How To Determine If You Need Snow Retention For Your Home's Roof

brandon-jensenBy Brandon Jensen, TRA Snow & Sun

Are you hearing loud noises coming from your roof?

This can be a sign that snow is sliding. Beware the next time you open the door to go outside especially if your door opens where snow falls. Deaths have occurred when snow slippage is imminent and someone slams a door. Just the vibration creates an avalanche.

Are you noticing large pieces of ice and/or snow coming off in big chunks?

Are pieces of your gutter coming off with ice at the eave? Ice is a heavy and powerful factor in gutters becoming disconnected from the structure.

Are there high spots of snow and ice piled at the eave line on the ground? This might mean that snow or ice has come off that place during the winter.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, continue reading.

People die due to snow and ice sliding off roofs. This is extremely tragic and often avoidable. Use roof snow retention for these reasons:

1. Damage/Injury - People and property can be struck by snow and ice falling from the roof. Property damage and injuries, even deaths can occur when snow is not properly retained on a roof.

2. Limited Access - Entrances to buildings can be blocked by snow and ice that falls from a roof.

3. Roof Damage - When snow and ice masses slide off a roof, costly damage occurs.

It is especially important to install snow retention above:

• Entryways

• Walkways

• Gathering spots

• Parking lots

• Drive-through areas

• Expensive landscaping

• Ground-mounted mechanical

• Roof protrusions such as plumbing vents

Can Your Building Support the Weight of Snow Retention?

You might wonder if your roof can support the weight of snow and ice staying on the roof. If your home is less than 40 years old, the answer is probably yes.

During the 1970-80's, most states adopted building codes that required structures to support the weight of the building materials (dead load) and the weight of the snow, ice, water, people, etc. (live load). By the year 2000, international building codes were universally adopted with similar standards. So, if the structure was built post 1975, you are unlikely to have any structural problems when keeping snow on the roof, and it also helps insulate your roof, saving heating costs!

Brandon Jensen is Marketing Director at TRA Snow & Sun, located in American Fork, Utah. TRA offers snow retention solutions, solar mounting for photovoltaic and thermal applications, and roof ventilation and flashing. Jensen has a marketing degree from Utah State University. For information on TRA Snow & Sun and the company's products, visit

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