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When Does Your Roof Need Snow Retention?

Are you hearing loud noises coming from your roof?

This can be a sign that snow is sliding.  Beware the next time you open the door to go outside especially if your door opens where snow falls.  Deaths have occurred when snow slippage is imminent and someone slams a door.  Just the vibration creates an avalanche.

Are you noticing large pieces of ice and/or snow coming off in big chunks?

Are pieces of your gutter coming off with ice at the eave?  Ice is a heavy and powerful factor in gutters becoming disconnected from the structure.

Are there high spots of snow and ice piled at the eave line on the ground?  This might mean that snow or ice has come off that place during the winter.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, continue reading.

People die due to snow and ice sliding off roofs. This is extremely tragic and often avoidable. Use roof snow retention for these reasons:

  1.  Damage/Injury – People and property can be struck by snow and ice falling from the roof. Property damage and injuries, even deaths can occur when snow is not properly retained on a roof.
  2.  Limited Access – Entrances to buildings can be blocked by snow and ice that falls from a roof.
  3.  Roof Damage – When snow and ice masses slide off a roof, costly damage occurs.

It is especially important to install snow retention above:

  • entryways
  • walkways
  • gathering spots
  • parking lots
  • drive-through areas
  • expensive landscaping
  • ground mounted mechanical
  • roof protrusions such as plumbing vents

Can Your Building Support the Weight of Snow Retention?

You might wonder if your roof can support the weight of snow and ice staying on the roof. If your home is less than 40 years old, the answer is probably yes.

During the 1970-80’s, most states adopted building codes that required structures to support the weight of the building materials (dead load) and the weight of the snow, ice, water, people, etc. (live load). By the year 2000, international building codes were universally adopted with similar standards. So, if the structure was built post 1975, you are unlikely to have any structural problems when keeping snow on the roof (it also helps insulate your roof, saving heating costs!).

 

Could An Urban Roof Avalanche Affect You?

Ice_dam_slate_roof

 

In the next couple of days, a wintry mix could make things dicey on the mountains and even in your neighborhoods. That’s why avalanche forecasters are urging caution. Nicole Vowell reports from KSL Channel 5 New.

 

 

To help avoid such avalanche conditions there are several factors that one must evaluate when determining if a particular building requires a snow retention system.

The first question you should pose is “What would happen if snow slides off the roof?”

The second question is “Do we care?”

When snow slides off of a roofing surface, it can come crashing down or slide off and then piles up on whatever is below the edge of the roof. Snow retention is frequently used to protect landscaping around the perimeter of the building, to protect guttering systems around the edge of the roof, and to keep snow from piling either on a lower roof level or decks, sidewalks and at garage entrances. If nothing below the roof can be damaged by this avalanche of snow and ice, it may be best to let the snow and ice slide off unhindered.

However, what if what is below the roof could be damaged?

WHY SNOW RETENTION IS NEEDED

During the winter months, as snow accumulates on your home, gravity will begin to pull it down the slope of your roof. There are many reasons this can be harmful to your home or even dangerous. In worst structural cases, this can lead to damage to costly gutter systems, structural damage to lower roof levels, and even destruction of mature landscaping around the perimeter of a home.

Low-slope roofs with parapet walls naturally keep snow and ice on the roof. On a sloped roof, however, large chunks of snow and ice can slide off as the snow melts. Avalanching snow is probable on roofing systems with a steep enough slope and/or a low coefficient of friction. This is especially dangerous for pedestrians walking below.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SNOW RETENTION SYSTEM

There are many types of roofing materials, each has advantages and disadvantages and each should be considered when determining the placement of snow retention on the building.

When considering whether to install a snow retention system on your roof, you may first want to consider what type of roof you have. Will your roof allow snow to slide? Probably.  In places with heavy snows, like areas in Utah, it is common for snow to slide off of all types of roof systems, leading to heavy ice and snow build up in gutters, which causes damage over time. If you have a metal, tile, slate or membrane roof with a pitch of 1/12 or greater, snow will definitely slide off and cause problems.

WE CAN HELP…

TRA snow retention systems are available for all types of roofs and come in a variety of options. The specific snow retention equipment recommended for your roof will depend on the type of roof system installed, the pitch of the roof, snow load, sheathing type, how old the building is and budget.

Our snow fences, brackets, and clamps are all types of snow retention systems that prevent large sheets of snow or ice from falling off a pitched roof. The systems hold the snow on the roof so it can gradually melt off, preventing damage to people and objects below.

At TRA Snow and Sun, we engineer and layout each project free of charge using the unique factors specific to your project. TRA Snow and Sun representatives will work with you to design the most efficient snow retention system. We can design your roof to work with a variety of applications. Just give us your project details & we will design your Snow Retention System to fit your project. For more information, call Ben Anderson at TRA Snow and Sun at 800-606-8980, ben@trasnowadsun.com, or visit: www.trasnowandsun.com                                                                                                           

                                                                    REQUEST A QUOTE

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Thanks to you, our customers

tra snow and sun

The first goal I had when establishing TRA was to prevent injury and needless death to people by creating snow guards that would not fail.  I wanted to be sure dangerous avalanches of snow and ice could be stopped by engineering each snow retention project.  That original objective of safe, dependable, complete systems has carried over to all products we manufacture – solar mounting products, flexible ventilation and snow retention.  Thank-you for your trust in us as we work with you to continue this paramount objective of safety and dependability.

I hope that we are doing a good job in our mission:

  • To offer the highest quality snow retention, solar mounting systems, flexible roof flashing and ventilation products made from superior materials that provide the ultimate in protection, durability and dependability.
  • We strive daily to provide customized service, exceptional engineering, superior manufacturing, and resourceful solutions for each customer, focusing on the unique requirements of each project.
  • Our team is united, innovative and dedicated. Each employee pursues excellence in each company endeavor and realizes that maintaining the good reputation that took decades to establish depends on them.
  • We are not content to simply be successful, but strive to set new and higher standards in all that we do.

As the owner of TRA Snow and Sun, I am responsible for the quality of our products, the service to our customers, and the care of our employees.  Each of these things is supremely important to me, but none are possible without YOU.  The customized service that we provide is dependent on YOU, our customer, working closely with us to engineer systems which are superior and dependable.  Each project is unique and we appreciate your efforts to make your individual project the best possible.

In this time of Thanksgiving, I thank YOU for the opportunity to provide the world with dependable roofing systems.  Thank YOU for your partnership and your trust in TRA Snow and Sun.

Please contact me at any time.  I welcome your suggestions and ideas.

Terry E. Anderson
President
800-606-8980

terry-anderson

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Retro-fit Snow Retention. What to do?

One of my older relatives used to say, when confronted with a dilemma, “What to do, what to do….”  It made me chuckle!

But, this phrase describes a dilemma for people confronted with snow and ice avalanching off their already installed roof.  They want to keep the snow up there

snow clips, snow guards, snow bracket

rather than down there

Snow Avalanche Off A RoofFalling Snow in Park City, UT

but what is the best solution?

First of all, retrofit is similar as well as different from new construction.  Basic questions need to be answered for new and retrofit construction.

  • What is the slope?
  • What is the snowload in the area?
  • What type of roofing product is being used?
  • What type of sheathing is under the roofing material?

For retrofit, snow retention installers don’t have the luxury of applying the snow retention devices as the roofing material is installed in a new project.  This is when “What to do, what to do…” might be heard under their breath!

How do you keep snow and ice from falling off while also maintaining a water-tight system when the roofing is already on the roof?  How hard is it to do this?

Contractors need a simple and effective solution.

For asphalt shingles, simulated shake, and other similar roofs, using TRA’s H Snow Bracket, there is no need to pull back the headlap to install a device. Butyl or caulking can be applied on the surface of the roofing product, then the bracket is installed directly into the sheathing using screws.  A clip is then placed over the screws.

Snow-Bracket-H-Short

Snow Bracket H

Easy.  Effective.

The reason this system will work on retrofit is because TRA’s engineering is done using the specific factors as mentioned above.  When installed using the engineered layout, the roof will now hold back the snow and ice that would have fallen off, damaging people or property below.

At TRA Snow and Sun, we help you find an Engineered Solution.  Call us for a free layout, provided within 2 working days.

Snow Bracket H

Designed for most roof types

Available with or without fastener cover clip

Can be powder-coated to match roofing material

Available in 16 g steel, 48 oz copper, 26 g Cor-Ten, 16 ga stainless steel, .063″ aluminum

Finishes – Electro-galvanized, hot-dipped galvanized, mill finish aluminum, copper or Cor-Ten

Power-coating available in many colors.

When Strength Really Matters

snow falling on carsIce_dam_slate_roof

Keeping snow and ice from avalanching off a roof requires a system of superior strength.  When strength really does matter to save lives and prevent damage to property, how does a home or business owner know what snow retention product is strong enough?

How does someone decide what product measures up?

How does one decide the best method of installing a safe and reliable roof snow retention system?

If your answer to these questions is, “I can find that out.  I’ll just look it up online under building codes or ask my roofing contractor.” 

Well, good luck.

There are NO codes for roof snow retention!  None.  Nil.  Nada.  (Our owner, Terry Anderson, is serving on a committee right now to finally establish standards.  Watch for updates on this in the future!)  If a contractor starts sitting codes or standards, be wary.  The contractor might have his own standards, and we sure hope they all do, but there are no national or international standards for snow retention.

This makes it very important for owners, architects, engineers, and contractors to take extra care when designing a snow retention system. At TRA Snow & Sun, we seek to offer high-quality snow retention devices ENGINEERED for the unique snow & ice and building conditions relative to each specific project.

Snow retention as a science has emerged as a technological know-how for human safety. The laws of physics have to be used when holding back lots of destructive snow and ice. Annual assets and personal damage from destructive sliding snow and ice is in the millions, however, the price of a human life is incalculable.  If someone dies as a result of no snow retention or faulty snow retention, the liability threat to household owners and business proprietors is astronomical.

By retaining snow on the roof of a building and allowing even snow melt-off, injuries to residents/guests and property below the roof of a building can be avoided, saving money and limiting the possibility of personal loss. By installing snow retention you can:

  • Prevent danger to residents and guests.
  • Prevent costly roof and property damage.
  • Maintain safe access, keeping entrances/walkways free of snow and ice.
  • Promote energy efficiency by retaining snow which is a good insulation blanket.
  • Trust in the best with the highest quality snow retention devices.

How does one avoid the potential pitfalls to a bad snow retention product?

It can get perplexing with several hundreds of different snow guard types and designs to consider from. With a TRA snow retention system, you know you’re safe because we have gone through extensive product testing. Our products are built to last to the fail point of the snow retention system, not just the product. Unlike other plastic type snow guards that turn yellow and fail over time, TRA’s snow retention systems are superior in strength. Our superior snow retention is designed to manage snow migration on any type of roofing is made of stainless steel or brass.

plastic vs TRA

TRA CLAMP-ON SNOW FENCE vs PLASTIC GLUE-ON SNOW GUARDS

 

In simple terms, a first-rate snow retention product coupled with a reliable and safe FREE engineered spacing layout will help lessen the legal responsibility related to the unexpected slid of snow and ice from roofs. All requesting clients can receive free engineered layouts within 2 working days for each project’s specific requirements. For a free layout, data sheets, specs & quote contact us at 855-542-1861.

 

TRA Division 07 7253 Snow Guard Specifications Have Just Been Updated

Spec Logo

TRA Snow and Sun knows how important it is that specifying roof snow retention be as worry free and easy as possible for architects, designers and homeowners. So over the last several months we worked hard with our partners to improve the quality and ease of creating a good, safe, and specific roof snow retention specification.

We are proud to announce that our Division 07 7253 Roof Snow Retention specifications have just been enhanced and updated!

Designers and contractors can now read and download the snow guard specifications using MasterSpec or with SpecLink. They can also contact TRA Snow and Sun via phone or through our contact page at anytime and we will e-mail the new snow guard specifications which can be merged into master specification documents.

With our updated snow guard specifications, designers  have the necessary knowledge base to create the perfect snow retention system for their unique project design. We have made it as easy as ever!

TRA Snow & Sun roof snow retention products provide superior benefits to building designers and contractors because they get a safe SYSTEM, not just a good product. We test and engineer our products based on the components of their specific roof system (snow guard, sheathing, attachment, slope, snow-load, etc.). This dramatically decreases the designer or contractor’s liability!

TRA provides a FREE, no obligation, ENGINEERED LAYOUT within 2 business days – 855-542-1861. Website: https://trasnowandsun.com/architects/.

Choose from zinc-plated steel, copper or stainless steel. All steel can be powdered coat to match the roof color. Roof types include metal panel, asphalt & cedar shingles, corrugated metal, flat granule metal, simulated slate, single ply, slate, tile & wood shake.

Should Your Building Have Snow Retention Devices?

The Tell-Tale Signs in Spring That You Should Install Snow Retention

C-2-2-Z-Snow-Fence-installed-at-a-Government-Camp-in-2

The winter is slowly fading into Spring, but as the snow and ice melts off your roof, there might be some signs that you need snow retention:

Are you noticing large pieces coming off in big chunks?

Do you hear it slipping? (This can be pretty loud and frightening when it happens unexpectedly!)

Are pieces of your gutter coming off due to ice tearing it off as it slipped off your roof?

Are there high spots of snow and ice piled at the eave line on the ground? This might mean that snow or ice has come off that place during the winter.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, continue reading.

People die due to snow and ice sliding off roofs. This is extremely tragic and often avoidable. Use roof snow retention for these reasons:

  1.  Damage/Injury – People and property can be struck by snow and ice falling from the roof. Property damage and injuries, even deaths can occur when snow is not properly retained on a roof.
  2.  Limited Access – Entrances to buildings can be blocked by snow and ice that falls from a roof.
  3.  Roof Damage – When snow and ice masses slide off a roof, costly damage occurs.

Damage from Slidding Snow & Ice

It is especially important to install snow retention above:

  • entryways
  • walkways
  • gathering spots
  • parking lots
  • drive-through areas
  • expensive landscaping
  • ground mounted mechanical
  • roof protrusions such as plumbing vents

Can Your Building Support the Weight of Snow Retention?

You might wonder if your roof can support the weight of snow and ice staying on the roof. If your home is less than 40 years old, the answer is probably yes.

During the 1970-80’s, most states adopted building codes that required structures to support the weight of the building materials (dead load) and the weight of the snow, ice, water, people, etc. (live load). By the year 2000, international building codes were universally adopted with similar standards. So, if the structure was built post 1975, you are unlikely to have any structural problems when keeping snow on the roof (it also helps insulate your roof, saving heating costs!).

VersaFlash: The Must Have ‘Roofer’s Duct Tape’

 

SolarFlash (2)

TRA Snow and Sun has something every roofer needs: VersaFlash.  It’s a must-have for all roofers. We call it the “roofer’s duct tape”. Here’s why you need it for every roofing project.

VersaFlash: The Roofer’s Duct Tape

The primary reason any type of roofing exists is to provide a protective layer to maintain a barrier between the interior of a building and the weather. How this is accomplished can take many different forms, but there’s nothing proven to work better than TRA Snow and Sun’s VersaFlash: flexible aluminum flashing that attaches down with a butyl. It adheres to the wall or other roofing structure or tile, is extremely flexible, and adds a professional finish to all roofing projects, while being extremely effective at sealing out water and preventing leaks.

Types of VersaFlash

Some types of VersaFlash are meant just for concrete and clay tile roofing only, while others are effective for all types of roof. Here’s a breakdown of VersaFlash offered by TRA Snow and Sun.

Why Choose VersaFlash?

Simply put, VersaFlash is easy to use, flexible, and will save you time and money without sacrificing an inch in quality. There are many reasons you’ll love Aluminum and Copper VersaFlash — here’s why once you choose it, you’ll never roof without it again.

Versatility

We don’t call it the “roofer’s duct tape” for nothing. VersaFlash is made of flexible, stretchy material that can be used to seal roof-to-wall abutments, chimneys, and basically anything you can think of. It’s very easy to work with so you can get the job done right the first time.

Conforms to Many Roof Types

A roofer looking for a go-to roofing adhesive need look no further than VersaFlash. Other than the HD Aluminum Roll (clay and concrete) we offer, VersaFlash will conform to most types of roofs including, but not limited to:

  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Wood Shingles and Shakes
  • Slate
  • Metal (copper, steel, aluminum, tile)
  • Fiber Cement

Durability

Leave all of your re-flashing worries behind with VersaFlash. It’s highly durable, flexible, and weather resistant. It stretches to a maximum of 33 percent, conforms easily to roof surfaces, and installation is easy. If you want a durable roofing adhesive that won’t give you problems down the road, VersaFlash is the gold standard. On top of it all, TRA Snow and Sun offers a 25-year limited warranty.

TRA Snow and Sun is your number one source for solar mounting, snow retention, flexible ventilation, and flashing material. We offer competitive prices and guarantee our products. Give us a call today at 877-290-8669 for more details, and check out all of our flashing products at trasnowandsun.com.

TRA Snow and Sun Helps Camp Kostopulos for Disabled Individual Prevent Possible Injury from Sliding Snow and Ice

Camp Kostopulos’ new Equestrian Center experienced avalanching snow and ice during it’s first two winters, so TRA Snow and Sun installed a snow retention solution to project disabled campers in 2014.

In 2012 when TRA Snow and Sun of American Fork, Utah established their new mission statement to include offering roof snow retention and solar mounting products “that provide the ultimate in protection” for people and property, they didn’t know how important this focus might be for disabled individuals in 2014.

Camp Kostopolus-Ace Gutter 4

Just a short drive north along the Wasatch Front, Camp Kostopulos, a camp for disabled individuals, also has a mission statement that focuses on the value of human life.  They are “dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities” and endeavor to open a world of opportunities for people with disabilities.  During the winter of 2014, the focus of both companies combined to provide safety for campers who use the new Equestrian Center which had experienced a serious problem from dangerous falling snow and ice.

According to Jacob Anderson, TRA Snow and Sun Sales Director, the 62 pounds per square foot snow load on the building’s 5/12 pitched standing seam metal roof had fallen victim to the ferocious forces of sliding snow and ice during the winters of 2012 and 2013. This caused the gutters along the front of the 200 ft. long and 100 ft. wide arena to be torn off. Sliding snow and ice can avalanche off and literally kill an unsuspecting person unexpectedly and can damage
anything in its path on the ground.

Mircea Divrician, who began as a counselor at the camp in 1998, and stayed on to become Executive Director of the Kostopulos Dream Foundation, realized that there was a real possibility for tragedy to a camper or staff member going in or out of one of the buildings if something wasn’t done.  “We built the Equestrian Center two years ago but didn’t plan on putting snow clips on the roof.  We didn’t foresee how much of a threat the snow could be!  The first winter was horrible.  We get a lot of snow in Emigration Canyon and then there would be a nice sunny day and the snow melts and then, boom, a huge chunk of snow comes down.  So we installed gutters with heat tape, but the second winter the snow came down and smashed the gutters.  Another time a huge chunk of snow came down and when it hit the ground it fell back onto the side of the building, causing damage to the metal panels.  We knew this was a real hazard for the people around this building and the vans and cars parked right outside.”

TRA Snow and Sun, Inc., obtained the key data needed (snowload, slope, type of roof, etc.) and provided an engineered layout for the north side of the building. TRA Snow and Sun, Inc used their Universal Snow Guard and specified spacing them throughout the span of the roof approximately every six to eight feet. The system was installed this year and Divricean anticipates no further problems from the dangers of snow and ice on the roof next winter. President of TRA Snow and Sun, Terry Anderson, was glad to be part of this project. “We do many snow retention projects, but whenever we get a call to be part of something that focuses so much on improving the quality of life for special people like those who use Camp Kostopulos,we really like it. I got into the roof snow retention business originally because I couldn’t stand the thought of someone being injured by falling snow and ice from a roof.”

At Camp Kostopulos kids, teens, and adults with disabilities enjoy riding horses, swimming in a heated pool, fishing in a trout pond, utilizing a ropes course, canoeing, creating arts and crafts, and more. Since 1967, the Kostopulos Dream Foundation has been dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through the medium of recreation and leisure education

TRA Snow and Sun, Inc., located in American Fork, Utah, offers Roof Snow Retention Devices, Solar Mounting Systems and Roof Flashing Solutions. They supply to all types of customers, from the individual homeowner to the big developer and free engineered designs of all their systems. For more information call Terry Anderson at TRA Snow and Sun at 800-606-8980 or
visit https://trasnowandsun.com/product-category/snow-retention/

Camp Kostopolus-Ace Gutter 3Camp Kostopulos, accredited by the American Camp Association, is a residential summer camp where kids, teens, and adults with disabilities are able to choose from two options a five day residential camp or travel trips. For more information contact Mircea Divricean, Executive Director Kostopulos Dream Foundation,4180 Emigration Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, Phone: (801)582-0700, Fax: (801)583-5176, mdivricean@campk.org. Visit http://www.campk.org/.

 

How to Keep Your Gutters Clean

For any who have experienced the damages to a home or property stemming from clogged gutters, then you already know how important it is to keep an eye on the gutters of a home and ensure that they are cleaned regularly in the fall.  For those who are  ignorant of the damage that could occur to a home due to clogged gutters because you have never had to deal with that issue, consider the effect of a massive fall rain storm or the aftermath of a winter’s thaw.dirty gutter

When heavy rains or melting snow accumulate on the roof, the sheer amount of water that can be produced is astounding.  This water can be safely removed from the home’s gutter system and clear the home from danger, but only if the gutters in the home are cleaned and cleared of debris.

If the gutters are clogged, then all of the water that could have otherwise been dispersed and drained properly back-builds to overflowing in the gutters of the home.  This can result in damage to the roof of the home, the siding or other framing of the home and even to flooding to the lower parts of the home once the water accumulates enough in areas that are supposed to be protected by the gutter.  With the winter storms approaching and the leaves on the trees in the yards of homes shedding off, gutters of homes can quickly be clogged with debris and falling leaves.

By taking the time to clean the gutters of the home, multiple times a month if necessary during the fall, a homeowner can be assured that they will be better prepared and protected against the potential for damage due to clogged gutters.

Warmer Weather Means the Snow is Melting

The winter months of February and March create an interesting time of year when winter slowly melts into spring during the day and then promptly freezes back into winter at night.  It is this cycle of bright, sunny, and relatively warm days followed by freezing nights that can create a dangerous flow of water and ice emanating from a home’s roof.

Throw in the occasional blinding snow storm as is common in late February and the situation can become extremely dangerous for a homeowner and their property.  Taking precautions, then, will become a priority of all homeowners.

In the mountains, the years’ worth of snow fall accumulates into one giant whole known as the snow pack.  The mountain snow packs are responsible for providing local rivers, streams, and lakes with their water throughout the year and are an indication of the level of water that will be available for the local populace.

Single-and-Double-Rail-Clamp-On-Snow-Fence-Nita-Lake-Lodge-Whistler-Canada-2011-16-300x225 (1)But these snow packs can also be extremely dangerous as they melt as they can degrade into perilous avalanche conditions and flash floods. In a similar way, snow packs that have formed on the home’s roof have the ability to come crashing down on to patios, decks, porches, driveways and walkways with the potential to cause great damage and destruction.

This damage can become a threat to people as well.  This is most commonly seen when melting snow during the day falls from the roof or driveway covering to the sidewalks and pathways below only to freeze when the temperature drops at night.

This process creates hazardous black ice conditions that can easily result in a slip and fall for anyone who passes by.  Keeping melting snow and ice on the roof has been proven to be safer for both the property and the homeowner themselves and can be accomplished by our professionally installed systems.