Check out the latest video produced by Homes Today Utah Edition…This one is about our Patent Pending Snow Melt System

Home Today Utah Edition did a fantastic job on the production of this video. In this segment we are talking about the Sol-Ice Engineered System SubDynoMelt and SubHydroMelt. These products are a fantastic alternative to heat cable in helping to resolve the constant winter nightmare created by ice dams also referred to as “ICE DAMNS” by those who have suffered damage due to this persistent winter plague. We have interviews with two of the great builders in the Park City Area, Gary Hill from Midway Construction and Mike Alred from Alred Construction. We also check in with a pleased home owner who has the first solar powered radiant snow melt system installed with the help of Boiler King. The thermal images in this segment where taken by Magleby Companies.

Enjoy the footage and let us know what you think and if there is any projects we can help you out with.


Sol-Ice on Facebook | Sol-Ice on Twitter | Sol-Ice on the Web

RealGreenWorld on Facebook | RealGreenWorld on the Web

Sol-Ice Engineered Systems Inc, Concealed Solar Thermal Technologies, Concealed Ice Dam Solutions, SubDynoMelt, SubHydroMelt, SubSolarThermal, CoSolarThermal, CoSolarGeneration, Ice Dam solutions, SubGeoThermal,


Nielco Over view Video from the Homes Today Utah Edition show

Wow this video turned out great! Thanks Jill for all your hard work to get this together. We are looking forward to the other segments you are working on. Check out this informative segment on what set Nielco apart and then contact us so we can help you out with your roof and siding needs.


Nielco installs the IDMC Solar Thermal System on thier new facility in Murray Utah.

We have been working on this project for some time now and are really exited that this system is getting installed on our own building.  We have a large warehouse and will be supplying the heat for that space from the Solar Thermal system we have installed under the standing seam metal roof. We installed the system on all south east and west faces of the building so that in the summer we can remove the heat from the roof before it can radiate into the building. This way we will not need to use out AC system as much to keep the office and warehouse cool. Since most of the heat in a building come from the sun we are simple going to remove it and then sent it out through a heat dump to keep the building cooler. Feel free to contact me with any questions about the system.

Nielco's new offices with the IDMC Solar Thermal System

Nielco's new offices with the IDMC Solar Thermal System

Nielco Roofing and Sheet Metal's New Building with the IDMC Solar Thermal System

Nielco Roofing and Sheet Metal's New Building with the IDMC Solar Thermal System

Close up of the IDMC Solar Thermal System

Close up of the IDMC Solar Thermal System

One More Close up of the IDMC Solar Thermal System

One More Close up of the IDMC Solar Thermal System


Classic SubDynoMelt Systems

We have had great success with both our SubDynoMelt (Heat cable as the heat source) and our SubHydroMelt (Radiant PEX hose and a boiler as the heat source) systems under Classic Metal Shakes. We have a total of  5 jobs done this way the first one was installed in the fall of 2008 and has functioned great for two years now. I could go on and on about this but the truth is a picture says much more and more clearly then words.

Classic Country Manor Shake with SubDynoMelt System under the Shakes (Notice the upper eave has heat cable over wood shakes and there is much more ice build up)

Classic Country Manor Shake with SubDynoMelt System under the Shakes (Notice the upper eave has heat cable over wood shakes and there is much more ice build up)

Wood shakes with heat cable in the same condo complex as the previous picture. (notice you can see the condo with the Classic Country Manor Shake and SubDynoMelt system in the right hand side of this picture.)

Wood shakes with heat cable in the same condo complex as the previous picture. (notice you can see the condo with the Classic Country Manor Shake and SubDynoMelt system in the right hand side of this picture.)


Redmond SubHydroMelt

I stopped by the Redmond Project (This home is built at about 9,000 feet on the north side of the Canyons Ski Resort so they get a ton of snow) yesterday and took a few pictures of the job. Everything is working perfectly. The system is a hydronic (Heated by the Boiler and not heat cable) roof and eave de-icing system. It is designed to be hidden under the roofing material so that we can use any kind of roof the owner/architect desire. As you can see on this picture the architect wanted 1 foot of copper and the rest of the eves (over the heated area) done in Presidential TL shingles. The reason the heat goes so much further up the roof is so the the snow melt gets past the exterior wall to keep ice from forming above the snow melt system.

Redmond Roof 2/2/2010 the day we turned on the SubHydroMelt System for the first time.

Redmond Roof 2/2/2010 the day we turned on the SubHydroMelt System for the first time.

Same Project 2/11/2010 The system has been on for 9 days and has cleared most of the eaves.

Same Project 2/11/2010 The system has been on for 9 days and has cleared most of the eaves.

Same roof taken 2/24/10 it snowed 6 inches the night before and the roof is totally clear

Same roof taken 2/24/10 it snowed 6 inches the night before and the roof is totally clear

SubHydroMelt doing exactly what it needs to do.

SubHydroMelt doing exactly what it needs to do.

No More Ice Damns! We can keep total control and reduce the cost of roof snow melt by as much as 90%

No More Ice Damns! We can keep total control and reduce the cost of roof snow melt by as much as 90%

Notice that the type of roofing is not dependent on the snow melt. We can do this under ANY type of roof.

Notice that the type of roofing is not dependent on the snow melt. We can do this under ANY type of roof.


Roofing in Snow Country

I submitted this article to Snips Magazine at their request. It was published in the Feb edition of snips but they changed a number of things so I felt it important to put it on our web site with the original text.

Roofing in Snow Country

Snow country creates many problems for roofs of all kinds but special attention to detail is needed to make sure a metal roof functions properly. If the home is built with a simple A-frame design with entrances through the gable ends then there is no question that metal is the easiest and most effective system in these adverse climates. Getting architects to design a simple roof is as unrealistic as hoping your new copper will stay bright and shiny for the next 30 years. As roofing professionals we are required to do all we can to make a complex roof function with 3 feet of snow and ice on top.

Large Ice Dam on a "Super Insulated" R-50 Home in the Colony

Large Ice Dam on a "Super Insulated" R-50 Home in the Colony

Anatomy of an Ice “Damn”

The biggest problem we encounter is known as an Ice Dam. To be able to solve any problem we must first understand how the problem formed, just ask any shrink. These winter nightmares form at the eaves as a result of the unequal temperature between the cold eave and the warm roof over the living space. The heat loss from the attic (or vaulted ceiling) causes the snow to melt and since the eaves are not heated then this water freezes causing a buildup of ice known as an ice dam. The problem with an ice dam is that once it grows taller than the corresponding rise of the roof it will hold pooled water behind it. We have all been told as young roofers to “think like a rain drop”. Ggreat advice in the warm months but with an ice dam on the eave it’s not a rain drop you see behind the ice but The Great Salt lake (that huge lake in Utah with no outlets). Since all pitched roofs are designed to shed this pooled water looks for the path of least resistance. Unfortunately that is straight through all those “covered” but now immersed fasteners holding on the roofing material.

The Fix

When all is said and done you must equalize the temperature difference on roof in order to stop the buildup of ice. This can be done with a cold roof design or by heating the eaves in some fashion. Since nothing is perfect we must be realistic about the strength and weaknesses of each of these systems.

This picture shows a cold roof on a building at Grand Targee. Notice there is no ice build up.

This picture shows a cold roof on a building at Grand Targee. Notice there is no ice build up.

Cold Roofs

A cold roof is basically one roof built over another roof with an open air space between the two surfaces. The air space above the standard deck is open at the bottom of the eave and runs unobstructed all the way to the top of the ridge. The size of this air space is dependent on many factors including pitch, eave to ridge length, intake and exhaust length and of course how cut up the roof is. If there is not enough intake or exhaust to keep the air flowing through the cavity then a cold roof will never function. This resolution does not require a straight A-frame design but may not work and might require some amount of heat on the eave to resolve possible problems.

Hot Eves

There are many ways to solve Ice dams using heat. The most simple is heat cable. This tried and true solution involves running heat cable on a zigzag pattern up and down the eve of the roof. Many people will tell you heat cable doesn’t work and in some instances it won’t. I have seen heat cable that is cold to the touch pulling full wattage due to an ambient temperature of -10 deg F. In these temperatures it just can’t produce enough heat to melt the snow and ice.

There is one thing that must be kept in mind with any heat system, if you start to melt the snow and ice you need to keep contact between the heat systems from the top of the heat source all the way to the end of the down spout. I have seen many installations not function because the installers have installed the bottom of the zigzag right at the eve of the roof. Since the heat stopped 4-5 inches above the next cable (lying in the bottom of the gutter) the gutters freeze over and result in nothing more than an increase in the amount of water collecting in the ice dam. Heat cable (or any other heated eave system) must go over the drip edge and touch the cable in the bottom of the gutter (zip ties are great for making this happen) then return onto the roof and head up for the next loop on the zigzag pattern in order to function in the coldest of conditions.

The next rule of heated eves is that the system must go at least one foot above the warm wall. If a system only goes up onto the roof 6, 12 or even 18 inches but the eaves are 3 feet long you will have freezing between the top edge of the system and the heated area of the roof. This will still result in pooled water and the worst of all four letter words, a LEAK! So any heated eave must run continually from one foot above the warm wall to the end of the down spout with no cold space between or you will still have ice (which does not flow) instead of water (think like a rain drop not an ice cube).

Many companies have developed ways of covering the heat cable with metal. This results in a larger area of melt by using the metal to transfer the heat over the pan. So long as the systems are able to produce top to bottom continuous heat they are a much more effective solution then exposed heat cable. More importantly, to many home owners, they are more attractive and some heat cable manufactures give an extended warranty if the cable is not exposed to the weather.

This is a Hydronic (or Boiler Powered) Snow Melt System. This Picture was taken during a 1" per hour snow storm notice how clear the heated area is.

This is a Hydronic (or Boiler Powered) Snow Melt System. This Picture was taken during a 1" per hour snow storm notice how clear the heated area is.

What is even more exiting then covered heat cable is the use of PEX hose with boilers as the heat source, instead of cable, in a covered system, much like a heated driveway or a radiant floor in a home. Radiant systems are able to produce much more controllable, reliable and cost effective heat then any system using cable as the heat source. The temperature of the boiler can be increased; I have seen radiant tubes that are hot to the touch at the same temperature that rendered the heat cable cold (even though it had the meter spinning off the wall).

In a world where green is everything and any product that claims to save energy must produce a reasonable payback (within 5-10 years) these radiant systems have the very best payback out there. Since heat cable is three times as expensive as PEX hose and the energy to run heat cable can cost the consumer ten times more the a radiant system there is no payback period. To be able to calculate a payback you must have a product that costs more to buy but less to operate (that is what green consumers expect). Radiant systems cost less to install and operate (than a covered heat cable system) so they pay for themselves before they go in and continue to save money for the life of the product (10 years for heat cable or 30 plus years for PEX).

Next time you are looking at a set of plans or a home to reroof in snow country take the time to try and figure out where they will have problems with snow and ice. Customers will appreciate your professionalism at trying to keep them from having a problem. Not every customer will want to solve the problems now but they will all be grateful that you are looking out for their best interest. If they don’t higher you or even if they do but they don’t take your advice right now you will still be the first person they think of when they have that dreaded leak, on the outside wall, in the middle of March, at 4:00 pm, when the temperature plummets, after a sunny winter day! The first thing that goes through their head at that time will be “damn my new roof is leaking!” (Now you know the real reason they call it an ICE DAMN.) The next thing they do will be to pick up the phone and call you.

Dennis N. Duce
Ice Dam Management Corp.
Salt Lake City, UT
435-565-1278
dennisduce@gmail.com


Saving the Planet and Your Budget one Roof at a Time!

By Dennis N. Duce
Custom Roofing Conslutant
Nielco Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc.

Green has become the advertising buzz word. Over the last few years more and more companies have noticed that consumers are increasingly aware of the need to save the planet or reduce the cost of ever increasing fuel and electricity bills. As a result we find companies who strive to green up there products in the minds of consumers through advertising. Many of these claims are a stretch at best and some are down right fraudulent. It becomes hard to sift through the rhetoric and find the truth about what is and is not green. The roofing industry has been as guilty as any of this so my plan in this article is to give you the tools to help understand how green each type of roofing material is and how it will effect your long term financial outlook. Many people feel that if a product is “Green” then it costs to much money, My feeling is that if a product can’t stand on it’s own as a good and cost effective material with out the “Green Factor” then it should not be considered.

What is Green?
There are many different areas that we can look at to discover how green a product truly is. The most obvious is the criteria used by Energy Star; can it save on heating and cooling costs? While that is important it does not cover everything. We also need to look at things like sustainability (life expectancy of the product), installation cost, Fuel used for transportation, long term cost of the product (over 50 years), and the amount of recycled content. I will balance each of these so that we can understand just how green each types of roofing materials is. For a more in-depth understanding on how I came up with the score card check out our web site www.nielco.net.

Energy Star Rated Roofing
When I first heard about a roof saving money on my heating and cooling bills I wondered about the logic behind this, but the more I looked into it the more I realized that it makes a lot of sense. All told this comes down to reflectivity. Metal roofing coated with Kynar 500 paint will reflect enough of the heat from the sun to reduce A/C costs by about 30% and will also reflect enough of the heat from inside the home to lower heating costs by about 10%. On the opposite end of the scale Asphalt shingles serve as a heat sync and draw heat into the building in the summer and out of the building in the winter.

Life Expectancy (Sustainability)
Many roofing products claim to last 30, 40, 50 years or more but in truth we find that most asphalt shingles in Utah are replaced at between 12-18 years. There are a number of synthetic products out there with varying claim as to life expectancy but non of these companies have produced the products for more then 10 years. Many of them have been used in Deer Crest and have already started to fade and curl. Through out the history of roofing two products have been able to stand the test of time, Metal (aluminum, Copper, Zinc and Steel) and Tile. There are many examples of these product in Europe lasting well over 100 years. Most people think that rusted steel (Often erroneously called Corten) will last a long time since it is metal. The truth is that once it starts to rust it never really stops and has a life expectancy of about 15 years.

Cost of Installation, Transportion and Long Term Cost
In my study on our web site you can see these broken out individually to get a better feel for how they work out. Of course shingles are the cheapest roofing material available from the stand point of installation cost (about half the cost of metal), but they are heavy and therefore use a lot of fossil fuel for transportaion. Due to the frequent replacement they will cost about 10 times as much as metal over 50 years. I know your thinking “I won’t even own this property in 50 years” but even if you own it for 5 years you will recoup the added investment in permanent roofing when you sell due to the increased value of your home with a permanent roof (metal or tile).

Recycled Content
This category shows the extremes in the varying types of material commonly used on roofs today. Asphalt Shingles are not only very low in recycled content but they are also a petroleum by product and with the short life expectancy they will end up filing a land fill about 15 years. Metal is on the other extreme with Aluminum containing as much as 95% post consumer content, copper and steel are also high in recycled contend with about 75% and 40% respectively. Rusted Steel has a low content of recycled material and is high in heavy metals.

Ice Dams and the Green Movement
No discussion on roofing in Park city would be complete with out talking about Ice Dams. This is especially true after the difficult winter we just went through. I have a more in-depth article on our web site that talks about this problem in detail but it is important to understand a few things about this problem. It is important to remember since you had problems last winter it will cost a lot less to take a proactive approach and install a good system now, when there is no snow to remove. If you are just starting your mountain dream home make it part of your plan as you design and build your home so you don’t have to deal with winter leaks later. We can consult you, your builder or your architect on how to best deal with this problem. The finest product I have seen for addressing this situation is the SubHydroMelt System by Ice Dam Management Corp. It can be installed with self regulating heat cable as the heating element or for a very green and cost effective way of heating your eaves you can install Hydronic tubes instead of cable and hook it up to your boiler system. The Hydronic version will save you 80%-90% over the operational cost of the electric system.

If you are going to control the build up of Ice on your roof you need to keep that water under control all the way to the ground. That is why we prefer to work with the experts at Evergreen Gutter Works to help us design and install gutters that not only function well but look great.

Keeping the Park City Look and Going Green
Most homes in Park City where designed to have Wood Shakes. Many areas of town this is not even a posability because of fire codes though your plans still show a wood shake on the elevations. Classic Metal Products www.classicroof.com offers a great solution to this problem. They have a beautiful line of metal shakes (aluminum, steel, copper or zinc) that will allow you to keep the mountain look you want with out using a product that will need to be replaced in 15 years and is a serious fire hazard. Christopher J. Piper a member of one of Park City’s leading development groups and a man who understands the need to be responsible with our resources said of Classic after doing extensive research The more I research this product versus other LEED products, the more I start to drink the Kool-Aid.  It’s like this: I found an electric car that goes 400 miles on a charge, does 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, recharges at a standard 120v outlet in 3 minutes, comes in several models and colors, looks like a regular car, and costs less than a comparable gas fueled car!”

There are a lot of things that we can do to build our homes more green but roofing offers us the chance to be environmentally conscious and still keep our building cost in budget. You can buy a product that saves money the longer you use it, uses far less fossil fuel to produce and transport and will reduce your energy consumption with out changing the look or feel of your dream mountain retreat. Nielco works tirelessly to create strong symbiotic relationships with our suppliers and subs to help you protect your dream home from the harsh Park City environment. Call us to set up an appointment with you, your builder or even better your architect to make sure your home is designed and built in such way that it will easily weather the harsh Park City winters for years to come.