WHY KEEP SNOW ON THE ROOF?
When snow avalanches off of a rooftop, it can damage anything in its path! This sudden release of snow can be dramatic—dumping tons of snow all at once. Falling snow forms a temperature-sensitive bond to the surface of a metal roof. As that roof is warmed, whether from the sun or from building heat loss, the bond with the snow is broken and a thin film of melt water serves to lubricate the roof. This can have dramatic results as a several-ton blanket of snow suddenly slides off the roof and avalanches down upon anything in its path: gutters, vehicles, landscape, even people. Once piled up below, that same snow bank can go on to cause additional troubles, like direct damage to the building walls, or even indirect damage caused by funneling melt water into, rather than away from, the wall. This is what makes snow retention devices desirable: they hold the snow back and allow it to leave the roof slowly, either in small amounts of snow or as melt water, avoiding the dual calamity of the avalanche.
ColorGard presents architecturally clean lines. It is unobtrusive in appearance, blending into the roofscape. When compared to plastic alternatives that have highly reflective characteristics, ColorGard is the clear winner for complementing the roof.
Clear plastic alternatives are often presented as being inconspicuous. Manufacturers claim that they are “practically invisible” due to their “colorless transparency”.
“Clear” plastic snow guards (left) vs. ColorGard on matching roof (right). Which one is really less conspicuous?
What manufacturers neglect to say is that these plastics are petroleum derivatives that change as they age. The sun’s ultra-violet rays draw out the oils and plasticizers leach out of the material causing the material to yellow with time.
A few short years in the elements causes clear plastic to dramatically discolor.
Because these products generally have low load-to-failure values, they must often be used in a very redundant fashion to avoid overload and failure. Because of ColorGard’s Herculean strength, less ColorGard is required. Based upon lab tested load-to-failure data, it can take up to 10 plastic parts to equal the strength of just one row of ColorGard.
The appearance of these buildings is marred by roofs “polkadotted” with clear plastic snow rete
Why upgrade from adhesive-based systems?
Today’s metal roof products have premium finishes made from fluorocarbons which are similar in composition to Teflon, the popular non-stick coating on cookware. These paint resins, Hylar® and Kynar® by tradename, are wonderful performing finishes that were never intended for the glue-on type snow retention systems. People continue to try testing this combination, but an adhesive device on a non-stick surface continues to offer high failure rates. In addition, most adhesives are temperature-cure compounds. This limits their application to warm weather only, and the glues can take weeks to fully cure.
Note, too, that adhesives are chemically organic compounds. Ozone and ultraviolet light cause the chemical bonds to degrade over time. This means that an adhesive tested for ultimate load-to-failure in a laboratory may well show favorable results. But after five or ten years of exposure to heat cycling, UV radiation, moisture and ozone, the weakened chemical bond often causes the system to fail at unacceptably low loads. Will that happen on your roof? No one can say for sure, and it’s that very issue of unpredictability that makes adhesives a risky choice. Our S-5! attachment technology, on the other hand, is mechanical, stable and predictable. It’s derived from non-corrosive metals that are unaffected by temperature, UV light or ozone. Their attachment performance does not change over time—if you love it today, you’ll still love it 50 years from now.
Note: When relying upon lab tested load figures, the setscrew tension should be periodically verified using a calibrated wrench.
Should a snow guard system be customized to the job?
Yes—any product should be—including those sold by other companies. Everything has a failure point, which is why products are tested. The idea, then, is not to expose a product to forces which exceed its known point of failure. These forces are predictable and can be calculated accurately for any application
I have seen other products that attach with setscrews. How is S-5!® different?
The metallic and architectural coatings used on many sheet metal panels are thin and fragile. There may be copycat snow guard products in the marketplace that also utilize setscrews for attachment, but be careful! A common setscrew with a cup-point gouges through protective coatings, violating warranties and causing corrosion sites at the point of attachment. Only S-5! utilizes special, polished, round-tipped screws. Although more costly, the makers of S-5! use this method to preserve delicate panel finishes, and their warranties. This is why all major metal roof panel manufacturers approve and recommend S-5! products—often on an exclusive basis!
Designing a special screw for our S-5! product lineup was only the beginning. We then conducted ASTM B-117 salt spray weathering tests on panel seam specimens to determine whether these screws caused any damage, however slight, that could result in premature corrosion. After 1,000 hours in the salt chamber, no corrosion was detected at any of the setscrew locations! In fact, S-5! offers the only setscrew-based attachment system on the market that puts neither your roof nor your roof warranties in jeopardy!
We also use the highest quality (18-8) stainless steel alloys for all S-5! hardware and include auxiliary stainless mounting bolts and washers with each clamp to assure longevity and metallurgic compatibility—no matter what the attachment application.
S-5! attachment technology has been in use on rooftops since 1992. Over the years it has come to be recognized, recommended and even distributed by leading metal panel manufacturers the world over, many of whom will approve no other method for rooftop ancillary attachment.
original post https://s-5.com/resources/snow-retention-faqs/