Summer is in full swing and you just finished installing a beautiful, new metal roof on your home. It still has that new roof smell and has quickly become the envy of your neighborhood. I hate to mention it, but you can’t relax just yet. Even though the mercury in your thermometer is climbing towards 100 degrees, now is the time when you should be thinking about snow guards. It seems like winter is a long way off in the distance, but with every passing moment, it looms ever closer. You need to utilize this heat and use it to your advantage. You haven’t a moment to lose!
Metal roofing is quickly becoming a must-have for homeowners nationwide. Metal roofing provides lasting style that increases curb appeal and overall value to any home, but it is not without its faults. The clean lines of your new metal roof might look stunning, but its surface is also extremely slick. Unlike asphalt roofs that have snow retaining texture, metal roofing provides no grip for ice and snow. This results in dangerous avalanches that damage property and cause injury to people every winter. Luckily, the solution to this problem is simple; YOU NEED SNOW GUARDS!
Currently, the most architecturally pleasing style of roofing is standing seam. The floating nature of this panel allows it to be installed without visible fasteners to add additional visual cleanliness. Clips, hidden under the panels, are mechanically mounted to the roof and then are used as the attachment points. Because these metal panels are not mechanically mounted to your roof, snow guards should be either glued on or clamped to your seams with a continuous bar system. Mechanical fastening of snow guards to a standing seam roof will normally result in loss of your manufacturer warranty and deformation of the panels with subsequent roof leaks. Individual seam-mounted snow guards are not recommended because they tend to twist and damage the seam under snow load. Adhesive mounted snow guards are usually the best option to avoid roof leaks.
You know that glue down guards are needed for your roof….but do they work? The answer is a resounding YES, but only if they are installed correctly. Glue-down snow guards often get a bad reputation due to misinformation from companies and customers who failed to install them according to manufacturer’s recommendations. In order for these guards to work properly, you need 3 things:
- A LAYOUT – Customers regularly call us asking about layouts and then are surprised by what it takes to do the job right. A good snow guard layout requires multiple staggered rows, spaced evenly up the slope. This helps to distribute the weight evenly over the entire roof surface. Snow guards are not hockey goalies! It is not the purpose of a snow guard to act as a crash barrier. Unfortunately, snow guards are often installed in a single row near the eave by inexperienced installers. In the winter, snow and ice sheds and tears them all away from the roof, usually taking the gutters along for the ride. Snow guards, when installed correctly, will hold snow and ice where it landed until it can safely melt into the gutters. Every roof is different, so what works for your neighbor, may not work for you. A good layout is based on roof pitch, panel dimensions, snow load, etc. A couple of degrees in pitch can be the difference between needing 2 rows and needing 3 or 4. To get a free layout for your project, you can visit www.SpacingTool.com. This revolutionary system takes the guess work out of it and best of all, it is FREE.
- GOOD PREP – Any time that you are using adhesive for a project, good prep work is crucial. Luckily, snow guard prep is minimal and easy. Simply wipe down the surface of the roof with rubbing alcohol where you are mounting the guard. This will remove dirt and oils from the panel and ensure a strong bond between the guard and your roof.
- CURING TIME – Industrial strength adhesives typically have a long cure period and temperature restrictions. It is the trade-off for unbeatable holding strength after the cure. The industry standard for gluing snow guards to metal roofing is a product called Surebond SB-190. This is, in fact, the only glue that we stock for our products and we have been using it since 1996. We pioneered the use of Surebond SB-190 with polycarbonate snow guards. Surebond SB-190 requires at minimum of 28 days at 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) to cure. Even with a proper layout, a lack of cure time could result in system failure. Late spring through summer is the ideal time for installation of these products. If the temperature drops below 50F during the evening or inclement weather, the curing process will temporarily pause until that temperature is reached again. This can increase the cure time. We constantly get phone calls from customers who waited until winter to install and wonder what went wrong. Cure time is vital!
Now that you have taken the time to educate yourself about mounting snow guards with adhesive, you can feel confident in your purchase. Remember to keep in mind that no two roofs are alike and cookie cutter solutions never work. Your neighbor may think it is overkill, but he will change his tune next year when he is replacing snow guards while you are watching from the comfort of your back yard with a beer in hand. Mounting snow guards with adhesive is a tried and true method of install. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just FAKE NEWS.