Yes, You Really Need Snow Guards

The Spring thaw couldn't come quick enough this year for Tim Carter. A New Hampshire resident, Tim and his neighbors saw lots of snow this past winter. At one point, they had about 42 inches of snow on the ground ... and around the edges of Tim's driveway snow was piled up to eight feet for several days.

That's a lot of snow.

Imagine if all the snow that accumulated on Tim's roof slid off, onto the ground all at once. That's a ton of snow and ice that could be damaging to things below.

Fortunately for Tim, he didn't have those troubles. When he installed his new DaVinci synthetic slate roof two years ago he added snow guards. (See Snow Guards Needed for Synthetic Slate Roof)

"This winter really showed that the snow guards performed extremely well," says Carter, of AsktheBuilder.com. "When the snow slid off the roof, the guards made sure that giant slabs of ice and snow didn't crash to the ground. The guards were especially beneficial where there are walkways beneath the roof overhang. They helped hold the snow and assure that it was safe to walk below.

"All around the house the snow guards did their job this winter. I had installed expensive Trex Transcend decking this past autumn. The snow guards ensured that the deck didn't suffer from a hit from a 'roof iceberg' at any point.

fake slatesynthetic slate

"From my perspective of really living through a major snowy winter, I urge homeowners and roofers alike to strongly consider adding snow guards during the roof installation process, and to make sure the roof structure can support all the snow that the guards will retain on the roof.

"Dealing with a qualified snow guard manufacturer is key to success. When I worked with Rocky Mountain Snow Guards they created a specific snow guard placement plan for my roof that I followed. That's a critical element in this process that has proved successful."

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Q & A Guide to Snowguards

Does snow slide off of a DaVinci roof?
Snow tends to slide off all roofs, but is more likely to slide off metal, natural slate, glazed tile, and polymer tiles (like DaVinci roofs).  This is due to some of the same physical characteristics that help to make DaVinci such a long lasting beautiful roof.  DaVinci roofing products have smooth surfaces and don’t absorb water. This means that snow and ice have no place to “grip” as it might with some other roofing products. When snow begins to melt from a warm attic underneath, the snow blanket on top may slide off the roof all at once.

What is the solution?
Installing a pattern of snow guards or attaching snow fences near the eave can reduce or eliminate snow slides. Snow guards work by adding friction to the roof. Snow fences on the other hand, create  a barrier to prevent snow movement.  Snow guards are the preferred product for most areas while snow fences are used in very high snow areas like ski resorts.


Who should consider snow guards?
Snow guards should be considered in parts of the country where accumulating snowfalls occur. Many roofs or parts of roofs may not need any snow guards at all. In fact, some structures are designed so that snow will slide off of the roof, reducing the stress on the structure.  

Does my house need snow retention?  
It all depends on what the snow may fall on as it slides off of the roof. The installation of snow guards should be considered on roof areas where sliding snow might land on people or property. Decks, walkways and driveways are obvious examples of such areas.  
 
What snow guards should I use?
There are many different types of snow guards. Snow guards for use on DaVinci roofs must have an attachment strap and be manufactured of long lasting- non-corrosive metals. The best types to use with DaVinci products are manufactured of copper, stainless steel or coated aluminum. Plastic snow guards, typically used on metal roofs, are not recommended for DaVinci roofs.  
 
What if my roof is already installed without snow guards?
The best time to install snow guards is when your DaVinci roof is being installed. But if your DaVinci roof is already installed, don’t worry. There are snow guards available that are specifically designed to be installed after your roof is on.  These are known as retro-fit snow guards and this type of snow guard won’t compromise the integrity, warranty or longevity of your beautiful DaVinci roof.
 
Ask your contractor if you need snow guards.  The final decision on whether or not to install snow guards rests with you and your contractor.
 
For more information, a good resource for snow guards on DaVinci roofs is Rocky Mountain Snow Guards.

**Snow guards should be considered in all geographic areas where accumulating snow fall is possible.**

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sNOw

October 3, 2013 ... 23.1 inches of snow in Rapid City, South Dakota.

October 17, 1984 ... 18.4 inches of snow in Salt Lake City.

October 26, 1997 ... 19.3 inches of snow in Goodland, Kansas.

Think it's too early to think about snow guards? Think again!

Don't be surprised by an early snow fall. If you live in a geographic area where accumulating snow fall is possible and have a synthetic roof, then now is the time to call your roofer. (See Winter Forecast: Get Snow Guards! and On Guard for Winter Weather ... with Snow Retention Systems)

Snow guards can be retrofitted fairly easily to composite slate or shake roofing products, and it's best to be prepared for potential bad winter weather. To install the snow guards, your roofer can use self-tapping, self-sealing Woodbinder Screws that have coated heads to match the color of the snow guard. These are enhanced with sealant between the snow guard strap and the roofing shingle. Snow guards are even available in unique styles or custom colors to match your DaVinci Roofscapes roofing (see Stylish Snow Guards )

 

Snowguards

 

Once installed, snow guards help "break up" the melting snow or ice from a composite roof so snow slides or "avalanches" don't occur. By breaking up the snow as it falls, there's less chance of it damaging landscaping or blocking your home's entryways.

Remember, October isn't too early to get prepared for snow. Just ask the folks in Minneapolis. They had a surprise "Trick or Treat" snowfall of 21 inches on October 31, 1991!

**Snow guards should be considered in all geographic areas where accumulating snow fall is possible.**

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Retrofit Snow Guard Installation

Customers change their minds. If you're a roofer, you've probably been in this situation. You installed a new synthetic shake roof in August and your customer loved it. You encouraged them to have snow guards installed, but they declined. Then came winter ... and the snow.

Next you find yourself getting a call from the homeowner saying they made a mistake ... can you come in and install the snow guards now before next year's snow storms? The answer is YES! (FYI ---  It's Never Too Late for Snow Guards)

Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, Inc., manufacturers of snow guards used on many DaVinci Roofscapes roofing projects, offers these installation tips for retrofitting SnowTrapper ST 11 snow guards into DaVinci roofing tiles:

SnowguardsStep #1 - Contact the snow guard manufacturer to work with them to gain a recommended layout and pattern for the specific roofing project you're working on. This will be based on several factors including the pitch of the roof, the geographic location and specific areas of the property that the homeowner wishes to protect from snow avalanches.

Step #2 - Follow the layout pattern closely when retrofitting the snow guards.

Step #3 - When installing the snow guards in a DaVinci shake or slate roof, there should be at least six inches of spacing between the snow guard pad face itself and the butt of the course above.

Step #4 - Mark the location of each snow guard and then apply an appropriate sealant, like one part urethane sealant or thermoplastic sealant.

Step #5 - Slide the snow guard up and under the course above and press it into place over the sealant.

Step #6 - Attach the snow guard with two fasteners into the strap in an offset pattern approximately 1.5 inches above the pad face, spaced 1 inch apart. Rocky Mountain Snow Guards recommends the Woodbinder Eclipse 10 x 2.5 for this step.

It's important not to "bend back" the DaVinci roofing tiles during the snow guard application.

For more specifics and information on snow guards for all DaVinci profiles, see Q & A Guide to Snow Guards and visit https://www.rockymountainsnowguards.com/.

 

 

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Snow Guards: An Important Decision for Your Synthetic Roof

It's 75 degrees outside and your new DaVinci Roofscapes designer roof will be installed by the end of the month. Congratulations!

Your roofer has just one more question: do you want snow guards?

SnowguardsDon't let the warm weather sway your decision. When it's 25 degrees outside next January with snow falling fast, you want your composite roofing to have snow guards. Why? Because snow guards can help stop the "movement" of a snow avalanche from coming off your roof all at one time. They help break up the melting snows so they come off in smaller amounts.

Snow guards don't have to be intrusive on your roof. Companies like Rocky Mountain Snow Guards specialize in offering a variety of options that look good and work effectively with synthetic roofing material. And, they can powder coat the snow guards to match the color of your DaVinci roof!

What kind of costs are we talking about? Lars Walburg, President of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, offers this insight: "Painted aluminum and steel snow guards generally cost between $5 and $6 each, while copper snow guards cost between $8 and $10 each. Then, the roofer will charge for installing the snow guards. Depending on the roofer, they may charge between $3 to $6 each for installation."

Your roofer can work with experts like Walburg to determine exactly where the snow guards should be placed on your roof, in what type of pattern and how many are needed. The pitch of your roof is important when deciding where snow guards will be placed (see Ask the Experts: Snow Guards). Another placement consideration is to plan on having snow guards located over key walkways, entry areas of the home and landscaping elements.

Click HERE to learn more about snow guards offered by Rocky Mountain Snow Guards that are designed especially for simulated shake roofing and imitation slate shingles. And, to learn more about snow guards overall, see Q & A Guide to Snow Guards.

**Snow guards should be considered in all geographic areas where accumulating snow fall is possible.**

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Do I Really Need Snow Guards?

When you're working with a builder to construct your dream home, there are lots of decisions to make. What type of wood for the cabinets? Which finish do you want on the appliances? What type of plumbing products do you like?

SnowguardsThe word "overwhelming" comes to mind for homeowner Cindy S., who is in the process of finalizing plans for a new family new home.

"It seems like every hour of the day we're making another major product decision," says Cindy. "We research our options and try to make the best choices, but there are some times that it feels like a crushing process."

After the family decided on a Bellaforté Shake roof from DaVinci Roofscapes, they thought their roofing decisions were over.  Not so fast.

"We average 54 inches a year of snowfall in our area, so people really encouraged us to get snow guards on the roof," says Cindy. "We were reluctant at first, because we didn't want to mar the look of the home's exterior. Then we did the smart thing --- we asked the folks at DaVinci what they advised.

"Without hesitation they recommended snow guards because of our geographic setting. Next they connected us with the experts at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards. That was our big turning point.

"The snow guard professionals were able to evaluate our roof plans and house design to determine the most strategic locations for the snow guards. They offered advice on which snow guards will work best for our roof and how many should be installed.

"When we expressed concerns about the appearance of the roof with snow guards, they even recommended we could have them powder coated to match the color of the synthetic shake roof tiles we selected. Sold! Now we're eager for construction to begin and can't wait to see what the roof and the snow guards will look like on our new home."

Do you have questions about lightweight roofing tiles and the need for snow guards? If so, see  Slip, Sliding Away... Might Need Snow Guards and  Q & A Guide to Snow Guards.

 

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Roofer Tips for Retrofitting Snow Guards

Spring weather often means phones are ringing with new business for roofers. Sometimes the calls are about roofs installed last year ... when the homeowners are reconsidering their decision not to put snow guards on their new composite roofing.

Polymer Roof TilesIf you're a roofer getting those calls, we can help. Lars Walberg, President of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, says roughly two-thirds of the snow guards his company sells are for retrofit applications. Here are his insights on what you need to know when you get the call from a homeowner ready to commit to snow guards.

Q: Which snow guards to you recommend for retrofit applications?

A: For DaVinci Roofscapes synthetic roofing material we recommend the SnowTrapper ST11 for all slate profiles, single-width and multi-width shake up to 9/12, and Bellaforté Shake up to 7/12. For Bellaforté Shake over 7/12 and slate profiles over 9/12, we recommend the RockyGuard RG10. (Click HERE for more product details)

Q: How are snow guards retrofitted to DaVinci synthetic shake and composite slate roof tiles?

A: Sealant should be applied to seal between the snow guard strap and the shingle. Snow guards are attached with two or three Woodbinder Screws. These screws are self-tapping, self-sealing and have coated heads to match the color of the snow guard.

Q: What tips do you have for installers regarding retrofitting snow guards?

A: It’s easy. The most important things are to place the snow guards so there is a significant space between the butt end of the shingle above and the pad face so the snow guard can “grab” the snow.  We recommend that the strap is showing equal to three times the thickness of the butt end of the shingles on pitches up to 6/12, and six times the thickness on pitches over 6/12.  It’s also important to mark the placement so the pattern is uniform.

For more insights from Walberg, see Ask the Experts: Snow Guards.

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Demystifying Snow Guards

What are those funny-looking "things" that poke up from rooftops in some areas of the country? They're snow guards --- and their function is to break apart snow as it melts so that snow masses don't come "avalanching down" on walkways and landscaping.

SnowguardsThere's a science to adding snow guards to a home or commercial structure in snow-prone areas. To understand the process better, we asked Lars Walberg, president of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, to walk us through the steps.

"First we look at a roof diagram for the building, either an aerial picture of an existing structure or architectural drawings of a new structure," says Walberg. "We ask the customer to identify areas over driveways, walks, dog runs, decks and other key 'traffic' locations. Then we design a snow guard system to help protect those eaves and areas from snow slides."

The science behind the operation comes in determining how many snow guards to specify, at which locations and to determine the snow load and retention.

"We've calculated and designed a number of different patterns of snow guards that are effective for different situations," says Walberg, whose company supplies snow guards for homes and buildings all across the country. "Steeper roofs, longer runs and the lower coefficient of friction of the roof covering all play a part in determining how many, what placement pattern and what snow guard will be most effective."

There's even more science involved. According to Walberg, placement distance of the snow guards from the eaves of the roof is a function of "eave to peak distance, pitch and snow load." Plus, there are different considerations if you're installing snow guards with synthetic shake roofing versus synthetic slate shingles.

"We're specifying a job in Minnesota right now with Bellaforté Shake from DaVinci Roofscapes," says Walberg. "For that project an RG10 snow guard is most effective because it has a larger and higher pad face. If the same house had Bellaforté Slate roofing, we'd most likely specify the SnowTrapper ST9 product because they're a lower profile snow guard and work well with the Bellaforté Slate product."

Need more details on snow guards? Then visit Slip, Sliding Away... Might Need Snow Guards and Snow Guards + Snow Fences = Smart Decision

 

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It's Never Too Late for Snow Guards

Are you in between major snow storms and regretting your decision not to have snow guards installed? Not to worry ... your roofer can retrofit snow guards to your DaVinci Roofscapes roof!

SnowguardsWhile the ideal situation is to install snow guards (which help break up melting snow so it doesn't avalanche down all at one time) when your polymer roofing is put in, retrofitting is definitely possible.

According to Lars Walberg, President of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, here's what roofers need to know about retrofit applications, "You need to apply sealant to the top of the DaVinci shingle where the snow guard will be placed. The snow guard is placed in the recommended pattern such that 2" of strap is showing between the face of the snow guard and the butt end of the shingle above. Then (2) 2.5" self tapping fasteners with gaskets are driven through the snow guard strap approximately 1/2" below the butt end of the shingle above, through the shingle and substrate until tight."

Walberg recommends the ST11 Snow Guard by SnowTrapper for this retrofit application. It comes in attractive copper or dark bronze coated aluminum at the Rocky Mountain Snow Guard website.

So, if you've got one eye on the weather report and another on your roof this month, stop worrying. Call your roofer and ask him to come back to your house to install snow guards. You'll sleep better at night with this worry eliminated, and your roof will thank you too!

PS - Need more information? Then see  Q & A Guide to Snow Guards

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Snow Guard Solutions in 2016

Congratulations ... you're ready to start 2016 by investing in a new designer roof from DaVinci Roofscapes. You've made all the arrangements except one ... the snow guards.

Snowguards"If you live in an area prone to snowfall or ice buildups, snow guards are essential for your polymer roof," says Tim Gentry with DaVinci Roofscapes. "Snow guards help prevent melting snow and ice from 'avalanching' down in one sheet, which can harm landscaping or people underneath."

There are many different types of snow guards. When selecting snow guards for use on DaVinci roofs, remember that they must have an attachment strap and be manufactured of long lasting- non-corrosive metals. The best types to use with DaVinci composite roofing are manufactured of copper, stainless steel or coated aluminum. Plastic snow guards that are attached with adhesive, typically used on metal roofs, are not recommended for DaVinci roofs.

If you'd like to add some added style to your roof, snow guards can be ordered in the shape of everything from eagles to flowers (see Stylish Snow Guards). To gain more details about the importance of snow guards, see Q & A Guide to Snow Guards and To Guard ... or Not to Guard.

 

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Snow Guards + Snow Fences = Smart Decision

Nestled amidst stunning mountain peaks and world-famous ski conditions, Fleur du Lac Estates near Lake Tahoe can experience heavy snowfall during the winter months. The property is just five minutes from Homewood Mountain Ski Resort, and the area usually sees snow in excess of 180 inches total. That's one reason why the community decided to incorporate snow fences and snow guards from Rocky Mountain Snow Guards into their newly-reroofed structures.

The previous buildings at Fleur du Lac Estates didn't have any type of snow retention system. When the community added DaVinci Roofscapes composite shake tiles this past year, they decided to make life easier for everyone by adding snow guards.

Rocky Mountain Snow Guards custom designed the snow retention system for Fleur du Lac Estates incorporating both their Drift III+ snow fences and the company's Rocky Guard RG10 snow guards. The system was developed to handle the 180 PSF snow load that can occur in this geographic location.

Snow Guards

 

"The snow guards are attached in a pattern above the snow fence that creates friction to hold the snow 'slab' in place while the snow fence provides a barrier beyond which the snow slab won't slide," says Lars Walberg, president of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards. "Using the combination of snow guards and snow fences gives this project a balanced snow retention system that has the 'look' the owners desired."

Need more information on snow guards for synthetic roofing systems? Then check out  Q & A Guide to Snow Guards and  Snow Retention Insights from DaVinci Roofscape.

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Doubling Up: Snow Guards and Snow Fence on Colorado Church

Members of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Centennial, Colorado now have a new DaVinci Roofscapes synthetic shake overhead. And, to make sure that potential snowfall doesn't cause troubles in the future, the smart-thinking roofing committee at the church decided to install both snow guards and snow fences during the polymer shake roof installation.

Snowguards"Snow fences were attached at the eaves over pedestrian areas of the church," says Lars Walberg, president of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, the company that supplied the snow retention products for the church. "We recommend snow fences be used above pedestrian or vehicular areas where even small releases of snow and ice could be problematic. Obviously church goers wouldn't want to have even a small amount of slushy snow drop onto them when coming to or leaving a church service or activity."

Walberg explains that snow guards were also used on the church --- to slow the movement of snow and generally hold the snow in place.

"When especially wet snow or especially light snow falls, it can (and will!) work its way past snow guards and drop off of the roof in small amounts," says Walberg. "The purpose of snow guards is to reduce or eliminate the potential for 'catastrophic releases' of snow and ice.

"A catastrophic release is when all of the snow on a polymer roof is released all at once. That type of release has the potential to damage property and cause injury."

With a wide array of snow guards and snow fences available for projects across the country, Rocky Mountain Snow Guards has supplied snow retention systems for other DaVinci roofing projects, including Colorado Townhome Community Topped with DaVinci Roofscapes Composite Shake Tiles. 

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Snow Worries

You've probably heard the nationwide winter weather forecast by now. It's a strong El Nino year and while that can mean a milder winter in northern states, there's no guarantees. The Farmer's Almanac predicts winter weather that repeats the brutal conditions of last year with unseasonably cold temperatures over the Atlantic Seaboard, eastern portions of the Great Lakes, and the lower peninsula of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, most of the Tennessee and Mississippi Valley, as well as much of the Gulf Coast.

snowguardsWhat's a homeowner to do? Get your roof ready with snow guards.

Take a snow globe and shake it. You'll see light snow settling on the roof. Shake it again and the snow moves away. Unfortunately that's not that easy when it comes to your home.

Accumulating snow can be very heavy. When it melts off composite roofing, it can slide off in an "avalanche". This can damage landscaping plus block garage doors and home entryways. (Check out  To Guard ... or Not to Guard)

Our advice at DaVinci Roofscapes is that, if you have simulated shake roofing or a composite slate roof, invest in snow guards. These small, durable pieces can be added to your roof by a professional roofer (called retrofitting) at any time. As snows melt, they help "break up" the snow so it doesn't come down in a sheet and cause harm.

Bundle up for the season ahead ... and make sure to take the steps necessary now so that you'll have "s-no-w worries" when the winter snows arrive!

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Snow Guards Needed for Synthetic Slate Roof

Tim Carter, founder of AsktheBuilder.com, has undertaken a special project this summer --- installing a DaVinci Roofscapes Single-Width Slate roof on his home. Because of the rough winters he experiences in New Hampshire, Tim decided to install Rocky Mountain Snow Guards on his new imitation slate roof.

SnowguardsQ: How much snow do you usually get in your area?

A: Average annual snowfall here is around five feet; but in the past six years, we've had a total snowfall of over 100 inches!

Q: You didn't have snow guards on your last roof ... why are you installing them this time?

A: My previous roof was traditional asphalt shingle and didn't require snow guards. Accumulated snow and ice locked themselves into the ceramic granules and had to be "raked" off the roof. My new DaVinci polymer roof tiles have a smooth surface. The snow guards will help "break up" melting snow. I know the snow will come down on its own with this imitation slate roof, saving me lots of work and hassle.

Q: Where did you install your snow guards?

A: On areas of the roof that are above pedestrian walkways and my rear deck.

Q: How did you like the Rocky Mountain snow guards, and how easy were they to install?

A: These are very substantial, high-quality snow guards. It was a breeze to install them. They come with pre-punched holes for the nails and a great diagram showing exactly where to put them on the roof.

Q: Would you recommend snow guards for other homeowners with composite roofing in snow-prone areas?

A: Absolutely. I've watched videos and seen what happens when you don't have snow guards. Giant slabs of hard, crusty snow weighing thousands of pounds can come off a roof with no notice or sound. I firmly recommend snow guards like these to either lock the snow on the roof or cut it up into smaller pieces as it slides off synthetic slate shingles or simulated shake roofing.

Need  more snow guard answers? See Q & A Guide to Snow Guards.

 

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Summertime Forecast: Snowguards!

Oh, how quickly we forget.

Just a few months ago a majority of the country was digging out from record snowfalls ... and now we're basking in the sunshine.

snowguardDon't let sizzling summer weather dull the memory of winter snowstorms. Now is the time to have snowguards retrofitted to your existing synthetic roofing material ... long before they're needed when the snow starts to fall again this coming winter.

Snowguards act as "breaking barriers" as snow melts and slides off the roof. Rather than experiencing an avalanche of snow that comes down all at one time and can harm landscaping and block doorways, snowguards help regulate the release of snow from your polymer roof tiles.

If you have DaVinci Roofscapes composite roofing and your home doesn't currently have snowguards, contact a professional roofer to have them installed (see Prepping Your Composite Roof for Winter Weather). Even though you're sipping icy lemonade right now, you'll thank yourself in a few months when there's a cup of hot chocolate in your hand and snow coming down from the sky!

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Springtime Snow Guard Installations for Synthetic Roofing Material

Whew! Winter is gone and so is the snow. Think back though ... if you have synthetic roofing material on your home, how did your roof perform this winter?

SnowguardsChances are, if you had a good deal of snowfall in your area AND you have snow guards on  your roof, your home did just fine. But, if you didn't have snow guards added when your imitation slate or simulated shake roofing was installed, you may have been the unhappy recipient of "snowfall dump" as large masses of snow slid off your roof as the snows warmed in the sun's rays.

Now --- during the sunny months of Spring and Summer --- is the time to have snow guards retrofitted into your DaVinci Roofscapes polymer roof tiles.

Snow guard installation is best left to an experienced roofer. The selected snow guards are installed on composite roofing shingles around the perimeter of your roof, usually on the lower portion. Their function is to create friction between the roof's surface and the snow/ice that settles on your roof. The snow guards help break apart melting snows so that you don't have an avalanche of snowfall coming down all at one time on your landscaping or in front of your entry doors.

The folks at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards offer a variety of snow guards especially designed to work effectively with polymer roofing. They also stock an assortment of colors to match your composite roofing. For more information on the background and philosophy of snow guards, click HERE.

For more details on snow guards, see Ask the Experts: Snow Guards and On Guard for Winter Weather ... with Snow Retention Systems.

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Record Snowfalls Remind Us to Have Snowguards for Composite Roofing

At least eight feet of snow fell in the Boston area this past winter season --- probably more by the time you read this story. Record-breaking amounts of snow have also been recorded in Buffalo and other northeastern areas of the country.

If you live in the snow-socked North or Midwest, you'd better have snow guards on your polymer roofing.

What are snow guards? As the sun warms accumulated snow on a composite shake or imitation slate roof, the masses of accumulated snow can slide off in large chunks, causing an avalanche effect. Snow guards are small metal pieces that are strategically placed on your luxury roof (usually on the bottom portions) to help the snows melt more evenly to reduce the avalanche effect.

At DaVinci Roofscapes, we recommend that all homeowners living in areas that routinely see snowfall each year have snow guards installed. This way the melting snows won't come down and harm your landscaping, deck areas or people who may be nearby when the snow slides.

Even if your roof does not have snow guards on it now, they can be retrofitted to your plastic slate or composite shake roof this Spring. The small, sturdy accessories or anchors can be installed by a professional roofer during warmer weather to prepare your home for next winter.

For more details on snow guards, see To Guard ... or Not to Guard and Slip, Sliding Away... Might Need Snow Guards.

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I Should Have Gotten Snow Guards

A freak hail storm three years ago in western North Carolina destroyed my asphalt roof shingles. Happily, that damage led to my insurance company authorizing a full roof replacement and my selection of Bellaforté simulated slate roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes.

Snow GuardsLiving far from the mountains near Asheville is great. Terrific views, lots of activities and very little chance of snowstorms and severe weather --- until this winter.

Two weeks ago an unexpected storm left behind a thick one-inch coating of ice on everything, including my imitation slate tiles. When the sun finally warmed our area, huge sheets of ice came crashing off my roof. Why? Because I didn't order snow guards for my new manufactured slate roof.

Thinking this was a rare occurrence, I lived with the noisy explosions of sliding ice until the roof was clear. Then, a week later I knew my mistake of not ordering snow guards was coming back to haunt me. A frigid weather system dumped 8 inches of snow in my area overnight. As soon as the sun rose, massive sheets of snow came avalanching down on my bushes. The thunderous and unexpected sound had my heart beating quickly and my nervous dogs barking uncontrollably.

Lesson learned. Even though storms in my area are indeed rare, I'm looking into getting snow guards this Spring for my synthetic slate roofing. Once installed, the ice and snow will melt more evenly to reduce the massive slides off my imitation slate shingles ... resulting in saving my shrubbery and my sanity.

For more details on the benefits of snow guards for composite roofing, see Slip, Sliding Away... Might Need Snow Guards and Fake Slate Shingles and Snow Guards.

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Ask the Experts: Snow Guards

If you install polymer roofing in a snowy region, you need to know Lars Walberg. As the president of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, Inc., Lars and his son Clay are experts at snow retention systems. At DaVinci Roofscapes, we work closely with Lars and thought you'd benefit from learning more about his company and experiences.

Q: What sets your company apart in the marketplace?

A: We're one of only four manufacturers in the United States that design and sell complete snow retention systems for any type of roofing system, whether on a residence or commercial project. We sold more than 900 systems last year. And, we offer a 50-year warranty on our systems when installed in accordance with our designs.

 

Q: Your site shows a wide variety of snow retention systems. How does a roofer know which one is best to use on their roofing project?

A: The best thing to do is go to our website, www.rockymountainsnowguards.com. That's where a contractor can go to SEARCH BY ROOF TYPE to find the appropriate snow guard and retention system for their project. There's also an online request form there or roofers can call us at 877-414-7606.

 

Q: Let's talk specifically about synthetic roofing materials. What advice do you have for roofers installing or retrofitting composite slate or synthetic shake roofs?

A: First of all, roofers need to understand that all polymer roof tiles are slippery and won't hold snow, regardless of the pitch. Snow will definitely slide off composite roofing, even if you have a low 4/12 pitch. In fact, show will accumulate more on a lower pitch than on a higher pitch before it slides, which can cause greater potential for damage.

 

Q: So, what should a roofer do?

A: Make sure snow guards are properly specified and installed --- and don't skimp on them. We run into situations where contractors buy a box of 50 or 100 snow guards for a 40 or 50 square roof. One or two snow guards per 100 square feet of roofing area just won't do the job. The polymer designer roof needs a "system" to reduce the potential for a "catastrophic release" where all the snow comes down in an avalanche and has the potential to harm people and property.

 

Q: Finally, what's the most popular snow retention type product for DaVinci imitation slate shingles and simulated shake roofing?

A: The SnowTrapper line is the most popular of our products for DaVinci luxury roofs. We have different models that work for each DaVinci product for both new and retrofit applications and we're happy to work directly with roofers on their product selections.

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En Garde!

The sport of fencing and the equipping of polymer roofing with snow guards share several commonalities, the most notably being the phrase "en garde!" ... or in the English language, "on guard!"

While the French shout "en garde" at the outset of a fencing match to warn participants to take their defensive positions, the team at DaVinci Roofscapes encourages you to be "on guard" if you live in a snow-prone area and have composite roofing. Oftentimes when snowfall mounts up on an imitation slate or synthetic shake roof, there can be "avalanches" of snow release when the sun comes out and the roof warms up.

Snow guards to the rescue.

Snow guards on polymer roof

 

Strategically placed on a composite slate roof or cedar shake alternative roof, snow guards help "break up" the snow as it melts, to reduce the chance of a snow avalanche coming down on shrubbery, walkways and people. Snow guards allow your roof to "parry" (a defensive technique found in fencing!) by helping control snow movement and the rate of the melting snow leaving your luxury roof. When doing their job properly, snow guards should help break down the roof's snow mass into smaller and safer sections.

While snow guards won't ever be considered an Olympic sport like fencing, they do display some of the same basic attack and parry techniques as fencing --- except their opponent is heavy snow accumulation!

For  more insights on snow guards, see these stories: Got Snow? Better Get Snowguards! and Are Snowguards Really Necessary?

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