Fall in L♥VE with February AND SAVE!

This month we’ve decided to run a special promotion: Any order placed & shipped during the month of February of our PP115, PP125, PP225, or PP325 snow management systems will get an additional 10% off! We appreciate our clients, and we wanted to give you an opportunity to save some dough, or to stock up NOW for future projects! When you call (888.766.4273) or email, just mention that you saw this here, and our friendly Customer Service Team will make sure to apply the additional 10% discount.

So, what exactly are these systems?

What roof types do they accommodate?

What do they look like installed?

Take a look….

PP115

For membrane or metal shingle roofing applications

It’s funny to be starting with the PP115, since I posted about this system just last week – See that post here, and learn more about the PP115, and why it’s becoming a go-to for managing snow on membrane roofs.

PP125

For slate, synthetic slate, comp shingle, and cedar shingle roofing applications

SLICK. That’s the word that always comes to my mind when I see an install image of the PP125. This is a very common system for use on slate roofs in the higher education sector.

This system is available in 3 configurations: 2-pipe, 3-pipe, and 2 hi-hole pipe (all accept 1” OD pipe), and are compatible with the use of ice screens and ice flags.

The bracket is Aluminum, the base plate is Stainless Steel, and the entire system can be powder-coated in a color to match the roofing material.

PP225

For slate, synthetic slate, comp shingle, and cedar shingle roofing applications

(Image from Passero Associates, Albany, NY)

Rugged. Yet beautiful. Our PP225 height-adjustable snow guard bracket will do the job it was designed to do! The bracket features 39° of height adjustability for varying roof pitches.

Material options:

  • Aluminum with Stainless Steel Base Plate (Aluminum accessories)
  • Stainless Steel with Stainless Steel Base Plate (Aluminum or Stainless Steel accessories)
  • Brass with Stainless Steel Base Plate (Brass accessories)
  • Brass with Brass Base Plate (Brass accessories)

Finish options:

  • Mill Finish (standard)
  • Powder Coating (additional charge) using RAL TIGER Drylac® Exterior colors

PP325 

For slate, synthetic slate, comp shingle, cedar shingle, and flat tile roofing applications

(Shown above on Goldwin-Smith Hall a Cornell University – Image from Charles F. Evans Co., Inc. in Elmira, NY)

The base plate is available in multiple configurations (2-pipw, 3-pipe, and 2 hi-hole pipe), the PP325 is available in Stainless Steel or Brass, with a base plate that’s available in the following sizes:

There you have it. I hope this helps in determining what system makes the most sense for your project! Give us a shout and get YOUR additional 10% off any of these 4 great systems!

If you have any questions, or would like any additional information, you can visit us online, or contact us by phone at 888.766.4273 or by email at info@alpinesnowguards.com.

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We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com

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Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do.

 

 

 

Snow Guards & Membrane Roofing

♥See our FALL IN LOVE WITH FEBRUARY special at the end of this post♥

Our talented CAD Designer/Animator, Matt, has done some really amazing work forAlpine SnowGuards and Sister Company EcoFasten Solar, in the form of install animations for some of our top products.

Take a look at this one, for our PP115 two or three pipe system for membrane roofing:

video

So easy, right? The PP115 system was designed specifically to be installed on metal decking or wood blocking. A compression seal is formed when flashed with a compatible target patch, by bolting the patch between the stainless steel base plate and the extruded aluminum bracket (base plate is 6” x 8” / bracket measures 4” x 6”).

115_2324_detail

The innovative system is available in 3 different configuration options to suit your project’s needs: 2-pipe, 3-pipe, and 2 hi-pipe, all accepting 1” OD Pipe for a rugged and attractive snow management solution.

The 2-pipe, 3-pipe, and 2 hi-pipe are all compatible with ice flags, and accessories are available including internal couplings, end collars, and end caps.

.accessories

We’ve found that a lot of our clients have never heard of ice flags (and to be honest, I had never heard of them either, until I joined the crew here about 5 years ago). Ice flags are an accessory to the snow guard system that hang from the pipe, adding additional surface area on the up-slope side of the system. Having additional surface area also means additional snow management. Here’s what ice flags look like installed.

iceflag

The system comes in mill finish (as shown in video), or in a HUGE variety of eye pleasing TIGER Drylac® ral powder coating colors to match the roofing material.

Take a look at this gorgeous image of the PP115 installed on this Sika Sarnafil Décor Rib roof on one of the buildings of the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District in Traverse City, MI.

traverse-bay-area-intermediate-school-district_traverse-city-mi-2

Here’s another of the system installed on the roof of the Candler Building in Times Square, Manhattan. If you’re like me, and you’re interested in the history of the Candler Building, here’s a brief overview.

candler-build

And on a rooftop in Stowe, Vermont, which just happens to be in our backyard (yes, we’re lucky!)

stowe1

Learn more by visiting the PP115 product page on our website. And take a peek at all of the highly engineered snow management systems in our product line (we have over 60!) We manufacture everything from traditional pad-style snow guards, to pipe-stylefence-style, and even solutions for managing snow on solar arrays!

WE ALSO DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE MANY CUSTOM SNOW GUARDS

Because our President & founder is a former roofer, we’ve been designing snow guards for decades, always ensuring that the integrity of the roof comes first and foremost!

And now for our FALL IN L♥VE WITH FEBRUARY special:

Receive an ADDITIONAL 10% OFF PP115’s, PP125’s, PP225’s, or PP325’s for orders placed and shipped in February! Give us a call at 888.766.4273 or email info@alpinesnowguards.com and mention code DISCOUNT18+10!

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We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com

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Don’t forget to sign up to keep up with the latest industry and Alpine news, events, product launches, project images, and more!

Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do.

 

 

 

 

 

ASG3000: An Ideal Residential Snow Management System for Metal Standing Seam Roofing

I don’t want this to get lost in the story, so before I begin, I wanted to take a minute to let you all know about our January Special:

We’re offering FREE FREIGHT on any standing seam order that ships in January! Just mention this post when you call (888.766.4273) or email! Order for current need, or STOCK UP for future projects!

OK, back to the story….

We often receive emails through the Customer Contact page on our website. Here’s one I wanted to share:

“Do you guys make a pipe-style snow guard that won’t look too commercial on a standing seam metal residential roof?” –Dennis C.

“Hi Dennis. Thanks for the question. It’s funny you should ask! We were JUST talking about this at a recent meeting. Over the years we’ve noticed a recurring trend: when snow guards are specified for residential use, it seems more often than not that pad-style snow guards are the go-to snow management solution. There’s a common misperception that pipe-style snow guards can only be installed for commercial use. With that said, I encourage you to take a look at our ASG3000 two-pipe system.”

Dennis’ question really got me thinking. Thinking not only about Alpine SnowGuards’ products, but also thinking about how we can make sure you know that there is a GREAT pipe-style solution for managing snow on residential standing seam metal roofing.

I’ll tell you the same thing I told Dennis: Take a look at our ASG3000.

With its close-to-the-roof, low-profile design, and the ability to accommodate two 1” OD pipes, the ASG3000 is a rugged, proven snow management system that is functional, secure, AND attractive. The use of two oval-point set screws provides a secure attachment point without penetrating the roofing material, and will not void roofing manufacturer’s warranties.

Here’s a look at the Assembly/BOM. Simple, straightforward components!

If you want your snow management system to match the roofing material, we offer powder-coating using RAL TIGER Drylac® Exterior colors (only a small portion of available colors are shown below – click on the image or on the “colors” link to see all available colors). I have to say, the powder-coated systems I’ve seen are sleek and absolutely beautiful.

ASG3000 shown powder-coated to match the roof

The system is available in configurations for both vertical and horizontal seams, and is compatible with the use of ice flags (as seen below) or ice screen.

The homeowners we know who’ve had the ASG3000 installed on their roof are happy they did – and we know your clients will like knowing there’s a low-profile pipe option for their standing seam metal roofs.

We manufacture over 60 snow management systems for ALL roof types, new or retrofit. Pad-Style, Pipe-Style, Fence-Style, and even systems specifically engineered for managing snow on solar arrays. Have questions or want to know more about the ASG3000, or any system in our product line? Email our dedicated customer service crew – they’d be more than happy to help.

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We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com 

888.766.4273

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Sign up to start using our Online Project Calculator for FREE recommended layouts, BOM’s, pricing, system comparisons, and much more!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and keep up on the latest industry and Alpine news, products, and upcoming events!

Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, architects, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.

DANGER: FALLING ICE AND SNOW

We’ve all seen it – snow and ice falling from a rooftop, crashing to the ground below. There are countless videos online showing the occurrence (and the result of) a roof avalanche – none seeming to end well. Cars are destroyed, landscaping crushed, and most importantly, anyone in nearby proximity to the building on the ground below is in harm’s way.

Just this past week, in the SoHo area of Manhattan, a giant block of ice plummeted 21 stories from the top of a luxury condominium high-rise building, completely caving in a car on the street below. Thankfully, the owner of the car was not inside when the ice chunk came loose. Also thankfully, no one on the street was hurt, and nothing else was damaged – in a busy, densely populated metropolitan area like this, the damage could have been much worse and more widespread.

Stories like this make you realize just how important it is to check, and double-check, the areas around the outside of our homes/buildings. Someone’s life could depend on it.

Alpine SnowGuards can help. We manufacture snow guards for all roof types, as well as ledge and cornice brackets and custom product. Our product line includes traditional pad-style snow guards, pipe-style systems, fence-style systems, and even a line of solar snow management solutions.

When choosing a snow guard style that’s ideal for your next project, you should evaluate your roofing material, roof style, roof pitch, snow load (based on geographical location) and your aesthetic preference (pad-style, pipe-style or fence-style).

Pad-Style

Pad-style snow guards add friction to a frictionless surface, preventing a sudden avalanche of ice and snow. Traditional pad-style snow guards feature our “fish head” design which provides optimum strength while maintaining aesthetic integrity. Since our pad-style snow guards are riveted, there is no risk of unfolding, and their low profile is the ideal snow management solution for residential and commercial applications alike. There is a pad-style snow guard for every roof type, for both new and existing (retrofit) roofs, and in many style and color options to please even the most discerning taste.

Pipe-Style

Pipe-style snow guards act as barricade systems, preventing large pieces of snow and ice from falling off a roof. Precision engineering is what makes our pipe-style snow guards not only extremely durable, but beautiful as well. Our pipe-style snow guard assortment includes two-pipe and three-pipe snow retention systems, as well as several height adjustable bracket options to accommodate a wide range of roof pitches. Originally used for commercial applications, many homeowners are now choosing pipe-style snow guards when making a conscious decision to protect the areas immediately surrounding their residential and commercial structures from falling snow and ice.

Fence-Style

Fence-style snow guards act as barricade systems, preventing large pieces of snow and ice from falling off a roof. We designed our fence-style snow management systems, SnowMax and Solar SnowMax, to be the strongest fence-style systems on the market. Fast and easy to install with bracket spacing up to 48″ on center, our fence-style snow guards are fabricated from aircraft-grade aluminum, resulting in an extremely sturdy product. Available in attachment options suitable for metal roof types, as well as for membrane roofs and even snow management for solar arrays, our SnowMax line of products delivers the finest in snow guard solutions.

Standing Seam

Standing Seam, or Clamp-to-Seam style snow guards are designed specifically for use with metal standing seam roofs, and are available in options for both vertical and horizontal seam configurations. We offer Standing Seam style snow guards in pad, pipe and fence style systems, and in a wide variety of powder coating options to match your roofing material.

Don’t hesitate to call us at 888.766.4273 or email info@alpinesnowguards.com with any questions you may have – that’s what we’re here for!

FOR THE REMAINDER OF JANUARY WE ARE OFFERING A SPECIAL ON SNOW GUARDS FOR METAL STANDING SEAM ROOFING APPLICATIONS! JUST MENTION CODE “SSFFJAN18″ AND YOU’LL RECEIVE FREE FREIGHT ON OUR ORDER THAT SHIPS BY JANUARY 31ST!

 (Image from: New York Daily News)

We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com 

888.766.4273

Sign up to start using our Online Project Calculator for FREE recommended layouts, BOM’s, pricing, system comparisons, and much more!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and keep up on the latest industry and Alpine news, products, and upcoming events!

Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.

Snow Management for Standing Seam Roofing: Spotlight on ASG4025 & ASG4025-Mini

Of all the residential metal roofing options available today, metal standing seam is the best-selling – and it’s no wonder. A metal standing seam roof can increase the resale value of your home by up to 6% when compared with a roof covered in asphalt shingles. And that’s not all. If you ever decide to sell your home, you’ll recoup 80% – 90% of the costs you put into a new standing seam roof. With almost no required maintenance and warranties that can stretch out to 5 decades, it’s clear to see why homeowners are choosing metal standing seam as their roofing choice more now than ever before. Not to mention, metal roofing is also recyclable. Win/Win/Win!

Metal standing seam roofing is unique not only in appearance, but also in the fact that attaching anything to it is a bit tricky because you don’t want to void the roofing manufacturer’s warranty by penetrating the roofing material. That’s why we pair oval-point set screws with our clamp-to-seam options.

When you’re looking at snow management systems designed for installation on standing seam roofs, we have you covered. Alpine SnowGuards’ snow management systems for metal standing seam roofs employ precision-engineered clamp-to-seam technology.

What does that mean? It means we’ve done our homework so you don’t have to.

Important points to remember when choosing and installing clamps:

  • Choose clamps that utilize oval-point set screws that won’t penetrate the roofing material
  • Choose clamps that won’t void the roofing manufacturer’s warranty
  • Choose clamps that don’t utilize adhesive, so there’s no worry about the effects from changes in temperature
  • Before you install your clamps, be sure to check that the roofing panels are securely fastened to the roof, in order to absorb the load that will be transferred by adding clamps
  • Once the seam material compresses, make sure to tighten and then re-tighten the set screws
  • When installing clamps designed specifically for pipe-style snow management systems, be sure to leave a break in the pipe every 100’ to allow for thermal expansion

Let’s take a look at one of the most often specified systems in our clamp-to-seam lineup:

ASG4025 Two-Pipe Snow Guard

Forged from a single block of recycled aluminum, and measuring a tall 5.25”, the rugged ASG4025 utilizes three oval-point set screws, and if not ordered in mill finish, can be powder coated with a TIGER Drylac® RAL exterior color that will match the roofing material perfectly (see photo below).

The two-pipe configuration accepts 1” OD pipe and is compatible with the use of Ice Flags and Ice Screens. A centered flag position gives the system balanced aesthetics by avoiding left or right flag positioning.

Image from a homeowner in Virginia

Speaking of flags, the flag thickness on the ASG4025 is ¼”, which, to reduce twisting, is DOUBLE the standard thickness.

Another attribute that makes the ASG4025 a sought-after system is the fact that it can be used in-line with our ASG4000G-U system, thanks to the identical height, width, depth and pipe placement. This is especially helpful when adding more snow guards to an already-outfitted ASG4000G-U installation.

The ASG4025 has a mini counterpart, the (aptly named) ASG4025-Mini. This smaller version of the ASG4025 is also forged from a solid block of recycled aluminum, yet this more petite system accepts 3/8” OD pipe and utilizes two oval-point set screws.

Measuring just over 3.5” in height, the ASG4025-Mini system can also be powder-coated to match the roofing material, or ordered in mill finish (shown).

Both systems are made right here in Morrisville, Vermont USA, and can help a building qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) credits through the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC®).

We have many options to choose from – in fact, we have a snow management system for EVERY roof type, even solar!

Have questions? Go ahead and ask – that’s what we’re here for!

Oh, and before I forget….We’re always on the lookout for photos of our products installed, so if you have any hi-res photos that you’d like to share, please send them our way. We would love to share them, too! There’s a good possibility they’ll make their way onto our online project Gallery, into a blog post like this, and across social media (we will of course tag, link, and mention your company).

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We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com 

888.766.4273

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Sign up to start using our Online Project Calculator for FREE recommended layouts, BOM’s, pricing, system comparisons, and much more!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and keep up on the latest industry and Alpine news, products, and upcoming events!

Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.

SnowMax: What the Competition Doesn’t Want You to Know

If you’re not familiar with our backstory, it’s important for you to know that Alpine SnowGuards was founded by a former roofer who started his career in the 1970’s. Why is this important? Because you can bet he knows a thing or two about roofing – he knows that maintaining the integrity of the roof comes first and foremost. With hands-on expertise spanning 4 decades, and a team who is not only rich with talent and drive, and the foresight to know what our customers need before they even know it, we have become the industry leader in rooftop snow management systems.

One of those systems is the best-selling SnowMax, which includes fence-style snow management systems available in configurations engineered specifically for use on standing seam metal roofing, metal corrugated roofing, membrane roofing, and even on solar PV arrays!

(SnowMax-Standing Seam, available in options for both vertical and horizontal seams)

Here’s what the competition won’t tell you:

Fabricated from aircraft-grade aluminum, SnowMax has become known as the strongest snow management system on the market. The fast, easy installation, and the increased bracket spacing (up to 48” on center) means using SnowMax will not only save you valuable time, it will also save you money….and who doesn’t want to save time and money?

Check out our quick install animation to see how easy it is to install, and to see exactly how it works

The SnowMax Bar (fence) features a grooved front that accepts an optional color insert strip (as seen in photo below) to match the roofing material, and because all of the products in the Alpine SnowGuards’ line are extensively tested, you can rely on SnowMax to do exactly what we say it’ll do: keep snow in its place.

(Image from Valor Systems, LLC Norman, OK)

The system can accommodate optional fixed position ice flags on metal roofing, which will hang from the bar between the brackets to help keep snow and ice from sliding underneath (you can see them in between seams in the images below).

(Images from Holland Roofing Florence, KY)

If you haven’t installed SnowMax yet, you should. We are more than confident that you and your customers will be happy with the ease of install, the time and cost saving features, and the overall look of the finished project. It really is a functional and beautiful addition to any roof.

With over 60 styles to choose from, Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufacturers snow guards for all roof types, new or retrofit. We also manufacture MANY custom snow guards!

Rugged, versatile designs – made in the U.S.A. from recycled materials.

Have questions? Let us know – that’s what we’re here for!

Want a sample? We can do that!

alpine_noback

We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com 

888.766.4273

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Sign up to start using our Online Project Calculator for FREE recommended layouts, BOM’s, pricing, system comparisons, and much more!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and keep up on the latest industry and Alpine news, products, and upcoming events!

Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.

Designing a Snow Management System

At Alpine SnowGuards, we’ve been designing, engineering, and manufacturing snow management solutions for nearly 25 years! And almost 10 years ago, the founder and President of Alpine SnowGuards, Brian Stearns, wrote the below editorial for RCI Magazine. A decade is a long time, and we’re still going strong (and so are our snow guards that have been installed over the years).

Long story short:

We’ve been doing this long enough to know what works.

Designing a Snow Management System

By Brian C. Stearns

For as long as man has been designing sloped roofs in regions with snow and ice, there has been a need for a system or mechanism to manage the sudden sliding or dumping of an accumulated snow mass. When snowfalls on a cold roof surface, it begins to accumulate. As heat, either from within the building structure or from exterior temperature change, begins to melt the snow, the running water is pulled by gravity down to the roof surface. A thin film of water will then accumulate between the snow and the roof surface and act as a lubricant that causes a shear plane between the roof and the snow mass. When this happens on a steep or slick enough roof surface, the entire mass will often and unpredictably slide off like an avalanche (See Figure 1). Building owners search for a solution to this problem because of both safety and
maintenance concerns.

I once attended a seminar during which the speaker showed some pictures of a beautiful ancient stone roof that appeared to be two or three large slabs of slate or shale stacked to create a shingled effect. This picturesque setting had a European ambience and was spectacular in terms of roofing simplicity. One of the pictures showed baseball-sized rocks randomly scattered around the roof surface. The orator explained that this was quite possibly the original snow management mechanism.

The theory, he noted, was that building owners of the era would strategically place these rocks on the roof as winter set in. Then they would pour boiling water over the rocks during subfreezing temperatures to freeze them in place. Their goal was to create a physically attached system that “added friction to an otherwise frictionless surface.”

As a knowledgeable roofing contractor, I thought this was about the craziest notion I had heard in a long time. Why would someone freeze a rock in place that would eventually pop loose and come off with the same mass it was supposed to be retaining? And who would possibly have had the time to do
such a thing when survival alone during this long-ago era was far more consuming than managing snow and ice on a crude shelter?

I didn’t have the heart to tell this guy that these rocks were probably no more than the result of bored kids who were throwing stones up on the roof to be mischievous and kill time. My background is in slate roofing. Most of my work was accomplished in the North ­eastern U.S. Nearly all of the roofs that I have installed or repaired have had some sort of outdated snow management system. Some of these systems worked well, while others caused more damage to the roofs than they prevented. Finding a solution to this problem became my personal mission. Eventually, this mission led me out of the slate roofing business and into the snow management manufacturing business.

What drives me from day to day is a constant search to improve upon what we now offer and to invent even newer and better ways to prevent avalanching snow and ice from any and all roof surfaces.

To understand snow management systems, one must first have a grasp of what they are intended to do. These systems are designed to hold snow and ice in place on the roof until they melt and come off the roof as water, or in the case of pad-style snow guards, as very small pieces that come off slowly. Pad-style snow guards can be thought of as increasing friction, while pipe-style management systems act as a barrier as needed on the roof surface. In pipe-style applications, the barrier allows the melted running water to drain off under the snow mass while retaining the more solid mass above.

When functioning properly, the snow should essentially melt into the roof. It is a common misconception that snow guards are designed to break up the snow and ice mass as it begins to slide off the roof. This simply is not the case. Imagine a 1,000-pound mass of snow and ice: whether it slides off as a single block or as many smaller blocks, the impact of the 1,000­ pound mass on the ground is exactly the same. With pad-style snow guards, the snow slumps against numerous ice-cream-cone-looking objects, with the net effect being enhanced friction between roof and snow, which does, in fact, come off in very
small and random pieces–not all at once like an avalanche.

Some of the most common areas that snow guards are used to protect are walkways, garage entrances, gutters, shrubs, points of egress, and parking areas. Some of the less common areas of need are behind plumbing vent penetrations, above mechanical units, behind metal chimneys, and behind some parapet façades. The first step in finding the right snow management system is to estimate the mass or volume of snow and ice that one is attempting to manage. The most reliable way to do this is to use the local building design ground snow load. The ground snow load is used by building
design professionals and is established by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The next step in the design process is to determine whether or not the published ground snow load needs to be modified by various site-specific factors, including roof pitch, drifting conditions, building orientation, etc. These design considerations can be found in the ASCE-7 publication.

Ground snow load is typically provided in pounds per sq ft (psf). The adjusted ground snow load (psf) multiplied by the roof area to be managed will give the mass or volume of snow and ice to be retained. Calculating that number for any given roof should not be difficult. However, ground snow load values do change and are revised as better information becomes available. Published ground snow loads are guidelines, but no one has the ability to forecast exactly how much snow will fall in a given year. This was apparent in the eastern U.S. in the winter of 2010-11. That does not mean that the snow management system should be over-engineered; this is a crucial piece of design expertise. If a snow management system is designed to retain more
snow and ice than the building itself is designed to withstand, structural damage to the building may occur. In this situation, it is possible that the snow management  system won’t yield when overloaded (which it should do) but, rather, will hold too great a weight on the roof and lead the building
to collapse.

The next step is choosing the best snow guard design for a specific project. This decision should first be based upon the function of the device itself. Pad-style guards, when used properly, are typically installed over the entire roof surface in quantities recommended by the manufacturer. Pad-style snow guards add friction but, as explained above, will allow the snow to slide off the roof in very small pieces as the mass melts and slumps. Pipe-style guards are used as a barricade or fence intended to keep all snow and ice on the roof, including that which has slumped. In many cases, more than one tier of pipe-style guards will be needed to manage the potential snow accumulation.

In certain applications, both pad-style and pipe-style are used on the same building in combination to protect differing roof areas. Pad-style snow guards are generally not as strong as pipe-style systems but, when properly used, will accomplish the same thing. The difference is that pad-style snow guards need to be installed over the entire roof surface to be effective. There is a very old pad-style device that is called a wire loop or pig tail (see Figure 2). When properly installed over an entire roof surface, this device creates a wire mesh effect. Also, when correctly installed in the proper geographic region, this is probably among the best snow management systems available.

The problem is that these wire loop guards have an allowable load of 50 pounds each. This means that on a project where the snow load will be greater than 50 pounds, more than one snow guard per sq ft is required. Otherwise, the system is destined to fail. Likewise, if the project has a snow load of 25 pounds, one wire loop per two sq ft is required.

Pipe-style devices are a little more involved (see Figure 3). Tests should be performed on each component part of each pipe-style device. The pipe-style system’s performance in a given roof substrate can then be evaluated and tweaked to determine the optimum bracket spacing to best manage the given load. To envision their use, think of waves washing over a coral reef. As the wave approaches the reef, the hydraulic pressure will sometimes make the water crest and wash over the top. The more water to hit the reef, the larger the resulting wave.

This same sort of phenomenon happens with pipe-style snow guards. They will retain a large snow mass. However, if the mass begins to slide, the pressure will often force the snow and ice behind the fence to crest and come over the top of the rails. This is most common when the roof does not have enough tiers of pipe-style snow guards installed. As with pad-style snow guards, the pipe-style systems have a given capacity. If the project’s snow loads exceed the capacity, either additional tiers of guards should be installed or the system should be supplemented with pad guards to add friction and prevent sliding over the barricade.

Unfortunately, for either financial or aesthetic reasons, the wrong snow management device is often used, and the system fails. In fact, every snow management device of which this author is aware will work if it is used properly. The key is having the correct roof-specific and product-specific data.

Every snow guard manufacturer should be able to provide written documentation and verified test results that state the point at which
each and every snow guard it manufactures will yield on the roof surface–in other words, the actual tested failure point, not the perceived failure point. I say “perceived” failure since guessing seems to have been a common method of design in years past. The failure point is a critical piece of information because it is important that the system yields if the roof is overloaded and is not capable of supporting the weight of the snow mass being held back. How does one design a snow management system without knowing the strength of the device being considered?

Manufacturers of snow management devices should test to ultimate failure. A safety factor of at least two should then be applied to the ultimate load value to establish an allowable load. Depending upon the roof conditions and importance factor (ASCE-7), the safety factor may need to be increased. In theory, snow management  system design should stop here. Knowing the weight of the mass and the capability of the device should be sufficient. The mathematical formulas are rather straightforward. However, there is far more to design than a simple calculation.

Sometimes snow is a liquid and sometimes snow is a solid. The mass to be managed will change as the temperature changes. Combine this issue with the fact that this ever-changing mass is poised on a sloped roof surface. For these reasons, the chosen style or type of device requires careful consideration. Talk to a technical salesperson at the company from which the device is being purchased. He or she should be able to explain all of the variables. But understand that even though the physical calculations applied may be mechanical, the science of snow and ice management is ever-evolving.

Every year, more is learned about the effects of snow and ice on roofs and how to better manage them. In the late 1990s, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions  Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) conducted a study that included a discussion about the effects of snow and ice on plumbing vents. The issue had become apparent on metal roofs, as plumbing vents seemed to be sheared off by the snow mass. The researchers determined that snow and ice tend to build up and away from any roof
obstruction at a 45º angle (Figure 4).

This means that a simple 3-in plumbing vent installed near the eaves and at the center of a building could, at certain times, be carrying nearly half of the roof snow load (Figures 5, 6, and 7). As conditions changed and the snow mass shifted, the plumbing vents were sheared off. This becomes very important  when snow guards are installed only over doorways. An 8-ft-wide snow fence] installed above a doorway in the middle of a building will sometimes carry half of the snow load for the entire roof (Figure 4). Just like the plumbing vent, this small row of snow guards can be sheared off. For this reason, we recommend using a safety factor of three rather than two to determine the right quantities in such areas.

Over some of the winters in Vermont, we have had an opportunity to watch a different phenomenon unfold. I call this the “glacial effect.” In the Northeast, snow has tended to accumulate and stay for longer periods. It used to be that a January or February thaw would melt and clear the winter’s accumulation off the roof. These past two years have stayed cold, and the typical thaw periods did not occur. Instead, we saw a good deal of slow melt often brought on by thermal loss from within the structures. The result was a slow quarter- to half-inch “creep” of the entire snow and ice mass each day.

On our own commercial steel building, which has a pipe-style snow guard system with multiple tiers, the snow and ice mass crept out over the eaves sometimes as much as 18 inches before we were forced to knock it down (Figures 8 and 9). On some buildings, this “creep” effect was left alone and began to curl back toward the side of buildings.

This was happening all over Vermont on buildings that had snow management systems installed. The point is that we can calculate to the best of our abilities the snow loads that will be on a roof based upon published reliable data. However, we cannot manage Mother Nature. A snow management system can do exactly what it is designed to do, but designers and building owners should recognize that the systems themselves may need to be managed in extreme and unusual conditions. This includes removing snow and ice behind snow management systems if snow loads in the area appear to have exceeded the building design loads.

Another interesting development in the world of snow management systems is the need for snow guards arising due to the installation of solar arrays. These arrays are being installed on top of many composition shingle roofs that have rarely needed snow management systems to date. The granules on the surface of composition shingles have always functioned as friction.

But now we are installing glass arrays above these composition shingle roofs that act as an almost frictionless surface no different than a metal or slate roof. This, combined with the thermal differential between the existing roof and the panels, will certainly create a need for some creative engineering. This is an example of how ever-changing needs and technology continually impact and change how we deal with snow on a roof.

When designing snow management systems, gather all of the building-specific information available. Then gather all of the snow management information available. Talk with local roofing contractors about their experience with given snow management products, discuss the situation with a variety of snow management product manufacturers, and design from an educated perspective that minimizes guesswork.

Questions? Let us know – that’s what we’re here for!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM OUR TEAM TO YOURS!

We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com 

888.766.4273

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Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.

 

What Style Snow Guard Should I Use on My Project?

For those of us who live and work in locations that receive any amount of snow during the course of the winter (even in the autumn and spring up here in our neck of the woods), managing rooftop snow is essential in protecting the areas immediately surrounding our homes and businesses, where people walk and play, where animals live, where our expensive landscaping resides, and where our cars are parked, our BBQ grills sit, and our gutters are in the direct line of fire.

But how do you know what type of snow guard is the right type for your project? That’s where we come in. Our technical team is rich with talent – they know all the options for each roof type, and by employing our ground snow load database, they can help determine what type of snow guard is not only right for your project, but for your location, as well.

The Alpine SnowGuards® team designs, engineers and manufactures over 60 variations of snow guards. 60! Seems like a lot, right?  It is, and here’s why: Every roof is different (material, slope, shape, size, pitch, valleys, etc….), and ground snow loads vary significantly from one area to another. This is the exact reason we make a snow guard for every roof type, new or retrofit, in many styles that differ in both form and function.

We offer 60 solutions, each with a unique purpose:

Pad-StylePipe-StyleFence-Style, and Solar Snow Management.

Pad-Style Snow Guards

Traditional pad-style snow guards are designed specifically to add friction to a frictionless surface, which will help prevent a sudden roof avalanche of snow and ice.  Our pad-style snow guards feature our “fish head” design, providing maximum strength while maintaining aesthetic integrity, and most are available in mill finish, copper, and many color options.

PAD

You can use our convenient Pad-Style Snow Guard Calculator to estimate how many pad-style snow guards you will need for your project.

Pipe-Style Snow Guards

Acting as a barricade, pipe-style snow guards prevent large sections of snow and ice from avalanching off a roof.  Our pipe-style snow guards are precision engineered to be not only durable, but beautiful as well.  We offer two-pipe and three-pipe snow retention systems and we also make several height-adjustable bracket options to accommodate roof pitches of many ranges.  You can even have your system powder coated to match the roof!

PIPE

It’s easy to get started, just sign up to start using our Online Project Calculator  and we’ll provide you with a FREE recommended layout!

Fence-Style Snow Guards

The Alpine SnowGuards team is very proud of our SnowMax system, which is the strongest snow management system on the market.  Fabricated from aircraft grade aluminum, and with bracket spacing up to 48” on center, this system is an easy to install, cost-effective solution. SnowMax is available for 3 roof types – standing seam, membrane, and corrugated metal.

a

Since our Sister Company, EcoFasten Solar, manufactures patented, watertight solar roof mounts and rail-free mounting systems, we recognize a need for solutions designed for managing snow on solar arrays – that’s why EcoFasten offers Solar SnowMax, SolarSnowMax-R2, and Solar Snow Pad. All of which were specifically designed for use on solar arrays, in either portrait or landscape orientation.

SSM

So there you have it – the low down on snow guards and a brief overview of each type.  If you’re like me, you’ll still have questions, so just email us – that’s what we’re here for! And if you’d like to check out our products by roof type, let me lead the way!

 

alpine_noback

We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com 

888.766.4273

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Sign up to start using our Online Project Calculator for FREE recommended layouts, BOM’s, pricing, system comparisons, and much more!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and keep up on the latest industry and Alpine news, products, and upcoming events!

Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.

 

The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg

A lot of people ask us how Alpine SnowGuards got our start and made our mark in the snow management industry. And often we “make a long story short,” but it’s important to know the roots of Alpine, and where our innovations came from.

Our founder & President, Brian Stearns, started his career as a slate roofing contractor in the 1970’s, working on slate roofs and consulting jobs in the greater New England area. That reach spread to many other states, and even led to a consultancy in Japan (that’s him below, on the left). Let’s just say he knows a thing or two about roofing. Anything you want to know, just ask him, and he will know.

The slate roofing company Brian founded was called Vermont Slate and Copper Services (VSCS as we call it). As VSCS grew, and took on many new roofing projects, the company began searching for snow guards that would hold up to the rugged conditions of Northeast winters. His search left him empty handed. So, like any entrepreneurial, innovative person would do, he made his own.

They worked. And they worked well. So well in fact, that others in the roofing industry started asking where they could get snow guards like that. And so, Alpine was born.

What was that first snow guard? It was a very early iteration of our PD10 pad-style snow guard – or as we call it, The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg.

The PD10’s holding power was precision-engineered to lend a blend of strength, durability, functionality, and attractiveness.

You can even request a Fleur-de-lis embellishment for a more upscale, noticeable appearance.

The PD10 allows snow and ice to drop off in small amounts, or melt completely, before falling to the ground. It also protects against snow damage at the lower roof levels (think gutters, crickets, valleys, plumbing vents, etc….) and at ground level (cars, people, landscaping, pets, walkways, ground mounted mechanical units), and the material and color selections are wide and varied.

During this month, we’re running a DECEMBER DISCOUNT – just call us at 888.766.4273, mention that you saw this on our blog, and we’ll tell you all about the pad-style discounts that are available this month only.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to email us with questions, sample or quote requests, and any additional information you may need. That’s what we’re here for!

alpine_noback

We keep snow in its place

www.alpinesnowguards.com

info@alpinesnowguards.com 

888.766.4273

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Sign up to start using our Online Project Calculator for FREE recommended layouts, BOM’s, pricing, system comparisons, and much more. We even have a tutorial that walks you through the calculator!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and keep up on the latest industry and Alpine news, products, and upcoming events!

Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, architects, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.

 

A Bountiful Harvest

Every year around this time, I write about being thankful. Thankful for a happy life, a great husband, awesome son, wonderful family, and amazing friends. I have a pendant a good friend once gave me that says it all: “Too blessed to be stressed.” ♥

I’m also thankful to have a job I love (and I don’t say that with a grain of salt). The owners are top-notch, I truly enjoy working with the staff, and our customers (that’s you!) are out of this world! I know I don’t speak only for myself here at Alpine SnowGuards when I say, “thank you”.

Every year, you all send us some pretty amazing installation photos – those are what I normally fill my “thankful” post with – but this time, I thought it would be nice to see some install photos you probably haven’t seen before. These are from the Alpine SnowGuards vault, and as I was digging through them all, I found some photos I haven’t seen before, and I thought you would be interested in seeing them too!

So, sit back, kick your feet up (preferably not on your desk), and enjoy the slideshow (hint: clicking on an image will take you to the product page on our website).

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” –William Arthur Ward