Is Your Roof Ready For Winter?

As a roofing professional, you might not be as acquainted with composite roof as you ‘d like to be, particularly when it pertains to understanding how the product performs in winter weather.

These are some of the top questions roofer get about snow, snow slides and guards.

Q: Does snow slide off of a composite shake or slate roofing?

A: Snow has the tendency to move off all roofing systems, however is more likely to move off metal, natural slate, glazed tile, and composite tiles. This is due to some of the exact same physical attributes that help to make synthetic roofings so long lasting and gorgeous. Some roof products have smooth surface areas and don’t soak up water. This means that snow and ice have no location to “grip” as it might with some other roofing products. When snow starts to melt from a warm attic beneath, the snow blanket on top may slide off the roof all at once. Sometimes this is an “avalanche” result, which can be hazardous to individuals standing beneath and to valued landscaping.

Q: What is the solution?

A: Installing a pattern of snow guards or attaching snow fences near the eave can minimize or remove snow slides. Guards work by adding friction to the roofing. Snow fences on the other hand, create a barrier to prevent snow motion. Snow guards are the preferred item for many areas while snow fences are used in really high snow areas like ski resorts.

Q: Who should think about snow guards?

A: Snow guards ought to be thought about in parts of the nation where building up snowfalls happen. Many roofings or parts of roofs may not need any snow guards at all. In fact, some structures are developed so that snow will slide off of the roofing, decreasing the tension on the structure.

Q: How do I understand if your house I’m re-roofing needs snow retention?

A: It all depends upon exactly what the snow may fall on as it slides off of the roofing system. If you’re setting up composite roof in a geographic area where there is regular snowfall, then snow guards should be highly suggested to the house owners. The placement of snow guards should be considered on roofing locations where moving snow may arrive on individuals or home. Decks, doorways, walkways and driveways are obvious examples of such areas.

Q: What snow guards should I use?

A: There are various types of snow guards. The best types to use with composite roof items are produced of copper, stainless steel or covered aluminum. Plastic snow guards, typically used on metal roofing systems, are not recommended for composite roofs.

Q: I set up a composite roofing last summertime without snow guards. The homeowners had bad winter experiences with snow sliding off the roof. Can I return in and retrofit snow guards on composite roofs?

A: Yes. While the very best time to set up snow guards is when a composite roofing is being set up, they can be retrofitted. There are snow guards readily available that are specifically designed to be installed after a roof has been installed. These are called retro-fit snow guards and this kind of snow guard won’t jeopardize the integrity, guarantee or longevity of a composite roof.

Q: What is the actual process of identifying where snow guards should be placed on a roofing system?

A: Great question, and I’m leaning on a professional to respond to the concern. Lars Walberg is president of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards. Here are the actions he’s recommending:

” First we take a look at a roofing system diagram for the structure, either an aerial image of an existing structure or architectural drawings of a brand-new structure,” says Walberg. “We ask the roofer or house owner to identify locations over driveways, walks, dog runs, decks and other key ‘traffic’ places. Then we create a snow guard system to help secure those eaves and locations from snow slides.”

Inning accordance with Walberg, the science behind the operation can be found in determining how many guards to specify, at which places and to identify the snow load and retention.

” We’ve computed and created a number of various patterns of snow guards that are effective for different situations,” states Walberg, “Steeper roofs, longer runs and the lower coefficient of friction of the roof covering all play a part in identifying how many, what placement pattern and what snow guard will be most efficient.”

There’s a lot more science involved. Walberg says that the placement range of the snow guards from the eaves of the roof is a function of “eave to peak range, pitch and snow load.” Plus, there are various factors to consider if you’re installing snow guards with artificial shake roofing versus synthetic slate shingles.

click here to find out more on how to prepare your roof for the winter.