Roof Ice Dam Prevention and 'GreenWashing'

The Green Revolution

The greening of our world has been a great advance for us. There are thousands of products that exists solely for the purpose of making our lives better by using less energy. Products that are made locally require shorter shpping distances to get to the consumer. Products made with renewable or recycled resources are less of a drain on the resources that we can't replace. Some of these products use less energy by performing a given function with less energy than previous designs or models. For many, seeing the symbols of a green product give a feeling that we are doing the right thing or making the right choice. Marketing firms and manufacturing companies know this and exploit it. Not all products that claim to be green are green. 


The following is taken from a Wikipedia article on greenwashing:

The term greenwashing was coined by New York environmentalist Jay Westervelt in a 1986 essay regarding the hotel industry's practice of placing placards in each room promoting reuse of towels ostensibly to "save the environment". Westerveld noted that, in most cases, little or no effort toward reducing energy waste was being made by these institutions—as evidenced by the lack of cost reduction this practice effected. Westerveld opined that the actual objective of this "green campaign" on the part of many hoteliers was, in fact, increased profit. Westerveld thus labeled this and other outwardly environmentally conscientious acts with a greater, underlying purpose of profit increase as greenwashing.

Are Self Regulating Heat Cables Green?

The heat cable industry is not, on the surface, a green industry. All of the products use energy to accomplish a task - preventing (or minimizing) ice dams. But, our homes are full of products that use energy to accomplish a task. Our refrigerators use energy to keep our food cool and safe. We use furnaces in the winter and air conditioners in the summer. Our water is heated for bathing. The list could go on and on. So, if ice dams and icicles are a problem, then a solution is needed. And self regulating heat cables fill that need just as other power using appliances fill a need.

There are some companies that boast great energy savings over others in the field of ice dam prevention products. Some claim greater efficiency because of design, others because of using less heat cable. We agree - design and amount of heat cable used plays a large role in the efficiency and, thus, "greenness" of a roof ice melt system. One such product is the Edge Melt System™  from VersaScreen Gutter Protection. Having been tested for several years now in the harsh Wisconsin winters, it is ready for use in all Class 2 snow regions. Using an insulated base panel and only 1 run of heat cable to effectively melt eaves and gutter, the Edge Melt System™ may be the "greenest" of the roof ice dam prevention systems available. 

To see how this system stacks up against the competition and how much you can save - give us a call. We would be happy to show you the product and provide you with a quote for professional installation.