Tag Archives: snow stops

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3 Ways to Avoid Roof Damage from Snow and Ice

It is a sunny afternoon in July, and you are sitting on your freshly stained deck, looking around at your perfectly manicured lawn and sipping on a delicious adult beverage. You’ve just finished a weekend of planting expensive ornamental shrubs and your kids are playing on a brand new swing set. You got a couple of blisters from that one, but as you look around…you are the king of your castle. You are finished with your outdoor chores and ready to relax and take it all in. Little do you know, however, that potential danger lurks above. No…I’m not talking about that pigeon on the telephone line or the sun that already has you burnt to a nice shade of crimson (your wife warned you to wear sunscreen). No sir, I’m talking about your roof.

Yes, that beautiful new roof that cost as much as that new boat you are now waiting until next year to buy. The one that all of your neighbors compliment you on while you retrieve the morning paper! It’s new, it’s shiny, it’s modern….and in a few short months it could be a bigger headache than your oldest daughter’s boyfriend Greg. (We don’t like him either!) I hate to remind you, but as much as you are trying to ignore it…winter is only 5 months away. That hefty investment, on your home, can have serious negative consequences if you don’t act now. Yes you can finish your beer, but then we need to talk about 3 ways to help prevent snow and ice damage.

First thing’s first. Vent pipes. You have several and they are going to be damaged by snow and ice unless you purchase protection for them. We would recommend the VentSaver product. Available in a 3 sizes and able to be mounted to either standard agricultural panels or standing seam roofs (with the use of the Standing Seam Plate) these products will help divert snow and ice around your vents or chimney with ease, saving you from costly repairs and structure-damaging roof leaks.  They also provide the benefit of additional structural support.

Next on the agenda are snow guards. These often overlooked products can be used to either keep snow and ice on your roof until it melts or can allow the snow and ice to shed, but in smaller and less dangerous pieces. There is a variety on the market and your first step, before purchasing, should be to do some research. Different roofing styles and finishes can greatly impact the types of guards that will be necessary for your roof and also their proper layout. Make sure that you receive a layout from the manufacturer. Don’t get sucked into an argument with that contractor “who’s been in the business for 30 years and knows what they are doing”. The manufacturer’s warranty will often, if not always, be based on their own recommended layout.

The third preventative measure that you should take actually has a major impact on your roof right now. While you guzzle down that growler from your local brewery, your gutters are filling up with debris from trees, wind, and that pigeon we told you about earlier.  Clogged gutters can cause multiple issues for your home including, but limited to: foundation damage from moisture collection, damage to fascia boards, and damage to those plants your wife made you plant, that you might just be allergic to. Issues like these only get much worse in the winter. Ice dams can form pools of water and allow it to seep into your walls and overflowing water/ice can land on walkways below causing a safety hazard. A simple solution for this problem is the use of a leaf guard system. We suggest our Leafblox product. Simple and fast installation of this product will allow water from rain and/or melting snow and ice to drain easily while repelling debris.

Look, we get it, you had a long day and deserve a break. After you tuck the little ones in and make sure the oldest didn’t sneak out of her bedroom window, settle in for the night and hop back onto www.Snojax.com to place your order. Use www.coupon.SpacingTool.com for a free layout and 5% off of your snow guard purchase. You’d rather be installing protection in shorts and a tank top than fixing roof leaks in a snow suit.

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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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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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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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IceBlox Inc. Introduces Standing Seam Vent Pipe Guard Kit

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Sliding snow and ice are major problems for chimneys and roof ventilation pipes on both commercial and residential buildings. Damage, such a bending or shearing, is a common and often expensive occurrence. VentSaver products will help prevent crushed vent pipes by splitting and diverting the snow. Unlike snow guards, this ingenious vent guard product also adds support and strength to your vent pipes, chimneys or masts. The innovative fin design cuts through packed ice and snow, causing the snow slide to divert around the pipe, and to assist in shedding the snow and ice from your roof. Installation is quick and easy. VentSaver is made from quality non-corrosive, powder-coated aluminum, stainless steel and aircraft cable. The 151 series will fit any roof pitch and any standard size vent pipe (1 1/2″, 2″, 3″ and 4″).  The 383 series will fit any roof pitch and an infinite array of sizes between 1-14″. The beauty of the 383 series is the variety of applications it will fit as well as the ease of installation. The HD, like the 383, can work on any roof pitch and also includes the added benefit of the optional wing kit. All 3 of these VentSavers eliminate the need for unattractive, costly crickets and may be installed on any existing roof as well as new construction.

Now our valued customers can install these great products onto their standing seam roofs as well! We are proud to introduce the Standing Seam Vent Pipe Guard Kit as the newest addition to our product line. This is an adjustable-fit mounting plate that secures to a roof’s standing seams with (4) non-penetrating RCT seam clamps. It allows the use of the Ventsaver 151, 383, or HD to be used without penetration. It utilizes a custom fit Ice Ramp, to protect the base of the pipe from sliding snow and ice damage. The fin of the Ventsaver protects the upper portions of the pipe. The all-aluminum SS Ventsaver kit is manufactured in the USA and uses stainless steel set screws and fasteners.

Please check the “Panel Matrix” for a list of standing seam panels that these products are now compatible with. This product works best when combined with one of our snow guard systems. Please visit our website for more information on our snow guards.

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A Thorough Walk-Through Of SpacingTool.com (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of our walk-through of SpacingTool.com. In the last step, we had selected the type of attachment we were going to use for our snow guards. We had chosen the adhesive mounting method, which utilizes Surebond SB-190.

The next step of the SpacingTool process is entering the dimensions of your roof areas. Our test roof is a simple 2-sided gable roof. As such, each side of the roof is considered a single roof area. Inputting the dimensions for only 1 roof area will give you half of the guards that you would need for the entire project. If we had a porch roof on the gabled end of our test building, then we would have 3 roof areas and so forth.

11110369_384616685056797_2108357929576188652_o1At this point, SpacingTool is going to ask you to input the dimensions for your project’s different roof areas. The first dimension it is going to ask for is the roof pitch. If you have the plans for your building, this dimension will often be found on the elevation drawings. If this is not an option, roof pitch can be found manually by measuring your roof’s rise and run. The first step is to place a ruler (or other measuring tool) so that it faces away from your roof panel horizontally. Measure along your ruler 12” out from the panel. Using a 2nd ruler, measure the vertical dimension between the 12” mark of the first ruler and the roof panel. For our test roof, our vertical dimension was 7” from the horizontal ruler down to the roof panel. This dimension will then be expressed as a 7:12 roof pitch.

roof-pitchSpacingTool will now ask what “Roof Shape” you are dealing with. For our test roof, we are using rectangular roof areas, but if we were using a hip roof, then we would need triangular roof areas additionally.

The next dimension that SpacingTool will ask for is the “Panel Run”. This is the diagonal length of the roof area from the peak to the eave edge. This dimension can be determined on smaller roofs by simply measuring along the length of the roof panel. On larger roofs, we recommend the use of an online roof run calculator, such as this one by APB Pole Barns. http://www.pole-barn.info/roof-rafter-calculations.html. This tool will ask you the width of the building and the pitch. Once you enter those dimensions, it will calculate the pitch of the roof for you. Our test building has a 50’wide x100’ long footprint and we already know our roof has a 7:12 pitch, so let’s see what the calculator comes up with.

run calcAccording to the calculator, the roof run for both roof areas is 28’-11 5/16” long. Round up to 29’

The final dimension is the Eave Length. This can be measured easily by following along the bottom edge of the roof areas. Our test building is 100’ long.

dims2Now that we have all of the necessary dimensions, it is time to enter them into SpacingTool. Our test roof is the same on both sides, so we will need to enter our dimensions twice (once for each side) and then click “Save”.

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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. Stay tuned for Part 3, as we finish our layout calculations for our roof’s snow guard installation.

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A Thorough Walk-Through Of SpacingTool.com (Part 1)

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The most frequently asked questions that we get from our customers, about snow guards, are “How do I know which guard to buy?” and “What kind of layout should I use when installing them?” Luckily, for our customers, we have developed a free tool that is proven to take all of the guesswork out of this process.  Let me walk you thru the basics of www.SpacingTool.com.

There is no such thing as a “standard” snow guard layout, every project is unique.  The most effective layout method is to use multiple staggered rows to control the movement and roof loading.  We use several factors to determine the right layout for your project.

Once at the www.SpacingTool.com Home Page, read over the “Installation Instructions” and “Terms of Use/Terms of Sale”. Both of these items are available via the clickable links provided. Once you have read through these documents, click on “Get Started”.

2*For instructional purposes, I will be going through SpacingTool and basing the information on a fictional roof.

Step one is Panel Profile Selection. This step is crucial in ensuring a proper layout for your roof. We will be basing our test roof on the Imperial Rib Metal Panel By American Building Components.  This is a very common panel commonly referred to as a 9” r-panel because the ribs are 9” on center.  We have the option of screw down or glue down attachment.

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Most roofing companies will have profile diagrams on their websites that will at least show some of the dimensions associated with the particular panel. With older roof panels of unknown origin, it will be necessary to take a look at your project’s roof panel in person before making your selection. Guessing is not recommended at any point during this process.

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Once we have selected the matching panel profile (“R” Panel), the SpacingTool will move us forward to step 2 “Panel Details”. For Our “R” Panel, Spacing Tool will ask for the Valley Width and the Flat Area Width. Luckily, ABC’s website shows the on-center spacing of our test panel as 9”, so we do not need to measure that. We do, however, need to measure the width of the flat area between the two minor ribs of our panel. We have determined that the width is 1.5”. Once we select our appropriate dimensions from the drop down menus, we can move on to step 3

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Step 3 is selecting the  “Method of Attachment”. This is the time for you to decide whether or not you will be screwing down your guards or attaching them with adhesive. Depending on the roof panel that you select in Step 1, you may not be given a choice. An example of this would be a standing seam roof. Due to the installation process of this type of panel, screw down installation of snow guards is prohibited and typically voids the roof’s warranty. Because of this, we have programmed SpacingTool to not allow this as a selection in these situations. *Always consult your roof’s warranty before installing any roof accessory.

Our test panel allows us to install our snow guards using either method of attachment. Because we will be installing in the late Spring, I will be using adhesive for this project. Please note that our SureBond SB-190 adhesive requires approximately 28 days at 50 degrees Fahrenheit to cure fully. Once I make my selection, we can move on to the next step.6

Stay tuned for Part 2. Coming Soon.

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