaging the surface of the gutters. Icicles that fall on the gutters from the outside can also leave dents, break some elements of the drainage system. That is why the icing of the roof requires timely human intervention.

Technical method of cleaning icicles from the roof

In particularly critical areas of the roof, you can install anti-icing systems that operate on the basis of thermal cables. The thermal cable ensures the operation of the roof’s own drainage systems. At the same time, the material is inexpensive and consumes little energy. Throughout the length of the section where water flows, and this includes gutters, drains, pipe drains, thermal cables are laid. But for different segments of the drainage system, the power level of thermal cables will be different. The installed system has a temperature sensor and thermostat. Thanks to the thermostat, the operation of the system is adjusted, the temperature can be adjusted to the characteristics of the roof, to the climatic features of the region. Usually, at temperatures below 15 degrees below zero, an anti-icing system is not needed. It is necessary during the thaw period, when daily temperature changes lead to the solidification of melt water. In autumn and spring, daytime temperatures are above zero, and nighttime temperatures are lower. This affects the formation of ice on the roof and in the drainage system.

But the installation of thermal cables must be carried out by professionals, otherwise it can lead to the same formation of ice, but energy resources will also be spent. A necessary condition for installing a thermal cable is to take into account the characteristics of a particular roof.

Hydrophobic de-icing compositions can be used to remove ice. They ensure the removal of water ice, preventing the formation of large icicles. Hydrophobic compositions are usually applied to concrete, metal and other roof surfaces using brushes, rollers, sprayers.

The surface is cleaned of rust, moisture, it must be clean and dry. Studies have shown that mechanical pull tests led to the fact that the main part of the ice was torn off from the roof surface, and part of the water ice remained firmly adhered to the roof surface. To protect the roof from water ice, coatings are used that are characterized by waterproofing, anti-corrosion properties. At the same time, the coatings are highly durable and resistant to ultraviolet radiation. But it is very problematic to apply such coatings on roofs with an area of ​​​​more than 3000 square meters. Usually they are used either in problem areas of drainage systems, or on roofs with an area of more than 1000 square meters. Professional gutter cleaning will ensure that the entire gutter system is quickly and efficiently unblocked.

Mechanical method of cleaning ice from the roof

gutter cleaning

Work to remove ice from the roof of a building can be done mechanically: industrial mountaineering comes to the rescue. Observing all safety rules, industrial climbers clean the roofing and elements of drainage systems from icicles and ice. Air ducts are climbers’ attachment points. But on some roofs, air ducts are not provided, or they have a fragile structure. In this case, a cable is pulled along the roof ridge. Such a stationary cable is useful for regular systematic procedures for cleaning the roof of ice and debris.

When working with a metal tile, special pushers are used, which are made in accordance with the shape of the metal tile profile. In order to avoid damage to the metal tile, duralumin shovels with rubberized blades are used. Ice breaks with blunt hammers. When working at the bottom, there must be a person who controls the process.

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