Tag Archives: snow guard layouts

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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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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What Is A Snow Load And How Important Is It?

Proper snow guard layouts are vitally important to ensure a successful installation.  Without a professional layout, customers run the risk of under-designing their system and possible system failure.  Spacingtool.com was created to help architects, homeowners and contractors determine proper guard spacing. Project specific dimensions and local “Ground Snow Loads” are calculated along with the testing strength of the various snow guards to produce a proper layout for snow guards.  This free design service also helps you determine the correct guard recommended for the specific project and panel.

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A Thorough Walk-Through Of SpacingTool.com (Part 3)

Welcome to Part 3 (the final part in our series) of our walk-through of SpacingTool.com. In the last step, we had input the dimension information for the projects multiple roof areas. In the next step, you will be asked to input your contact information and some information about the project such as its location and zip code. One question the our customers normally have trouble with is determining their “Ground Snow Load”. This is a unit of measure for snow that is expressed in “PSF”. You can typically call your local building inspector to obtain this information. You can also elect to use an online service, such as the one at www.groundsnowbyzip.com. At this site, you enter your project location and it does the rest. For our test roof we are going to use Nashville, Tennessee as the project location. Nashville has a ground snow load of 10psf.snowload

Now we can enter the info for our project.

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Once completed, click “Calculate”

In the next screen SpacingTool will give you a comparison list of the snow guards that will fit your roof. It will also show the amount of guards and pricing for each style. In our case, however, only one guard will fit this panel. That is the SnoBlox Deuce.

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Click the checkbox next to your selected guard to complete the SpacingTool Layout. The next screen will show your complete layout with pricing information, a shopping list, and the layout for your specific roof areas.

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Be sure to print this out and keep it for your records. Doing so, will entitle you to free lifetime replacement for any guards that crack or break for the life of your roof. Read over your layout thoroughly, prior to ordering / installing the product. If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the SpacingTool, please call us at 1-800-766-5291 and one of our representatives will be glad to help you. Once you are ready to place your order, you can do so by visiting www.Snoblox.com or by giving us a call.

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Basics of Snow Guard Layouts

By Brion P. McMullen, Bio

Ever since the invention of metal roof panels, the industry has struggled to develop ways to control the damage and liability from sliding snow and ice.  The paint finishes on today’s metal roof panels are slicker than ever.  This makes metal panels awesome at shedding dirt, but makes them even more susceptible to avalanche after snow accumulation.  After 25 years of designing professional layouts, we finally released our calculations to the public when we launched www.SpacingTool.com.

Without a proper snow guard layout, the strongest snow guard in the world is worthless.  With www.SpacingTool.com, anyone can input their roof dimensions, pitch, and ground snow load.  The system will offer the option of 3 attachment types including adhesive, screws, or a seam clamp mounted bar system.  After all the options are selected, the best layout is calculated and a line drawing is created that shows the optimal row spacing and product totals required to complete the project.

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Go to www.SpacingTool.com for Snow Guard Spacing

The layouts may seem unusual at first, but here are some basic guidelines that we use for our calculations.

1. The overall strategy of snow guard placement is to start with American made, high quality snow guards that have a forward mounted face.

2. We want to hold the snow and ice in place, (where it originally landed), not just try to “catch” it before it avalanches over the eave.  Nearly all failed snow guard layouts have just one or two rows and they are all down at the eave.  This typical amateur snow guard layout has a high failure rate because it attempts to “catch” sliding snow and ice, instead of holding it where it landed.  By the time things start to slide, it’s game over.

3. Our final layout is determined by several factors including holding strength and dimensions of the snow guard selected, roof pitch, panel style and width, ground snow load, and roof dimensions.  If any of these factors change, the layout can change considerably.

4. Rows are to be installed in a staggered pattern, never in straight lines with the exception of our SnowBreaker product which are designed to only break up the snow and ice.  Snow guards installed in staggered rows have a significantly less chance of failure, the staggered pattern helps the snow and ice field coagulate to prevent the movement of snow and ice.

5. Our snow guard products are designed to evenly distribute the load across the roof structure with multiple staggered rows.  Roofs are designed to hold the snow load, but are not designed to withstand uneven loads concentrated at the eaves.

Snow Guard Layout

Sample Snow Guard Spacing Layout

6. If you follow our layout, our snow guards will last the life of the roof or we will replace them for free!

*Never buy a product that hasn’t been professional and independently tested.  Don’t buy from companies that don’t warranty their products for the life of your roof.  Don’t support China’s economy, buy products Made in the USA.

Visit www.SpacingTool.com and get your free layout.  Call us with any questions at 717.697.1900.

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