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Best Methods For Attaching Snow Retention Products

By Howie Scarboro, SnoBlox-SnoJax

In the beginning, we only had rocks and logs to help keep snow and ice from avalanching off our roofs. These were crude but effective means of minimizing injury and damage from snow slides. With the advancements in adhesives and fasteners, we now have various methods of snow retention attachment.

Let’s discuss the 4 most popular attachment methods.

Adhesive/Glue

adhesive-attachment-previewThis is the most cost effective method of snow guard attachment, and is just as strong as other methods if properly designed and installed. Suitable for attaching polycarbonate snow guards and the adhesive requires 672 hours of cure time above 50F. If it dips below 50F during this time, then the curing process goes dormant until it warms up again.

There are several advantages to this type of mounting. First off, it allows for polycarbonate, pad-style guards to be mounted onto almost all metal roof panels, even standing seam. Even if there is a failure in the system, it is impossible to cause a water leak since there are no penetrations. Professional layouts are always recommended to determine the number of rows required. Free layouts can be obtained by visiting www.SpacingTool.com. Superior load balancing is another huge advantage for adhesive mounted systems. Pad style guards generally require more rows than bar systems, therefore the snow load is better balanced across the roof. Roof trusses are not designed to hold loads in just one area, they are designed for the roof load to be evenly balanced across the roof area.

Mechanical Fasteners

mechanical-attachmentThis is just a fancy word for screws. This is a very strong method of attachment for pad style guards and for snow bar and rail type systems. Screws can generally be used on all metal roof types EXCEPT standing seam panels. The basic rule is that if you see screws holding the panels down, then you are safe to use screws to mount snow guards. It is important that the screws are hitting structural wood or steel purlins under the panels. The snow guard layout must be adjusted to ensure that the mounting screws are hitting the structural members. For pad style guards, we recommend using two #14 galvanized roof screws with the neoprene washers with a thick layer of UV stabilized silicone between the guard and roof panel. When mounting bar or rail, we recommend using the Large Color Bracket mount with #14 roof screws. It is critical to follow a layout from www.SpacingTool.com because penetrations are being made and a failure could result in water leaks.

Clamps

clamp-attachmentThis method is only necessary when trying to mount bar/rail systems to standing seam panels. Clamps designed to be non-penetrating will not void the panel warranty. We recommend using universal fit clamps with three coarse threaded, cupped tip set screws that won’t lock up inside the clamps Wide throat openings also eliminate the need to panel-feed the clamps from the end of the seam.

Clamps are also used for mounting Ventsavers to protect vent pipes from sliding snow and ice on standing seam roof panels.

Peel and Stick

peel-and-stick-attachmentThis method is recommended for special circumstances only. We recommend that a bead of SB-190 adhesive be applied around the perimeter of the guard once it has been applied with peel and stick tape. The extra adhesive will add strength and keep the attachment area clean and dry. We have used this method effectively for controlling sliding snow and ice over isolated areas such as doorways and porches. Contact the manufacturer for a custom layout based on your project needs. This method is also suggested when the temperatures won’t allow the adhesive method to properly cure. Larger systems that cover the entire roof area should be attached with SB-190 adhesive for the best long term results.

Deciding which attachment method is best for your project is a very critical step in building a great snow retention system. A lot of things can factor into your decision, just follow these basic guidelines to stay on the right track. Reputable snow guard manufacturers should have an online estimator based on your project criteria. If you still have concerns or a special situation, consult a snow retention specialist for some professional advice.

About SnoBlox-SnoJax

SnoBlox Meet the SupplierSnoBlox-SnoJax was founded by the late Jack McMullen, a building contractor who invented the very first polycarbonate snow guard in 1976. His son Brion, who has always been in charge of marketing, continues his father’s legacy by developing innovative, field-proven, professionally tested snow guards for metal roofs. After 30 years, snow retention remains the company's main business, though it now also offers a number of complementary products such as gutter guards, snow guard attachment products, non-penetrating rooftop mounting clamps and vent stabilizers. To learn more, visit www.snoblox-snojax.com.

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