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Dangerous March roof avalanches in Colorado

Rocky Mountain Snow Guard Spring avalanches
March 22, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

Snow retention systems expert speaks out.

Yearly snows avalanching off structures in Colorado highlight the need for snow retention systems on buildings. According to Lars Walberg, president of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, Inc., two major accidents in Colorado in March of 2024 and 2023 illustrate the importance of including snow guards, bars or fences on homes and commercial properties in areas where snowfall can be quite intense.

“Properly installed snow retention systems help avoid almost all roof snow avalanches,” says Walberg. “Of course there are exceptions, especially with very steep roofs, but those are rare. In the majority of situations, snows are held back by the retention system and released gradually, so avalanches do not occur.”

Deadly disaster

On March 16, 2024, Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports that a father and two children were caught in a roof avalanche while moving between a building and a vehicle. All three were buried in avalanche debris. One of the children later died from injuries sustained in the avalanche.

Just two days later, on March 18, 2024, two teenagers playing outside a home were partially buried in a roof avalanche. One was seriously injured. Video of the avalanche shows several accumulated feet of snow releasing from the roof. 

“Tragedies like this can be prevented by incorporating snow retention systems on roofs,” says Walberg. “This video shows large amounts of snow sliding off the roof as opposed to what should be a slower, gentler release of snow from the roof if a retention system was in place.”

Snow retention for every type of roof

Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, Inc., a leader in snow retention systems, provides different types of snow retention for a variety of roof types, including standing seam metal roofs, composite tiles, concrete, clay and asphalt. In addition, the company manufactures snow fences specifically for roofs with solar panels. 

“Roofing contractors can retrofit a snow retention system onto almost any roof, making it immediately safer for occupants and people walking by,” says Walberg. “With this type of technology easily available, it’s a double tragedy to see so many avalanching situations on roofs in our state right now.”

About Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, Inc.

Based in Englewood, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, Inc. provides free shipping of products to the 48 contiguous United States. The company offers free layouts and quotes for product placement. For details visit www.rockymountainsnowguards.com or call 1-877-414-7606.



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