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ROOF DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR - home
LOW SLOPE ROOFING - home
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SLATE ROOFING - home
SNOW GUARDS & SNOW BRAKES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on ROOFS
STANDARDS for ROOFING
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
TEST LABS - ROOF SHINGLE
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TRUSS UPLIFT, ROOF
TRUSSES, FLOOR & ROOF
UNDERLAYMENT REQUIREMENTS on ROOFS
VENTILATION, ROOF SPECIFICATIONS - home
WALK-ON ROOF SURFACES
WARRANTIES for ROOF SHINGLES
WIND DAMAGE to ROOFS
WOOD SHAKE & SHINGLE ROOFING - home
Clamp on snow brakes for metal roofs: how to select & install snow fences & snow brakes on a standing-seam metal roof. This article describes mechanically-attached snow brake systems intended for use on standing seam metal roofs - a system that can also be adapted for use on some other roof types. We provide step by step snow brake installation details and we describe some roof snow guard installation snafus that can occur if proper connectors, parts, or installation instructions are not obtained & followed.
This article describes snow retention systems for smooth-surfaced roofs such as glass roofs, plastic roofs and metal roofs. We describe both glue-on snow guards and the types of clamp-on snow fences for these roof systems.
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Here are metal snow guards clamped to the steams of a standing seam metal roof. These snow guards are not installed following the recommendations of some manufacturers who suggest their guards be glued to the pans centered between the standing seams.
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We like this implementation: snow guards are clamped directly to the standing seam on the roof - no holes are made in the metal roof surface, and we avoid the problem of snow guard creep: glued snow-guards that creep down or fail to adhere to the roof surface.
These snow guards look like and probably are the painted cast aluminum RT SNow Guards produced by Berger Building Products.
Berger also provides clear plastic snow guards that can be adhered to the roof surface mechanically (via 4 pre-drilled screw holes) or by adhesive but as you'll read at SNOW GUARD GLUE ON INSTALLATION drilling holes in the roof is likely to lead to more than one sort of trouble.
We spoke with the occupants of this building in Poughkeepsie, New York about their experience with this installation. The staff confirmed that in eight years of winter snow collecting on the roof, this snow retention system had functioned without fail - important because customers park their cars quite close to the eaves of this building.
Clamp-On Snow Brake or Snow Guard Installation Details
Using the S-5!® Sno-Guard snow brake system involves fastening a mounting block onto a standing seam on a metal roof. A clamp will connect the actual snow fence to the top of the mounting block. We will describe the mounting block position, proper location of its mounting screws, proper tightening torque, and connecting the block to the clamps and snow fence. Following the manufacturer's instructions we illustrate the step-by-step installation of a snow brake or snow guard on a metal roof.
Examples of what can go wrong with this system are discussed separately at Patented clamp Snow Guard block - when a roofing supplier sent us a bucket of random parts and no instructions. Happily a call to the S-5!® Sno-Guard manufacturer found immediate and expert advice, instructions on what parts we needed, their proper names, a referral to a supplier, and links to written and video installation instructions.
With the manufacturer's help we proceeded to install the snow brake system on the standing seam metal roof shown here.
In the photo at above left, notice the proper position of the two allen screws in the mounting block: both go in the same side of the block, and the larger diameter bolt hole that will secure the clamp that in turn secures the snow fence itself faces in the "up-roof" direction.
Determine the Snow Guard Location on the Roof
Measure along the first standing seam on one side of the roof, from eave up to the distance where the snow guard or rail or brake is to be installed. This distance depends on the number of snow guards to be installed on the roof and which in the series you are installing.
Because we're testing glue-on snow-brakes on the lower eaves of this roof, the aluminum snow guard system was moved about ten feet up from those brakes.
For rules of thumb on locating snow brakes & guards see SNOW GUARD SPACING & PATTERN.
Install Two Mounting Blocks at Either Side of the Roof, To be Used for a Guide String
Some manufacturer's guides suggest just pinch-clamping the string to the standing seams - which I found flimsy and in the way. I tied the string to an installed clamp at the properly-measured distance at the roof's left and right most standing seams.
Install the first mounting block at the measured distance up from the lower roof edge on the first standing seam on one side of the roof.
Install a second mounting block the same distance up from the lower roof edge (eaves) on the last standing seam on the opposite side of the roof.
Tighten Snow Guard Supporting Clamps to Factory Specification
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Torque the mounting block set-screws to the manufacturer's specifications. This is important as a too-loose clamp attachment risks loss of the snow brake system, damage to the roof, and damage to other building components from sliding snow and hardware.
The manufacturer provides an allen screw adapter that can be driven by a 1/4" socket stepped to larger sizes to fit your torque wrench if necessary (photo at above right).
At above right is a close-up of the torqued S5! clamp onto the standing roof seam. The seam deforms slightly and the clamp block ma be slightly askew but will straighten out when you bolt the blocks to the snow rail itself. We had to convert the manufacturer's specifications in inch-pounds to foot pounds to match our torque wrench (divide inch pounds by 12).
Install the Guide String to Align Snow Guards or Clamps
Stretch a string between the two mounting blocks you placed on the first and last standing seam on the roof to give a straight line for placement of the remaining mounts onto the rest of the metal roof seams.
At above left is a close-up of our green guide string installation. You can see my measuring tape marking the proper position for the mounting block nearest the roof edge to which the string is tied.
The photo at above right shows our string-aligned snow brake mounting blocks and in the foreground an installed section of the snow brake assembly.
We first placed the mounting blocks lightly onto the standing seams, and then used the actual snow brake rail with its fittings to slide the blocks into perfect position to align the fastening bolts with clamp holes by loosely screwing the bolt down through the rail into the clamping block, keeping the block just lightly touching the string.
These would be tightened to proper torque setting.
But if you're experienced and trust your string and the play in the snow brake fittings, you may find it's easier to manipulate the drill and torque wrench to tighten every clamp in place along the guide string before ever installing the snow brake itself.
Sliding the Versa Clip Onto the Snow Guard
While the mounting block is not yet properly rotated into position our photos below show how easily the Versa Clip mounting clamp slides onto the snow brake or snow guard.
Slide all of the versa clips onto the snow brake before starting your bolting operation, then slide the clips into their position properly space to line up with the mounting blocks that are bolted to the roof's standing seams.
Proper S5! Snow Guard Mounting Block Position & Limits on Free-Ends of Snow-Brakes
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