Got A Metal Roof —Time to Think About Snow Guards… And Not Just For the Snow

Winter is just around the corner and in locations that see heavy snow; metal roofing has always been the choice of homeowners for years.  Its smooth coated surface sheds snow faster than other kinds of roofing materials, inhibiting snow buildup and protecting the structural integrity of the roof.

If you are designing in areas with heavy snow accumulation, then you’ll also probably want to think about the use of snow guards and snow rails to control the shedding of snow from the roof.

Snow guards on curved metal roof.There are plenty of different kinds of snow guards and rails out there designed for use with standing seam metal roofing products.  The most effective seems to be the systems that are mechanically attached with brass or aluminum clamps using round-point setscrews that will not “pin” or “fix” the metal roof panels to the building.

Snow guards can even enhance the aesthetic appearance of the building, offering  colors and finishes matching standing seam metal roofing panels and coated to last as long as the roof itself.

If you are considering a snow retention system on your metal roof then get one designed and engineered on a site-specific basis. They’re made for your roof and they will also carry a performance guarantee.

Mechanically attached snow guards are about six times stronger than adhesively-mounted devices that can degrade with time and exposure.  In addition mechanically attached guards require less time and labor expenses than soldered snow guards.

And just when you thought snow guards were just for snow, we’ve found some enterprising architects who have found some interesting uses for these kinds of guards and rails not even remotely associated with snow! For example, one Florida restaurant is using its snow guard system as a beer bottle collector. Patrons gathering on the restaurant’s rooftop patio used to inadvertently knock their empty beer bottles from the patio wall onto the sloped standing seam metal roof below, sending the bottles crashing down onto the sidewalk.  A local architect suggested the restaurant install the snow rail which now traps bottles at the lower edge of the roof, preventing damage or injury.

Believe it or not – a school in sunny Los Angeles installed snow guards on its metal roof to stop local skateboarders from using the roof as a giant skateboard ledge.

In Tampa, architects and engineers have recommended snow rails as wind deflectors mounted on the standing seam metal roof panels, while other architects have been known to recommend them to prevent crystalline photovoltaic panels from slipping off roofs in high winds.

SnoRail snow guards on metal roofing.When NFI, a nationwide logistics company in southern New Jersey providing integrated supply chain solutions, decided to install a 1.322 megawatt solar photovoltaic system on its 290,000 square foot warehouse, one of the company’s concerns was the load bearing capacities of the existing roof to handle snow drift on the solar array and the building itself. More than 6,000 panels would span the 290,000 square feet of rooftop space.  Direct-attached and penetrating installations were deemed inappropriate due to potential roof-loading issues.

To surmount this engineering challenge, the company chose to build an exoskeleton specifically designed for this facility that not only facilitated the installation of the solar array but reinforced the load bearing capability of the roof as well. The exoskeleton also included the design of a massive, 40,000 square foot “snow guard” to alleviate snow drift on the solar array and building itself. The exoskeleton structure was built and ready for panels in only three and half weeks.

The weather prediction for some parts of the country this winter is for heavy snows. Some Western States and the Mid-Atlantic region are expected to be particularly hard hit.  If you want to help building owners control their impending snow problems or perhaps keep some enterprising snowboarder off a roof, now is the time to suggest the installation of snow guards.

Free Englert Roofing Mobile App Download:

Easy access to all Englert brochures and catalogs, a color selector for both roofing and gutter colors, standing seam metal roof panel profiles, and a convenient coil calculator to assist in estimating and completing your particular project.

Copyright 2018 - Englert Inc. - All rights reserved - Designed and Developed - Sitemap - Terms & Privacy