130 Years of Roofing History Drives Snow Guard Evolution

From the industrial revolution of the 1890’s until roughly the mid 1940’s, slate, tile and metal roofing was commonplace among roofing installers and builders. The craftsmen of the era understood the materials, how to work with them, handle them, maintain and repair them and they understood that snow and ice would slide off suddenly (and sometimes frighteningly). During the roughly 50 years of the hard-roofing heyday, KEEP READING

The Pros & Cons of Snow Guards on Solar Panels

Last week, we covered Snow Guards for Solar Panels, and since that post, several questions and comments have come up in regards to the pros and cons of the practice of managing snow and ice on solar panel arrays. I should start by saying that I’ve always been a strong advocate for not using snow retention devices unless they’re needed. If there isn’t a problem, there’s KEEP READING

Snow Guards for Solar Panels

As you’re aware, I’ve retired from the world of solar panel racking. As you may not be aware, Alpine SnowGuards manufactures the only snow retention system for solar arrays. Yes, we make a product that keeps snow and ice from sliding off the roof from solar panels in the form of a sudden avalanche (Take a look at the options!) Why, you ask? Let me tell KEEP READING

PP115 Featured on This Old House!

We would like to thank the producers of This Old House for the much-needed discussion about the importance of snow guards. Last weekend, when our PP115 system was installed on a residential project in Brookline, Massachusetts, Tommy and Kevin of This Old House installed the system quickly and easily. Before I continue, here’s the video (forward to 16:54). It’s my understanding that they’re not able to KEEP READING

Snow Retention System Design Elements

I want to start off by saying that I am really enjoying writing these blogs! What a great opportunity to share acquired knowledge and re-connect with the industry! Thank you for reading, and thank you for your questions. Two weekends ago, my wife and business partner, Sandy and I visited a ranch in Montana where we went horseback riding and fly fishing. What a gorgeous place KEEP READING

How Do Snow Guards Work? (Part 2: Pipe-Style)

Last time, in part one of this two-part blog series, we talked about snow guards and customer expectations, specifically in reference to the installation and use of pad-style snow guards. This time let’s shift the focus to pipe-style snow guards. Pipe-style snow guards act as a barricade system, preventing large chunks of snow and ice from sliding off a roof in the form of a roof KEEP READING

How Do Snow Guards Work? (Part 1: Pad-Style)

How do snow guards work? Believe it or not, this is a highly debated question within the construction and snow retention industries. It’s a common misconception that snow guards are intended to break up snow and ice into little pieces, basically cut up the mass, so that it comes off in smaller pieces. It’s easy to understand how people with limited knowledge of snow retention might KEEP READING

Snow Guards and Customer Expectations

One of the more common questions we’re asked here at Alpine SnowGuards is, “are snow guards necessary?” I’ve taught my staff to respond, “snow guards are optional”. Why are snow guards optional? Let’s start with the fact that most building owners don’t want them. And why is this? It varies with construction type, aesthetics, finances, lack of understanding (we approach this issue as an opportunity to KEEP READING

What is a Snow Guard?

By now many of you have read or heard through the grapevine that I have retired from the solar industry. To be clear, I have retired from the “solar industry” but am far from retired. My energies will now focus on family, fun, and Alpine SnowGuards. As such, I plan to do a blog series that focuses on snow guards. If any of you have questions KEEP READING

Solving as Many Snow Guard Challenges as Possible

Thank you for the outpouring of well wishes from all of you who have commented on my retirement from the solar industry. Yes, it’s official. April 15th was my last day with EcoFasten Solar. To all of the close friends, hard-working employees who care, honest competitors that did not knock me off, customers who paid their bills on time, selfless solar industry associations focused on world KEEP READING