The S-5-U and S-5-U Mini clamp are versatile clamps. This clamp is designed to fit vertically-oriented seams and many of the (larger) horizontally-oriented seams. Because of this versatility there is more labor, tooling and machining involved in the manufacture of the clamp. The S-5-U clamp is machined for an M8 bolt on both the top and the side of the clamp. And there are setscrew holes on both sides. So, while the clamp fits more metal roof profiles, it also costs more to produce.
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.
Is a Bigger Snow Guard Better?
There is a common perception that “more is better”, such as “two pipes are better than one” and “three are better than two”. Many believe that because a snow bank is very deep, it should have a taller snow guard system—with more cross-members.
Often, we are asked to provide localized snow guards and 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.
Any snow retention system is a life-safety and property protection application. If the system were to fail, tons of snow could suddenly be released onto anything below, threatening personal safety and property. For this reason, any system should be appropriately engineered to the specifics of the project to ensure that it does not structurally fail. Surprisingly, few (if any) vendors who manufacture provide adequate technical data to do this.