Company uses high-tech approach to remove heavy snow from roofs

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BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. -- The town of Breckenridge is advising its residents to remove snow off their roofs after heavy amounts made a roof collapse Wednesday.

One company has taken a unique approach to tackling the issue by utilizing infrared technology to evaporate it.

On Thursday night, Alex Bolla with InfraHeat Company placed a large mat on the corner of a roof covered in thick snow.

Bolla hooked up the mat to a generator. Using an app on his phone, Bolla watched the temperature underneath the mat heat up to more than 100 degrees.

Bolla said instead of just melting the snow, the technology will evaporate the water too.

“They remove it all. Infrared, it’s the same principles as the sun and just like the sun would evaporate water, or melt snow at the right temperature, this will do the same thing,” Bolla said.

Bolla said it usually takes about 24 hours to remove all the snow from a roof. The technology can also be placed into sidewalks to keep snow from accumulating.

On Wednesday, the roof over a conference space at the Village at Breckenridge resort collapsed under the weight of the heavy snow. No guests or employees were in the facility when the roof caved in.

The city’s building inspector said all new buildings’ roofs must be able to tolerate 90 pounds of snow per square foot.

However, those requirements were not in place when order buildings were built, like the one that collapsed Wednesday.

Breckenridge said this is the most snow it has seen in a January in the past 100 years, and it’s not even half way through the month yet.