Hiring A Contractor To Install Your Snow Guards

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The snow is finally melting away and the flowers are beginning to bloom. That means one thing…roof and gutter repairs!!! While the majority of our snow guards can be installed by just about any DIY-er, sometimes the job is better left to a skilled professional. Typically, contacting a roofer is the next step. Finding the right roofer, however, can be a challenging and confusing task. Below is a list of helpful tips to assist you in choosing the right roofing contractor and getting the best service for your money.

Insurance is a must

Make sure that your contractor has worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Ask to see the certificates and actually call the insurance carrier to confirm that they are valid.

This keeps all bids on a level playing field, knowing that part of the cost of the roof and the service being provided to you is protected with the security of coverage.

Choose a local contractor

Make sure that the company that you choose is local. This means that they are not just operating locally now, but have an established business and reputation in the community.

Customer’s, all too often, get into situations where they need a repair or other warranty work, only to find that the company they hired to install their roof closed, moved or vanished. It is very easy to provide a piece of paper, but the warranty is only as good as the longevity and reputation of the company.

Price isn’t everything

Never choose a company based on price. Cheap bids drive down the market and anyone with overhead and proper insurance has to establish pricing to cover such costs.

Those that do work on the side or are just working out of a pick-up truck can always do the work cheaper. But in the long run, you get what you pay for. Customers that are sold on price, as their sole criteria, ultimately end up spending more money to fix problems, and many of these problems would have been covered under a workmanship guarantee by a reputable established roofing company.

Avoid storm chasers

Steer clear of the knock-on-the-door, “We were in your neighborhood” roofers. This is just canvassing and selling. Pick a roofer from a referral or a sign in your area that has a satisfied client on the other end.

If you are approached by this technique, call your agent and ask for a recommendation. The majority of these roofers will tell you that you have storm damage and have you sign a letter of intent. Don’t be pressured by forceful tactics. You never have to sign an intent letter. Wait to see the contracts and take your time in reviewing.

Get job details in writing

We suggest that you don’t give funds until the work is complete. Make sure that you are satisfied with the result and that the terms of payment were discussed prior to the job and adhered to by both parties.

Make sure that you ask how long a job will take. You need to have a clear idea of what size of crew they will have and a completion day.

Communication is paramount

Did they return your calls? Did they send the documentation that you asked them to send? Did they follow through? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then make sure you communicate your concerns to the company representative.

If they still can’t make good on their promises, walk away. Communication is key to every business. If you aren’t getting what you need on the front end when they are trying to get your business, what will happen once you have committed the work to them?

Spring is the perfect time to begin thinking about purchasing and installing snow guards on your roof. Do it while it is fresh in your mind. Take a look at your roof and gutters, then remind yourself that you do not want to pay for damage ever again. Decide if you are able to install yourself of if you need to hire a contractor. If an installer is needed, follow the steps laid out above and you will be on your way to a pleasant non-stressful experience.

 

Sielfleisch, Chris. “6 Tips for Choosing a Roofing Contractor.” Angie’s List. Angie’s List, 08 Jan. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

 

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Sealing Snow Guards And Winter Ice Expansion

1As we near the end of winter, it is not too late to start thinking about snow guards. Actually, this is the perfect time to start planning for installation in the Spring. This is especially true for our customers who are choosing to install their guards with our Surebond SB-190 adhesive. This installation method requires approximately 28 days at 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) or above to reach a full cure.  Whether installing snow guards with adhesive or mechanically with screws and sealant, there is one major rule that must be followed. The sealant or adhesive MUST cover the entire base of the guard to create a full seal. Cutting corners during this step can lead to costly repairs and major headaches.

Winter weather brings many forms of precipitation, each with its own set of issues.  These can lead to guard failures or leaks, if a proper seal is not achieved. Most liquids have a simple behavior when they are cooled (at a fixed pressure): they shrink. Water is one of the few exceptions to this behavior. When liquid water is cooled, it contracts like one would expect until a temperature of approximately 4 degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) is reached. After that, it expands slightly until it reaches the freezing point, and then when it freezes it expands by approximately 9%. The constant cycle of melting and re-freezing on metal roofs can cause water to seep into the cracks and air-pockets between a snow guard and your roof. The pressure of rushing rain-water can also allow liquid to force itself between the guard and your roof.  The expansion of this frozen water can pry the guard away from the roof, potentially causing guard disengagement from the roof and/or leaks where the screw holes are no longer protected. While this will rarely cause damage to the guard itself, corrosion to the panel and/or warping and rotting of the roof’s wooden structure can become costly repairs once warmer weather reveals winter’s damage.

2When installing snow guards, it is vital to their installation for a proper seal to be created over the entire base by applying a liberal coating or either sealant or adhesive. Once the base is covered, press the guard against your roof with enough pressure for any air-pockets or gaps to be completely filled. This should also result in oozing around the outside edge. A gloved finger can be ran around the outside perimeter of the guard to remove excess and to also complete the guard’s seal. A few extra seconds can make a world of difference when it comes to your snow guard system’s performance. Don’t allow expanding ice to remove your hard work!

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10 Interesting Snow Related Facts

While you are are shopping for snow guards, here are 10 things you may not know about snow.

1. It Has Snowed as Far South as San Diego and Miami … and Hawaii

The city of San Diego has had numerous reports of snow flurries, accumulating to a trace on two occasions. Los Angeles has recorded accumulating snow on three occasions, including up to 2 inches in 1932.

Brownsville, Texas, recorded 1.5 inches of snow on Christmas Day 2004. This is that city’s only measurable snowfall dating back to 1895.

In 1977, it snowed in Miami and Homestead, Florida, dusting cars and palm trees in tropical Dade County. This was not a measurable amount, and the history books list this snow as a trace. Key West has never seen snow.

You might also be surprised to learn that Hawaii sees snow every year, and even more so, that snow can fall in Hawaii in any month. As you would expect, the snow that falls in Hawaii is confined to its highest elevations, including Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island along with Haleakala on Maui Island.

2. It Can Snow at Temperatures Well Above Freezing

It has snowed at over 40 degrees on numerous occasions, at the surface. Theoretically, according to ScienceBits.com, it can snow up to around 46 degrees.

For snow to occur at temperatures above 40 degrees, the humidity has to be very low, because as snow falls, the flakes evaporate and cool. Evaporation is more efficient when it is dry.

3. Snow Is a Mineral

According to the National Snow & Ice Data Center, snow is a mineral because it is a naturally occurring solid, inorganically formed, and has a definite chemical composition.

4. Snowflakes as Large as Dinner Plates?

Individual snow crystals are small, but sometimes they stick together and create a much larger snowflake.

On rare occasions, snowflakes as large as dinner plates have been observed, according to Kenneth G. Libbrecht, a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology.

The largest individual snow crystal ever observed by Libbrecht was 0.4 inches from tip to tip.

5. In the Lower 48, Colorado Holds the Record for Most Snow to Fall in a 24-Hour Period

Silver Lake, Colorado, received 75.8 inches of snow in a 24-hour period back in 1921.

Elsewhere in the United States, Alaska received 78 inches in 24 hours at Mile 47 Camp in north-central Alaska in 1963.

6. Not Every Windy Snowstorm Is a Blizzard

According to the National Weather Service, blizzard conditions are met when sustained winds of 35 mph or greater last for three hours or more, and visibility is reduced by falling or blowing snow to less than a quarter-mile frequently for the same period of time.

7. Snow Isn’t Always White

Snow is actually translucent and reflects upward of 90 percent of light that reaches the surface of the snow. Very little light is absorbed in snow, and no particular colors are absorbed more than others. This is the reason snow appears bright white, especially as it is falling.

In fact, naturally accumulating snow can appear blue or even pink. Just like in glaciers, deep snow can attain a deep blue hue as red light gets trapped in deeper pockets of snow. The deeper the snow is, the bluer it can become.

In some higher terrain, snow can be pink due to algae that grows there.

8. Snowflakes Can Be the Same

In 1988, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) found two identical snow crystals. Similar results have been produced in laboratories. Did we really think that of the infinite amount of snow produced around the world each year, no two flakes are identical? That seems improbable.

9. There Are Many Forms of Snow

When we think about snow, most of us think of the beautiful dendrites. According to snowcrystals.com, there are at least 35 types of snowflakes.

To see some of these types, check out the slideshow below.

10. The Biggest Snowball Fight Was in …

Saskatoon, Canada. More than 7,600 winter warriors came out to throw snow at each other on Jan. 31, 2016.

Contact us today for more information about snow guards and snow retention systems for your roofing project. 

Belles, J. (2016, November 11). 10 Facts About Snow That Might Surprise You. Retrieved January 5, 2017, from https://weather.com/science/weather-explainers/news/ten-facts-about-snow

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Modern Vent Pipe And Chimney Stack Protection

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One of our most common complaints from customer is the damage caused by sliding ice and snow that bends and breaks their ventilation pipes. They typically have little protection from being crushed or sheared during an ice and snow slide. Pipe boots are often damaged, leading to roof leaks and costly repair bills.

There are several ways to protect vent-pipes, chimney pipes, and masts from unnecessary damage. We typically recommend installing snow guards in addition to vent protection as a means of damage prevention.

Most snow guards are designed to hold ice and snow in place until it can safely melt off. They are properly installed when installed in multiple rows, spaced evenly up the slope. In the event that a full snow guard system is not required for a particular project, a pointed cutting guard can be used just above the vent-pipes to reduce the chances of damage. This type of installation is commonly referred to as “Isolated Placement” and is not recommended for use with flat faced snow guards. The strategy of an isolated pattern, using a pointed snow guard system, is to spread the pattern in an arrow shape to break ice and snow into smaller pieces helping minimize vent pipe damage. The Snowbreaker from IceBlox, Inc. is a good example of this type of cutting guard. It can be installed 3 ways; glue, mechanical fasteners, or peel and stick.

Some customers choose to install devices known as crickets or saddles. These products are used to divert ice and snow around the upper side of a chimney or vent pipe. Crickets are typically made from metal and may even be covered in the same materials as the roof.

A newer method for combating this problem comes in the form of the VentSaver product by IceBlox, Inc. Ventsaver is available in three different sizes to accommodate different pipe sizes. These devices, often referred to as “cricket eliminators”, help prevent crushed vent-pipes by splitting and diverting the snow while also adding support to the vent-pipes, chimneys or masts. The fin design cuts through packed ice and snow, causing the snow slide to divert around the pipe, and to assist in shedding the ice and snow from the roof. Up until quite recently, these products were only for use with exposed fastener roofing. Now an adapter plate is also available for mounting on most standing seam roofs.

Between late spring and early fall is the best time to plan and install snow retention systems while the weather is good and the roofs are clear. Installation options start to become limited once the temperatures drop and the snow starts falling. Call for more information.

 

 

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Color Matching Snow Guards– What If My Roof Isn’t New?

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Many of our customers have the luxury of owning brand new metal roofs. With the hundreds of available roofing manufacturers today, color options are nearly endless. Home and building owners now have more freedom of expression than ever before.  When it comes to matching colors for our Stainless Steel Snow Guards and our Snobar/Colorbar systems, a new roof is ideal. We have access to hundreds of colors, covering the broad spectrum of shades and hues available in today’s roofing market. Most of the time, simply knowing the manufacturer of your new roof is enough information for us to determine a proper match for your snow guard system. Correct matching, in these instances, can be achieved simply by looking at the manufacturer’s color chart and finding a corresponding powder.

There are other times, however, when a customer may decide to install guards on an older roof. If your roof has become faded or discolored, do not lose hope. There are a couple of options that will allow you to ensure the best possible color match for your roof. When dealing with customers with older roofs, we require a physical sample to be mailed to our headquarters in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. Once the sample arrives, we can match it against our color selection. The best samples are those that are small pieces of the existing roof. Many times these small samples are taken from areas of the roof that are not visually obvious. Other customers will choose to remove a color-matched fastener from the roof and send that in. If neither of these options seems like the right choice for you, there is still one more type of sample that you could provide. A paint swatch from your local hardware store could be the perfect solution for this problem! Paint swatches are free and readily available to anyone! Simply select a couple of cards that closely resemble your roof, then send us the closest match and we will get to work.

We, unfortunately, cannot match your color based on a photograph. Printed photos rely on ink that may not produce an exact match to your roof. This, paired with different camera settings used to take the photos can cause quite a headache for our specialists. Digital photos, provided via email, are also not accepted. No two monitors have the same color settings. Colors can change dramatically when translated digitally. For these reasons, a physical sample is always your best bet.

When choosing snow guards for your roof, custom colors can add an extra bit of style to your roof. We are here to make sure that you get exactly what you are looking for. Don’t let your investment become an eye sore. Contact us today and don’t forget….it’s never too late to teach an old roof new tricks.

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Snojax I – The Guard That Started It All!

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For over 35 years, we have been bringing you the best in polycarbonate snow guards for your roof. However, the Snojax I is the one that started it all! This cornerstone of the non-metallic snow guard industry was invented by Jack McMullen in 1976.

Jack had been a metal building dealer for the construction industry for many years. He had seen the materials and methods that homeowners and contractors were using to retain snow. At the time, people in snow areas fought rooftop avalanches by attaching small upright strips of wood or metal across the lower part of their roofs. While these attachments often worked, they led to other troubles for home and building owners alike. Wood would soften and rot while inexpensive cast metal guards would often lead to ugly stains on rooftops. Jack began researching better materials to improve snow guard performance and reliability. Polycarbonate had just recently become available, a clear, UV stabilized thermoplastic resin that has high impact strength and excellent resistance to extreme heat and cold. After testing and prototyping with this new material, the Snojax I was born.

The Snojax I is the “original” clear snow guard designed to be mechanically fastened through the roof panel into a structural purlin or support below. Because of the unique straddling design, they fit most brands of mechanically fastened 36” panels with three 12” flats of four 9” flats. Molded mounting holes are provided in the base of this guard for mechanical fastening and eliminate the need for pre-drilling when used with a self-tapping #14 screw. Because of the narrow design of the feet, adhesive mounting is not recommended. Professional independent testing demonstrated that the Snojax I holds 1,800 pounds when attached with #14 screws. All tests were performed simulating realistic snow loading conditions applied to the face of the guard.

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This patented product has stood the test of time and is an aesthetically appealing, low cost solution to the problem of sliding snow and ice on metal roofing. The Snojax I has been a proven and reliable solution for decades and is still popular with our contractors and DIY homeowners alike. The Snojax I remains a staple among the snow guard industry and is still heralded for its high quality and unique styling. This clear guard is still a top seller even after all of these years. We have the originator, Jack McMullen, to thank for that.

Start your project with a FREE Layout at www.SpacingTool.com.

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SNOBLOX DEUCE – OUR MOST POPULAR AND MOST VERSATILE SNOW GUARD

untitledFor over 35 years, we have been bringing the best in polycarbonate snow guards for your roof. One of our guards has stood out among its peers to become our most popular guard that we sell to this day. The American made SnoBlox Deuce has revolutionized the polycarbonate snow guard industry with its low profile forward mounted 2.5″ high face and its sleek 1.5″ wide waffled tapered back base that fits most roof panels without rib straddling. This patented product has stood the test of time and is an aesthetically appealing, low cost solution to the problem of sliding snow and ice on metal roofing. Its mounting versatility allows it to be both mechanically attached and adhesive mounted on screw down roofs with a 1.5″ flat area. Starter points are provided for mechanical fastening and eliminate the need for pre-drilling when used with a self-tapping #14 screw. This guard is also able to be mounted with adhesive on floating standing seam roof systems, where mechanical mounting is not appropriate. The waffled base provides almost triple the bonding power of a smooth bottom guard in its size category. This guard also has the added benefit of being produced in 11 stock colors along with a recycled finish, known as the Ecoblox. Professional ATI tests demonstrated that the SnoBlox Deuce held 3456 pounds when attached with #14 screws and 1379 pounds when attached with the SB-190 adhesive. All tests were performed simulating realistic snow loading conditions applied to the face of the guard. When installed with adhesive, the best time of year to install these guards is in the late spring through summer. It is important to install with Surebond SB-190 and allow for approximately 28 days at 50 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the proper cure. Layout assistance can be found on our online calculator at www.SpacingTool.com Because of the Deuce’s almost universal fit potential, this snow guard is preferred both among our wholesalers and also our consistent customers who order in bulk quantities to take advantage of our volume-discounts.
SAM_0027 The Deuce’s 1.5″ base is designed to make it the most universal fit snow guard in the industry.  It is compatible with every metal panel in the industry that allows for a 1.5″ wide flat mounting area.  For this reason and also because it is available in multiple colors, the SnoBlox Deuce makes it our #1 seller. The next time that you are looking for a snow guard for your project, think of the SnoBlox Deuce!

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OUT OF SIGHT SHOULD NOT BE OUT OF MIND (WINTER IS ONLY 7 MONTHS AWAY)

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Snow guards are about the last thing on any consumer’s mind, now that the warmth of spring is upon us. Winter’s snow and ice are being forgotten as hats, gloves, and boots are being replaced with windbreakers and sandals. This winter, however, was a big one and should be remembered. If you are a home or building owner, this is the most important time of the year for you to begin thinking about and researching snow retention while it is still fresh in your mind.

Many of our customers assume that we are busiest during the winter months, but that simply is not true. This is due, almost entirely, to the fact that many of our products cannot be installed during the winter. Now that the temperature is beginning to rise, we are heading into the perfect time for installation of our polycarbonate guards with adhesive.  Surebond SB-190 is the industry standard for snow guard installation and the one that we trust for use with our products. Its tensile strength, long life expectancy, and ease of application make it the preferred adhesive here at SnoBlox. Warm temperatures, however, are critical for this adhesive to function properly. Surebond SB-190 requires approximately 28 days at 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) or above in order to achieve a proper cure. While temps below 50 degrees will not harm the adhesive or guards, it will extend the curing time.

Some of our competitors attempt to discredit polycarbonate snow guards with horror stories of failures. The part that they won’t tell you is that these failures are almost always attributed to not obtaining or following a manufacturer’s project-specific spacing layout. Every roof is different and the slightest change in pitch, panel length, or ground snow load can have a major impact on the performance of your system. Not every roof can get away with a single row of guards (regardless of the method of installation). Most projects require multiple staggered rows up the slope of the roof. The main purpose of a high quality snow guard is to hold snow and ice in place, allowing it to melt and then drain into your gutters. This field-style layout allows the weight of the snow and ice to be equally distributed over the entire roof’s surface. Snow guards that are only installed along a roof’s eave are often tasked with playing goalie to heavy, high-momentum snow and ice packs. These fast sliding avalanches will often disengage snow guards from the roof and can also cause them to break. This is considered improper installation and often results in higher costs for repairs than what may have been saved by initially cutting corners.

When planning your snow retention system, the first step should be to visit www.SpacingTool.com. This free and user-friendly site will walk you through creating a proper layout for your project. Simple step-by-step instructions make this process quick and painless. Your project specific layout can be completed in a matter of minutes. An email will be sent directly to you with a shopping list and a pictorial diagram showing the proper spacing for your roof. Once you have finished and selected the snow guard that you will be installing, you can then order directly from www.SnoBlox.com or give us a call at 1-800-766-5291 to speak with one of our friendly sales staff.

Your snow guard order will be processed and shipped out same or next day. Installation instructions are included with every shipment along with a coupon code for any additional products that may be needed to finish the job.

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You want to spend your time enjoying this weather and cooking with that expensive grill…not worrying about it getting crushed this winter by sliding snow and ice. Act now and get back to enjoying your spring!

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IceBlox Inc. Wins Metal Roofing Magazine’s 2016 Metal of Honor

Metal Of Honor 2016 Half PageWe are proud to announce that IceBlox, Inc. has been awarded the 2016 Metal of Honor from Metal Roofing Magazine for the 7th consecutive year. We are honored to win this prestigious award for our superior snow guards.  Since our company’s inception, we strive to continue the legacy of innovation and quality that Jack McMullen began over 40 years ago. His son Brion McMullen operates our company today, with that same philosophy and drive.

Since the first ever polycarbonate snow guard, the Snojax 1, came off of the assembly line in 1976, we continue to maintain the same level of quality in our products today. All of our products are proudly “Made in the USA” and while that sometimes doesn’t make us the least expensive, it does make us the best!

Our customer service is second to none. Live support is only a phone call away with skilled technicians who will be happy to help you with all of your questions and concerns. Our customized layout program, SpacingTool.com is also available 24/7.  This user-friendly and revolutionary system allows for one-stop shopping and makes the headache of guesswork a thing of the past. Free use and fast calculation allows our customer to get back to the real work at hand. Same or next-day order processing ensures some of the shortest lead times in the business.

We thank Metal Roofing Magazine and their readers for once again awarding our tireless efforts. Whether you are looking for snow guards, vent pipe protection, bar systems or gutter leaf protection, you can count on IceBlox, Inc. to provide you with the best products on the market and the best customer service in the industry.

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Break Up Dangerous Sliding Snow and Ice With SnowBreaker

 

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Winter Storm Jonas recently blanketed the East coast with historic snow levels, rivaling snowstorms of the recent past. Over 14 states received more than a foot of snow. Mount Mitchell, North Carolina took the crown at 66 inches from the storm — a new record for them, beating the 50 inches they measured during the Blizzard of 1993.  At least 6 locations in the East reported their largest record snowfalls ever as well. Allentown PA, BWI, Harrisburg PA, LaGuardia Airport, JFK Airport, and Newark NJ all beat previous records dating as far back as 1888. Storms like this one can be a harsh reminder of just how critical snow retention is for both new and pre-existing buildings.

Typically, our customers are able to solve their roofs’ snow and ice problems with one of our standard snow guard systems. Whether polycarbonate or stainless steel, the majority of the roofs that we sell products for can accommodate a guard system that equally distributes the load of snow and ice over their entire surface. This allows for the snow and ice to melt in place and drain safely from the roof into the buildings’ gutters and downspouts. There are circumstances, however, when our customers may choose to not keep the snow and ice on their roof for an extended period of time. In these cases, a different product is needed to help the snow and ice safely shed from the roof.SAM_0473

IceBlox Inc. has developed the perfect solution for these situations with our revolutionary product called SnowBreaker. As snow and ice shed from a roof, these cost-effective products minimize the danger by slicing the frozen snow and ice into small pieces.  The forward cutting edge and the tucked-back rear support form a triangular shape that acts like a fin to split up the frozen precipitation.  SnowBreaker’s design allows the snow and ice to slowly shed itself from the panel while the guard slices it into safer, smaller pieces before reaching the roof’s edge.  This can be most beneficial in areas where winter weather conditions can sometimes exceed the roof snow load design.

An added benefit for our customers comes from the ability to install this product using 3 different methods of attachment. Those with standing seam roofing, where mechanical attachment is not an option, can install the SnowBreaker using Surebond SB-190 adhesive. (Keep in mind that installation using this method requires 28 days at approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve proper curing). Customers with exposed fastener roofing have the choice to use the adhesive method or mechanically with screws. The SnowBreaker’s design includes molded starter points for easy installation using #14 self-tapping fasteners. For customers who do not wish to penetrate their panels, but also cannot meet the temperature requirements for Surebond SB-190, there is still one other method of attachment available.

The SnowBreaker 3M – Peel and Stick, uses pre-attached 3M brand adhesive tape. The cutting edge design reduces significant sheer load so it is an ideal peel and stick solution for year round and/or winter time installation. Customers who purchase the SnowBreaker 3M are provided with adequate sealant for application around the entire perimeter.

The SnowBreaker and SnowBreaker 3M are revolutionizing the industry one building at a time…will yours be next? See our entire line of snow guards here.

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