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Alpine SnowGuards Unveils New Research Facility As Part Of Intensive Testing Program

Morrisville, VT - Alpine SnowGuards, a leading manufacturer/supplier of rooftop snow management systems, announces that it has constructed a real-world testing facility for its products on a new building located at its headquarters in Morrisville, VT. Alpine will also initiate testing of its entire snow guard product line in 2020.

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Brian Stearns

Brian Stearns, President & Founder of Alpine SnowGuards, commented on the company's intensive focus on testing: "Alpine has tested every product line that we produce and sell with the exception of custom 'one-off' products (those are tested upon request, sometimes by the customer with a specialized application – cost is often shared). We’ve been conducting product structural testing since the early 1990’s, with the results being incorporated into our design tool, the Online Project Calculator. The calculator is certified by a structural engineering firm who’s licensed in all 50 states.

"Just like the passing of the years changes things, materials can and do change, specifically - but not exclusively - in the metal roofing business. Material thicknesses will vary, coatings will vary and sometimes, substitutes are used on projects in order to save money. For this reason, January is the month we’ll start to retest every product that we offer. As the owner of Alpine SnowGuards, I believe that product testing is essential. If a manufacturer cannot provide structural testing values that are less than 10 years old, those values should be questioned."

Stearns emphasized that structural testing of snow guards doesn't address the questions that are really being asked. "What our customers - building owners, architects, engineers, etc. - really want to know is, how do these products perform? So, we began conducting performance testing in Toronto, Canada." He said that was just the beginning.

A One-Of-A-Kind Research Facility

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"One of the ways we’ll continue to stay on top of research and snow guard performance is by employing the use of the new building that we’ve recently constructed at our facility in Vermont," said Stearns. "The sole purpose of this building is to study and monitor snow guard performance. This is the first and only project of its kind that we’re aware of."

He continued, "The building is a salt box configuration. One side is 7/12 pitch and the other side is a 12/12 pitch. The roof is divided into 3 separate roof sections. Section one is metal, section two is composition shingles and section three is synthetic slate. This allows us to monitor each roof type, on different roof pitches, side by side with other common roofing materials so that we aren’t just monitoring snow guard performance, we’re simultaneously monitoring snow guard performance on different roofing materials.

"We’ve also constructed a roof with natural slate next to clay tile, a membrane mock up and a solar panel mock up. All of these mock ups are monitored by 16 cameras operating on a 24/7 basis. One of the cameras captures images of our factory roof which has a 3/12 pitch standing seam metal roof, both with and without snow guards.

Stearns said the ongoing, multi-year study will be the topic of future postings on Alpine's website, including video clips. He also said Alpine will be launching two new product lines in 2020 to provide customers with additional snow guard options.

For more details about the research facility testing, visit http://www.fromridgetoeave.com/snow-guard-performance-testing/.

About Alpine SnowGuards®

Alpine SnowGuards offers a wide variety of snow management systems including pad-style, pipe-style, and fence-style snow guards, as well as a line of frame-mounted snow management systems for use on solar PV arrays. Alpine has a solution for all roof types, new or retrofit.

All of Alpine’s products are precision-engineered to prevent damage caused by avalanching snow and ice while enhancing the beauty of any roofing system. The company notes that it is especially important to install them above: entryways, walkways, and gathering spots; parking lots and drive-through areas; expensive landscaping; ground mounted mechanicals; lower roofs, valleys and crickets; and gutters and roof protrusions, such as plumbing vents. Alpine has a real-world snow guard test facility at its headquarters in Vermont that includes metal roofing - for testing updates, check out Alpine's blog. For more information, visit www.alpinesnowguards.com.

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