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.