If you’re a proud owner of a snowmelting system, you’re already aware of how costly and time-consuming repairs can be. Regular maintenance of your system is essential to keep it running efficiently and reduce repairs. Our professional services in the Toronto area can help you save both time and money by ensuring your system is properly maintained. We’ll take care of checking glycol levels, taking thermal imaging, balancing loop flow, and testing snow sensors to ensure correct performance.
By entrusting us with your snowmelting system’s maintenance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your investment is being taken care of by experienced professionals. Our team will work to ensure that your system is running smoothly throughout the winter months, so you can enjoy a clear and safe property without the hassle of maintenance. At Blackrock HVAC we want to see you once a year and reduce the likelihood of system repairs.
In addition to the financial benefits of regular maintenance, there are also safety benefits to consider. A snowmelting system that is properly maintained can greatly reduce the risk of slips and falls on your property. As a homeowner, you understand the importance of keeping your loved ones safe, especially during the winter months when the risk of slips and falls is heightened. By investing in the maintenance of your snowmelting system, you can have peace of mind knowing that your property is protected against potential hazards. Our team of professionals is dedicated to ensuring that your system is functioning at its best, so you can focus on enjoying your winter season without worrying about safety concerns.
Don’t wait until it’s too late, contact us today to schedule a maintenance appointment for your snowmelting system. Let us help you save time and money while taking care of your investment!
A DETAILED PHOTO SUMMARY OF OUR MAINTENANCE PROCESS
Have you heard of Warmboard? It’s a type of radiant heating system used in residential buildings that provides consistent and efficient heat throughout the space. The Warmboard panel is made of high-density plywood with channels for the radiant heating tubing to be installed. Warmboard-S is 1 1/8″ thick, 4×8′ panels, Douglas Fir 7 ply plywood and is used as a structural subfloor. Warmboard-R is 13/16″ thick, OSB, 2×4′ panels, and is commonly used in remodels.
Warmboard is known for its quick response time and efficient heat distribution thanks to the innovative upper aluminum layer. It works by circulating warm water through the tubing to radiate heat upwards into the room. It’s an energy-efficient solution to traditional heating systems, providing comfort and cost savings. The panels can be customized to fit any room layout or size.
On your first day of installation, it’s important to get organized on the job site. After the Warmboard panels have been installed by the framers, the next step is to install the tubing according to the layout provided by Warmboard. This layout is more important for the framers, but as a heating contractor, you should also use it to visualize the predetermined loop layouts and where to make router cuts in the panels (have a few black markers with you). Take the time to review the layout and ensure you understand it before starting the installation. It can be frustrating at first, and you may make some unnecessary cuts, but take them as practice. Organize your tools and materials in a way that’s easy to access, and keep your work area clean and tidy (bring a good vacuum!). This will help you stay focused and efficient while working on the job site. Don’t forget to order some food for dinner because the work can get addicting one you get in the zone and you’ll likely be up late!
To make the necessary routes in the Warmboard panels for the tubing, you will need to buy a router (or two). Get yourself a heavy-duty router and a few bits because making all these cuts in the panels takes a serious toll on the tool. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the router is set to the correct depth for the tubing, which is typically 5/8″ for 1/2″ tubing. By using the right router and bit, you can ensure that the tubing routes are precise and accurate, which will lead to a successful installation of your Warmboard system. Remember to have a good heavy weight rubber mallet for installing the tubing into the groove.
We start and end each loop at the manifold, which is located inside a closet wall. We mounted the manifold to a beautifully stained oak plywood, which will add to the visual appeal once the project is complete. To ensure the fitment of the tubing, we used protector plates at bends to hold down any pipe that may stick up, despite our precise cuts. These plates are almost flush with the floor, ensuring a smooth finish. It’s crucial to pressure test the system before leaving the job site to guarantee its stability. Once completed, you’ll have a sturdy Warmboard system that’s ready for your preferred flooring.
We had the pleasure of working with Simpson Properties Contracting Ltd on their modern home project, and we couldn’t be more impressed with the innovative and new products they utilized to create such a beautiful and comfortable home. It’s clear that Simpson Properties pays attention to detail, and this home is a true testament to their commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and accurate scheduling of trades. As their HVAC contractor, we were honored to be a part of the project and bring our expertise to the table. We also had the opportunity to build a custom mechanical room that included a fuel-efficient boiler mounted on a stunning Picasso mural, which will be discussed in another article. Thank you, Simpson Properties, for allowing us to be a part of your project and for your commitment to excellence!
As a company that provides HVAC services to condominiums in the Greater Toronto Area, we understand the importance of regular maintenance to ensure the safety and comfort of residents. That’s why we offer monthly visits to condominium properties to inspect and maintain all HVAC equipment, including boilers, chillers, cooling towers, and more. With our services, you can comply with condominium by-laws and regulations, while also protecting your investment and the well-being of your residents. Our experienced technicians use the latest tools and techniques to keep your systems running efficiently and prevent breakdowns, so you can rest assured that your property is in good hands.
Curious to know if your current HVAC service provider is meeting your needs? Get a second opinion and a detailed report from our team of G1 gas technicians. They’ll thoroughly inspect your equipment and provide you with a comprehensive evaluation of its condition and performance. If you’re satisfied with our report, we can create a custom proposal for scheduled maintenance that fits your budget and requirements. Don’t wait until it’s too late, contact us today to schedule your second opinion and take the first step towards ensuring the safety and comfort of your residents!
At Blackrock HVAC, we specialize in providing top-quality maintenance and repair services for a wide range of HVAC equipment in condominium across the GTA.
Cooling Towers / Chillers
Make Up Air Units
Domestic Hot Water
Ductless Air Conditioners
Take a look at some of the HVAC equipment we’ve serviced in the past, with our own collection of photographs showcasing our expertise and commitment to excellence.
Keeping our neighbourhood clean is important to us.
Our technicians are trained to work efficiently and minimize disruption to your property, so you can enjoy a clean and well-maintained environment! Our HVAC chats using WhatsApp gives your management a real-life conversation with the entire squad on your side.
Trust in our expertise – we have years of experience in the HVAC industry and a proven track record of delivering high-quality services to our clients. You can trust us to provide you with reliable and efficient service that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.
We invest heavily in maintaining our vehicles to ensure they are safe, well-equipped, and don’t break down on your property, or embarrass yourself because this thing drips oil every time he parks here! This helps us provide you with the best possible service and maintain the safety of your property and less phone calls.
If you’re a mechanically inclined individual in a position of power with a corporate budget, you understand the importance of quality, expertise, and reliability in your HVAC service provider. At Blackrock HVAC we have years of individual as well as many combined experience years. We hold a valid TSSA certificate for fuels safety, WSIB clearances, UPONOR, Mitsubishi, and multitudes of other trainings our techs can tell you about! Let’s work together to keep your property running smoothly and efficiently.
WHY WORK WITH BRHVAC?
At Blackrock HVAC, we are a small HVAC Contractor based in the GTA led by Orest Omeliukh. Our company name was inspired by George Black, the creator of BR, who encouraged his team to strive for excellence in their work. We carry on this tradition today with our team of dedicated HVAC professionals who are committed to providing the highest quality service to our clients. We understand that managing a property can be tough, and we know how stressful it can be when things don’t go as planned. That’s why we’re here to make things easier for you. Whether you need a quick fix or a more complex installation, we have the expertise and experience to get the job done right. Sometimes it takes just one of us to solve a problem, and sometimes we need to assemble a team of specialists who are skilled in their craft. Whatever the case may be, we’re here to work with you and help keep your property running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.”
This article will focus on a Gypsum Overpour application when installing a radiant heating system. All the pictures and videos used here are our own from a project for Will Gonell, with tubing and manifolds installed by Blackrock HVAC, and the overpour installed by Mack Constructions Inc.
WHAT IS GYPSUM OVERPOUR?
Many Toronto homes like this one are removing old cast iron radiators and creating more room by installing/hiding the heat source into the floor. In the case of new construction, the gypsum overpour is already calculated into ceiling heights. Gypsum overpouring can be a cost-effective and efficient way to create a smooth, level surface for finished flooring, especially in situations where the subfloor is uneven. However, it is important to ensure that the subfloor is structurally sound by consulting with your structural engineer, and free of any moisture issues before applying the overpour.
The overpour is usually around 1 1/2 inch thick, and it can be used with a variety of finished flooring materials, including carpet, vinyl, wood, or tile. The gypsum material used is a self-leveling light-weight compound that is mixed and poured onto the prepared subfloor. The gypsum compound is typically fast-setting and can be walked on within 24 hours after application, allowing you to quickly get back to construction.
WHAT ABOUT THE HEATING PIPES?
Before beginning the overpour there’s work to do. Your framer, heating contractor, and gypsum team need to be on the same page. The framer should be installing double bottom plates for all the walls to accommodate for the 1.5″ of gypsum. This allows a 2×4 to still be there for drywall and baseboard installation. Just before our team were scheduled to install the tubing, the team at Mack Constructions Inc did a fantastic job prepping the floor with a plastic sheet and a foam perimeter so the self-leveling compound stays within the area and doesn’t escape through all sorts of cracks. Your heating contractor then needs to install the loops using staples or PEX clips and not leave the site until it’s all pressure tested.
The advantage of using the staple-down method is that it provides a secure and reliable method of installing the radiant heating piping. The staples hold the pipes in place during the pouring of the gypsum overpour, ensuring that the pipes do not shift or move. A common newbie mistake is to not use enough staples. This creates a tripping hazard AND the piping will actually lift and float on top of the overpour causing a headache and panic.
The staple-down method is a common way to install radiant heating piping before pouring gypsum over the top. In this method, the radiant heating pipes are stapled to the subfloor to hold the pipes in place. The radiant heating piping is typically installed in a serpentine pattern, but at Blackrock HVAC we do it better and try to always install them in a reverse-return pattern. Once the pipes are in place, a pressure test is always performed to ensure that the system is free of leaks, and to sound an alarm incase the tubing gets accidentally punctured during the overpour process.
It’s important to note that the use of a plastic slip sheet is not always necessary. On occasion, you will pour on a plastic slip sheet and/or styrofoam insulation, but more often, you’ll pour “bonded,” where a primer is supplied and installed to the existing floor just prior to the pour to enhance the bond between the gypsum concrete and existing structural substrate. The primer also helps to decrease moisture penetration in the existing subfloor. Ultimately, the choice of whether to use a slip sheet or bonded method depends on the specific jobsite conditions and other factors that may be present.
WHAT TO DO IN THE BATHROOMS?
Typically bathrooms take up very little square footage and they don’t require their own heating loop unless it’s a large ensuite. In this project, we ran a bedroom loop inside the one of the smaller bathrooms where your feet would be, and a separate loop for the ensuite. You can skip installing pipes under the vanity since it won’t have a noticeable effect. Wether or not to install it under the shower needs to be discussed with the builder. It depends on their plan for the shower floor, here we skipped both showers.
THE MANIFOLD LOCATIONS
The use of a water manifold allows for precise control of the flow of water to each individual loop of tubing in the radiant heating system. This allows for greater flexibility in controlling the heat output of the system and can help to improve overall efficiency. It is important to ensure that the water manifold is installed correctly and that all connections are properly tightened and secured. That’s all obvious. What isn’t obvious to some are how and where to install them!
Consider hiding the manifold and tubing connections inside a closet to optimize space. Since your mechanical room is likely already crowded with equipment and located far from the upstairs manifold, installing a separate 3/4″ supply and return from the mechanical room can save over 100 feet of 1/2″ tubing. Ideally, have your framer construct one closet wall using 2×6 lumber.
To prevent hot spots near the manifold, it is important to insulate the tubing in the vicinity. While your furry friend may enjoy the warmth, it may not be comfortable for the human occupants of the room. To ensure proper insulation, extend it a few feet away from the manifold and organize the pipes neatly.
Embrace the opportunity to add style to even the most hidden parts of your project! At Blackrock, we believe that attention to detail is key, even when it comes to the interior of a closet wall. In this project, we took a creative approach by painting the plywood black and installing perforated aluminum sheets behind each manifold. The result is a visually stunning effect that adds a touch of sophistication to the home, even in areas that are typically overlooked.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT
As a company that specializes in installing overpour, Mack Constructions Inc offers their clients essential prep work to ensure a successful project. They provide and install the floor primer and discuss the predetermined heights for features such as staircases, windows, fireplaces, and door heights with the client to avoid confusion. Mack Constructions requests to seal all gaps and holes, which is outlined in their quotes and discussed with the client. However, their team will still ensure that it is done sufficiently to their standards to prevent any leaks to the floor below. During the actual pour, their team checks that the correct mix ratio of sand, gypsum product, and water is used to achieve a consistent and strong mix throughout the entire job. Their goal is to provide a smooth floor surface for every client!
At Blackrock HVAC, we believe that working with other companies that have a proven track record of successful projects makes all the difference when it comes to hiring us. With our experience and expertise, we can easily collaborate and work with other teams towards a common goal!
Are you tired of the dry, uncomfortable air inside your home during the winter months in Ontario? Adding humidity to your home during the winter is crucial for your health and the integrity of your property. Dry air can lead to health problems and damage to your home. Fortunately, a humidification system can help you maintain proper humidity levels, improving your indoor air quality and overall comfort. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of a steam humidification system that we have installed in several homes, and love it so much we can’t keep this a secret.
One type of humidification system that is particularly effective in cold climates is the residential steam humidification system. This system uses electricity to create steam, which is then distributed throughout the home using the furnace fan and ductwork to raise the humidity levels. Steam humidification systems are ideal for any home and any homeowner expecting improvements. Where traditional humidifiers can’t keep up, these can maintain consistent humidity levels even in extreme temperatures. While steam humidification systems are generally low-maintenance, they still require regular upkeep to function properly. In the next section, we will take a closer look at the benefits and how it can improve the comfort and health of your home.
Comfort: One of the primary benefits of a steam humidifier is that it will improve the comfort of your home. Cold, dry air causes dry skin, a dry nose, throat irritation, and other discomforts. By adding moisture to the air, a steam humidifier can help alleviate these symptoms, making your home feel more comfortable.
Home: Another benefit of a steam humidifier is that it can help protect your home from damage caused by dry air. Dry air causes hardwood floors to shrink, wooden trims and furniture to warp. By maintaining the proper humidity levels of 40 – 60%, a steam humidifier will help prevent these types of damage.
Efficiency: Low humidity levels can make your heating system work harder, which can also increase your energy bills. Maintaining an appropriate humidity level can help reduce your home heating energy usage because it higher humidity levels we feel warmer.
In addition to the above benefits, many steam humidifiers come equipped with an automatic controller and outdoor sensor. The controller measures the humidity levels inside your home and adjusts the output of the steam humidifier accordingly, ensuring that the air is never too dry or too humid. The outdoor sensor can detect changes in outdoor temperature and humidity levels, allowing the controller to adjust the steam output to compensate for these changes. With an automatic controller and outdoor sensor, you can live at home without needing to constantly monitor and adjust the system yourself. This feature makes a steam humidifier even more convenient and hassle-free to use.
A modulating controller is a type of advanced humidistat that can be used in conjunction with a steam humidifier to provide even more precise control over humidity levels. Unlike a standard humidistat, which simply turns the system on and off as needed, these units can adjust the steam output based on the outdoor temperature and indoor humidity levels. This allows for more precise and consistent control. Modulating controllers help reduce energy costs by changing the circuit amp draw depending on demand. Steam units usually require a 20A / 240V circuit, or a 20A / 120V circuit.
Take control of your home’s humidity levels and experience the benefits of a steam humidification system today. You can buy the system here and book an installation date using our online booking app.
Winter in Canada can be a beautiful time of year. Snowflakes falling gently and covering the city in a blanket of white, or 2 feet perhaps in the vast lands of Caledon. However, along with its charm, winter can also bring with it some challenges, including slippery roads and sidewalks. For Ukrainian man, Ivan, the cold weather is not a problem.
Ivan moved to Toronto from L’viv several years ago, and he quickly realized that the harsh Canadian winters were no joke. While Canadians are used to dealing with snow and ice, Ivan noticed that the city’s traditional methods of removing snow and ice, such as shoveling and salting, had limitations. Slippery surfaces can still persist even after being cleared, which can pose a risk to pedestrians, drivers, and property owners. Recognizing this problem, Ivan began to look for a solution, and he found it in the form of snowmelt systems. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Ivan’s snowmelt system, how they work, and how they are helping to improve winter in Canada.
As a civil engineering and economics graduate, Ivan knew he could do it, but he didn’t want to go through the hassle of a DIY installation with a newborn and an expensive BMW maintenance coming up. He recognized that this was a specialized field that required the knowledge and expertise of a professional. After days and hours of research online, he decided to hire Blackrock HVAC of Mississauga, ON, a company that specializes in installing snowmelt systems for residential and commercial properties.
Expertise and professionalism: When Ivan met Orest for the first time, he recognized that installing a snowmelt system is a specialized field that required the knowledge and expertise of people who understand wiring, controls, heating, water flow using pumps, and holds a valid TSSA license. He was impressed with Orest’s past experience of building hydronic heating systems all over Ontario, and appreciated his focus on delivering high-quality workmanship with a smart design and simple but elegant features in the mechanical room.
Customized snowmelt system: Orest along with his three man team worked with Ivan to design and install a customized layout that controls the heat of the concrete slab, stairs, and garage. This level of customization was important to Ivan, as he wanted a system that would not use too much gas and electricity, and keep his garage at 10 degrees.
If you’re building a new custom home in Canada, you already know that the details matter. One of the often-overlooked details that can make a huge difference in your comfort and convenience during the winter months is a hydronic snowmelt system. The process of building such a system involves carefully insulating your driveway before the concrete is poured, followed by the installation of a network of plastic tubing loops. These loops will distribute heated water evenly throughout your driveway, melting snow and ice before it has a chance to accumulate. In the mechanical room, an advanced hydronic system is assembled, and a gas-fired NTI boiler is installed to generate the heat needed for the water that will circulate through the tubing. With an automatic system that responds to temperature and moisture sensors, you’ll never have to worry about snow and ice accumulation on your driveway or walkways again. It’s a small detail that can have a big impact on your quality of life, and it’s one that you won’t want to overlook as you build your dream home in Ontario.
After the installation, Ivan was thrilled with the exceptional results that the system produced. His sidewalks and driveway were no longer covered in snow and ice, providing him with the peace of mind and the luxury experience he deserves. The Blackrock HVAC team’s state-of-the-art tools and quality piping connections exceeded his expectations, leaving Ivan with a snowmelt system that performs flawlessly and looks sharp. The team’s unmatched level of service and expertise impressed Ivan, and he proudly recommended them to his family and friends. Ivan realized that when it comes to installing a specialized system such as a snowmelt, only trained and experienced licensed professionals can provide the high-quality results.
As an owner of luxury automobiles, Ivan understands the importance of maintaining high standards of care for his vehicles. With the harsh salt on the roads, Ivan knew that he needed a heating solution that could provide both comfort and protection for his cars. His solution was a cutting-edge hydronic heating system that not only keeps his home warm, driveway dry, but also extends to his garage, allowing him to maintain an optimal temperature for his vehicles. This state-of-the-art heating system offers the ultimate in flexibility and control, ensuring that Ivan’s cars receive the protection they deserve while he indulges in the finer things in life.
If you’re considering a snowmelt system for your property in the Southern Ontario area, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ivan’s recommended expert, Orest Omeliukh at Blackrock HVAC. With his years of experience in installing hydronic snowmelt systems, he can provide you with a comprehensive consultation and a detailed estimate of the cost and timeline for the project. What’s more, they’re currently offering a special $50 consultation fee when you schedule your appointment using the convenient booking app below. Take the first step towards a winter without shovelling and icy sidewalks by reaching out today.
This blog is designed to show you the process of building a modern radiant floor heating system in Toronto. We’ve make it simple so anybody can follow along. This is not a DIY but rather a helpful tool to organize and plan your renovation. Feel free to contact us at any time with your specific questions 🙂
Part 1: Rough In.
Part 2: Radiant Wall Assembly.
Part 3: Forced Air System (coming soon).
Part 4: Video Feature (coming soon).
Part 1 – Rough In
When anybody at Blackrock HVAC talks about roughing in radiant heating, the following materials are being installed: R6 or R10 insulation, 1/2″ Radiant PEX, heating manifold, and slab sensor. In this basement we used 1.5″ R6 insulation with steel wire mesh, but have since moved on to a modern “Puck Style” R10 insulation. R10 is required by code when floor heating is your “Primary Heating Source”. Since most of your home’s heat loss comes from the basement slab it’s a no brainer that bigger is better.
There are two things to consider when choosing which insulation panel to go with, price and height. Going traditional with wire mesh may seem cost effective at first, but taking into account the insulation, tuck taping it together, mesh, and then zip tying everything together…it equates to the same amount. It’s wiser to go with “Puck Style” because it has a higher R-Value and installs much faster for the same price. It’s IMPERATIVE that you have a discussion with your underpinning crew about going with “Puck Style” because they always have a larger height! Your crew will have to go deeper to accommodate these extra couple inches (no pun intended). The concrete slab must be 3″ thick above the insulation for it not to crack.
Here you see the radiant rough-in complete and concrete cured. Since this is a Blackrock Bespoke Project we went ahead and painted the floor to mark the mechanical room territory, and per tradition hung solid oak to be our radiant wall and focal point (optional). Our next step is to put the combo water tank and furnace in place to visualize their connections to piping and duct work.
Step 2: Radiant Wall Assembly.
Don’t let the following pictures of unknown parts intimidate you! So lets break it down. Your floor heating system needs a few key components to make it work… we need a heat source, a circulator to move the heat in the piping, and a distribution system like a manifold that distributes heat through your PEX loops. Along the way we’ve installed a pressure/temperature gauge to monitor the performance, and a water back-flow preventer so your heating water never touches the domestic water. All these components can be mounted in a functional yet aesthetic way.
Please be patient for the photography updates, our sexy secretary is in Mexico escaping a Southern Ontario winter.
In the meantime enjoy our final product photo and try to separate the Forced Air, Natural Gas, Hot Water & Hydronics in the room 🙂 Once identified please call Orest @ (647) 388-5744 to book an a appointment.