A large assisted living facility in Iowa had gone through several renovations and additions. The combination of buildings had both flat and pitched roofs with both asphalt shingles and a rubber surface. Iowa winters added the challenge of snow and ice buildup on both the roof and gutter systems.
While some of the structures had existing heat trace cable, also known as heat tape, to eliminate buildup and ice dams, the existing system was unreliable, with the potential of dangerous electrical shorts where the cables touched. Also, existing heat trace cable on the pitched roofs had been laid in a straight run; this added the potential for melting snow to fall on pedestrians below, as too narrow an area of the roof received adequate heat.