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The devil is in the details when it comes to proper snow retention

TRA Snow Devil in the Details
February 28, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.

By Emma Peterson. 

Snow retention is key to the safety of a building and those around it, but it is not a one size fits all solution. 

In an episode of MetalCast™, Heidi J. Ellsworth hosted Mindy Dahlquist of TRA Snow and Sun to talk about the importance of snow retention systems. Each year, many people are injured or killed from the uncontrolled snowfall from roofs. TRA Snow and Sun has made it a point to share the importance of snow retention systems, which can prevent such incidents.  

Beyond the danger posed to people, snow avalanches due to uncontrolled build-up can damage the roof system as well. Mindy shared, “One good slide of snow on that roof and it can tear parts of the roof away and you won't even know until you have a water problem.”  

What is the best way to make a roof safer in the winter? A snow retention system. This is a device or series of devices installed on a roof to control the accumulation of snow and allows it melt off at a regulated pace, minimizing the risk of one large, dangerous avalanche. Each home or building will have a unique number of snow guards needed, as these systems are far from a one size fits all. Mindy explained, “It's going to be very specific depending on what you have going on. If you're building a gorgeous, secluded cabin, your snow retention and roofing product is going to be different than if you're building a large trucking shop.” 

The main choice that must be made in terms of snow retention is whether to install brackets or fences, which are two general types of retention systems. Mindy described the installation process for brackets, “Brackets are created to penetrate about three inches deep into the snowpack as that snow is falling and then creates more of a blanketed effect.” While brackets are specifically designed to hold the snow as it falls, fences serve as more of a barrier that freezes the snow in place.  

Overall, the choice on what system to install depends on many different environmental and structural factors such as roofing materials and altitude. Mindy said, “It really just comes down to using your resources for your snow retention manufacturer and relying on them, leaning on them to learn a little bit more and finding out exactly what you're working with.” 

Read the transcript, Listen to the podcast or Watch the episode to learn more about installing the right snow retention system for your project.

Learn more about TRA Snow & Sun in their Coffee Shop Directory or visit www.trasnowandsun.com.

About Emma

Emma is a content intern for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When she's not writing, she enjoys a good movie night with friends and trying to cook new recipes.



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