IceStop provides the first line of defence

Described as ‘the loveliest castle in the world’, Leeds Castle is defending itself against the elements following the installation of a Raychem frost protection system for its gutters and down pipes.

Leeds Castle was built by a Norman baron during the reign of William the Conqueror’s son Henry I, on an island in the River Len. In 1278, a century and a half later, it came into the possession of Queen Eleanor of Castile, the first wife of Edward I and for the next 300 years the castle remained a royal residence, before again becoming a private home.

The castle was handed down over four centuries, by both inheritance and purchase, through a network of interlinked families.

Today Leeds Castle is one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain and although there is no longer a threat from marauding invaders, of primary importance is the need to protect the building from the type of damage which is associated with winter temperatures.

Maintain water flow

Jonathan Jones of Tyco Thermal Controls says: “Snow and ice are a common problem in this type of building because the melting and refreezing of ice and snow can cause extensive damage to roofs and gutters. This was highlighted at Leeds Castle during the Raychem ‘winter audit’ – a free service which we offer to our customers to help them understand the issues which are associated with specific weather conditions.”

Starting with the Gloriette roof, the team from Jointing Technologies of Woking has installed Raychem IceStop, a roof and gutter de-icing system that provides drain paths for roofs, gutters and downpipes.

The heating cable core in the IceStop GM-2X heating cable protects the roof and gutter materials by automatically increasing its heat output in ice and snow and decreasing its output in dry air to maintain water flow.

The self-regulating cables are controlled by a smart heat management, multi-circuit control system which triggers the heating process only when it is necessary resulting in additional energy saving benefits. A traditional ambient sensing thermostat starts the heating process based on the ambient temperature whereas the SBS EV-10 intelligent control panel will start the heating process only after the detection of low temperature and either ice or snow. The heating cable is then deactivated when the air temperature rises above the set value ensuring that it is only in use for the minimum period of time.

The installation will ensure that this historic building is protected from the harsh winter weather, with the added benefit that it is being done whilst keeping energy consumption to a minimum.

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