At S-5!, we don’t recommend installing adhesive-mounted snow guards on metal roofs. From both an economic and design perspective, glued on plastic snow guards typically have low holding strength and are unable to handle harsh weather-related elements. The bond weakens over time and when it fails, the guard can rip away paint and protective roof coatings, potentially leading to corrosion.
This is part one of a two-part series on qualifying snow retention systems.
There is a new (and much needed) document recently published by the Metal Construction Association (MCA): Qualifying Snow Retention Systems for Metal Roofing. This new industry consensus document is perhaps the most valuable tool in your toolbox if you are involved with any aspect of snow guards for any metal roof application.
In places where it frequently snows a lot and even in places where it doesn’t, metal is a favored material in protecting a house or other structure. On the surface, snow might appear to be rather innocuous, as it gently falls from the sky like the ending scene in the movie, White Christmas. But what the movie doesn’t show, is all through the night and much of the morning (if not longer) the light fluffy stuff piles deeper and deeper on top of the roof, incrementally increasing its own weight. Then, when the sun comes out, an avalanche of snow tumbles down onto unsuspecting persons, vehicles and landscapes below.
Tags: metal roof snow stops, metal roofing, snow retention, Snow Guards, Snow stops, FAQ, metal roofs, standing seam metal roof, sliding snow, plastic snow guards, metal roof clamps, S5 clamps, metal roof clips
Our new SlideShare offers the best ways to mount snow retention.
When a snow avalanche falls off of a rooftop, it can damage anything in its path! This sudden release of snow can be dramatic—dumping tons of snow in mere seconds. Falling snow forms a temperature-sensitive bond to the surface of a metal roof. Then, when that roof is warmed, whether from the sun or from building heat loss, the bond between the snow bank and roof is broken and a thin film of melt water serves to lubricate the slide.
A several-ton blanket of snow suddenly sliding off the roof can have dramatic results on anything in its path—gutters, the roof itself, landscape, vehicles and even people. Once it is piled up down below, that same snow bank can continue to cause additional troubles (e.g. repeated snow removal; direct damage to building walls; indirect damage caused by funneling melt water into, rather than away from the walls and foundations, etc.).
The Reason for Roof Snow Guards
This is what makes snow retention devices desirable: They keep snow in its place allowing it to leave the roof slowly, either in small amounts, evaporation or as melt water, avoiding the potential calamity of the avalanche.
Learn more about the three methods available for mounting snow retention systems to metal roofs with our new SlideShare. Click here or on the link at the end of the SlideShare to read the entire blog.
Clamp Mounted vs Structure Attachment vs Stick-On Snow Retention Solutions
Metal roofs are a smart decision. But with metal roofs, you must consider the risk of roof top avalanches. A quality snow retention system will help you maintain your roof, avoid personal and property damage, and efficiently and safely allow snow to melt off your structure. But there are a number of methods to mount snow guard systems. What is the best way?
In my eight plus years with S-5! the most common question we are asked is, “Which S-5! clamp do I use on my metal roof?” We will explore the tools available to choose the best clamp along with the various options and other variables to consider, such as what type of roof you are attaching to and what you are attaching to it: solar, snow retention, or some other rooftop utility.
Recently, we had a contractor using our on-line snow retention calculator ask this question. He had done a number of planning calculations to customize applications of our ColorGard® system for a particular project, and noticed the field for “Safety Factor” on our load information table and also the calculator. What is this? And what does it do? He wanted to know.
Why is it a bad idea to put snow guards just over doorways?
Often, we are asked to provide localized snow guard systems (snow retention systems) over an entranceway or several of them rather than protecting the entire eave line of a standing seam metal roof. In limited cases this can be done, but extreme caution is advised.