It’s snow problem for Raychem

Raychem has once again come to the rescue with the installation of their IceStop self regulating roof and gutter de-icing system to protect the new roof at Dunster Castle.

Dramatically situated on a wooded hill near Minehead and providing magnificent views over the surrounding countryside, Dunster Castle has been on this site since the Norman times, with an impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history. Cared for by The National Trust, the castle is no longer serving as a frontier fortress against Celtic and Viking raiders, but now faces more everyday attacks from the elements.

The recent installation of a new lead roof at the castle brought its own challenges but one of the major ones was to protect it from snow and ice in winter.

Jonathan Jones of Raychem says: “Snow and ice are a common problem with a lead roof because not only can the melting and refreezing of ice and snow cause damage to roofs and gutters, but in addition heavy icicles may fall and cause injury. The fact that the team had to sweep snow off the roof ready for the installation was a challenge in itself and proved beyond doubt that the Raychem system was the right choice.”

The team from Jointing Technology of Bristol installed Raychem IceStop, a roof and gutter de-icing system that provides drain paths for roofs, gutters and downspouts.

The heating element in the IceStop heating cable consists of a continuous core of conductive polymer extruded between two copper bus wires. As current flows through the core, the IceStop heating cable regulates its own heat output in response to ambient conditions thus eliminating hotspots and ensuring better temperature control.

The IceStop heating cable’s parallel circuitry allows it to be cut to the exact length required which streamlines the design of the system, makes it easy to install and means there is no wasted cable.

Jonathan continues: “The installation at Dunster Castle was probably one of the most unusual installations but at the same time it proves that this technology works in every environment and is just as effective on a castle roof as it is on an office block.”

Home of the Luttrell family for more than 600 years, the present building at Dunster Castle was remodelled in 1868–72 by Antony Salvin and the fine oak staircase and plasterwork ceiling he adapted can still be seen.

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