TRA Snow and Sun, Inc. offers AIA continuing education course, “Roofing Solutions for Alpine Regions”


roofing solutions in alpine regions, continuing educationIn response to requests from architects and other construction specifiers, TRA Snow and Sun has decided to continue with the popular continuing education course, “Roofing Solutions for Alpine Regions”.  

Learning how to protect people and property from dangerous falling snow and ice just got much easier with the online course created by TRA Snow and Sun and approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). When an architect designs a building there are hundreds of decisions to make besides the obvious, visual components that make up an attractive and functional building: what type of window to specify, what color carpet, or what type of roof are obvious ones. There are some specifications that are vital to the safety of those who will use the building and create liability for the architect and contractors.

If the building is located in a snowy, cold climate, special consideration should be given to the proper design and engineering of devices to retain snow and ice on the roof. Most construction professionals don’t realize the importance of snow retention devices and how critical they are in alpine regions.

Terry Anderson, nationally respected roofing consultant and owner of TRA Snow and Sun and Anderson Associates Consulting, has established himself and his companies as experts in the roof snow retention industry over 35 years and is co-author of the Concrete and Clay Tile Design Criteria for Cold and Snow Regions. The AIA online course, Roofing Solutions for Alpine Regions provides one credit hour of continuing education credit for architects wishing to maintain their license. It is also available for anyone wishing to understand the best way to design a roof in a cold or snowy climate. It incorporates Anderson’s extensive experience and deals specifically with:

  • The common roofing challenges that are unique to cold climates.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the most common solutions to snow and ice on roofs.
  • The accepted roof design practices in Europe as compared to those in the United States and Canada.
  • The concepts and effectiveness of roof ventilation and snow retention in reducing snow and ice problems.
  • Several factors to be considered in the proper engineering of roof snow retention devices.

The course is available online (Ron Blank) or online (AEC Daily) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Credits are automatically submitted to AIA, CSI and other organizations by AEC Daily, one of the largest providers of free continuing education for architects, engineers, contractors, specifiers, and other construction professionals.

AIA Continuing Education, Roofing Solutions in Alpine Regionsroofing solutions for alpine regions

TRA Snow and Sun, Inc., located in American Fork, Utah, offers Roof Snow Retention Devices, Solar Racking Systems and Roof Ventilation and Flashing Solutions. They provide all customers, from the individual homeowner to the big developer, free engineered designs for all their systems. For more information call Devin Hancock at 800-606-8980.


Use The Prefect Retrofit Snow Guard Bracket H – Classic or Apex For Snow Retention

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 Snow Bracket H – Classic or Apex, 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 – Apex


Snow Bracket H – Classic

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 – Classic or Apex

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.

VersaFlash Flashing A Roofing Necessity

VersaFlash Flashing A Roofing Necessity

TRA Snow and Sun has something that every roofer needs: Flashing. It’s a must-have for all roofers. We call it 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.  When it comes to flashing, there’s nothing proven to work better than TRA Snow and Sun’s flexible aluminum or copper flashing. 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.

VersaFlash and TileSeal are flexible rolled flashing that attach to the surface of the roof with butyl adhesive. Our flashing works like magic for many roofs especially around hard to flash areas! VersaFlash and TileSeal are extremely easy to use on the work site. You can use it in areas like around roof-to-wall abutments, around chimneys and pretty much everywhere else.  Plus, it’s competitively priced.

Simply put, TRA Snow & Sun flashing 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 our Aluminum and Copper VersaFlash and TileSeal Flashing — but once you choose it, you’ll never roof without it again.

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. Try a FREE SAMPLE of our VersaFlash! Give us a call today at 877-290-8669 for more details, and check out all of our flashing products at


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?



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?


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.


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.


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,, or visit:                                                                                                           

                                                                    REQUEST A QUOTE


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



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.


The No Cutting, Hassle Free Solar Tile Mount

Solar Tile Mount

No hassle is bigger for an installer than finding out you have to re-cut tile because it won’t line up. With TRA Snow and Sun Solar Tile Mount, there’s no cutting required, saving you time on your project. Our Solar Tile Mounts are available for low, medium, and high profile tile roofs, and are adjustable for secure attachment to the structural member of the roof. We guarantee a variety of tile mounts, superior strength, and the option for custom made designs.

What Makes Our Solar Tile Mount Unique?

As mentioned above, TRA Solar Tile Mounts are easy to install and don’t require any cutting. Made of high quality, extruded aluminum that diverts the mount around the tile instead of going through it. With not cutting, this type of mount will not compromise the strength of the customer’s tile. In addition, mounts are adjustable up to six inches for easy layout planning and to make installation easier.

How Will The Solar Tile Mount Benefit Me As An Installer?

Tile Mount Hook3We offer a plethora of installation materials and resources to make experience as simple as plan, purchase, and install.

TRA’s cutting-edge tile mounts are:

  –  made of corrosion-resistant extruded aluminum

  –  quick and easy to install

  –  require no cutting

  –  require no special flashing

Solar mounts must be fastened to structural members of the roof, such as rafters, purlins or trusses, and in order for tile pans to line up in the correct locations, are adjustable up to six inches to the left or right.

A Stronger Foundation

Your solar energy system is only as strong as the mounting structure on which it’s built. We guarantee top-of-the-line products, accessories, and fastening systems. Every component is reliable and built to last. Click here to contact us for an estimate and to begin your Solar Tile Mount plan today!

Flashing Magic!

Oh NO!  Look up, Ma!  The Ceiling is Leaking!

leaking_roofWhen a leak occurs in your house, it’s a crisis! Buckets are set out, and sometimes Good Ole Uncle Jim is called for advice because, everyone in the family knows that Uncle Jim built a couple houses a while back. He’s the family expert. He’s the guy who knows how to use a hammer (and he’s also the guy whose other favorite other tool is duct tape!)

If Uncle Jim is really “good,” the first thing he will check is the flashings around walls, pipes sticking through the roof (penetrations), and around the chimney. check all penetrations into the roof including snow guards and the solar mounting used on your solar panels. If your roof has lots of valleys, dormers, or “cut-up” sections (which designers love because it adds interest to the overall look of the building), there is a good chance that is where the leak is coming from. Even with a straight gable roof (roof with just two sides and a ridgeline), you can have leaks that are NOT caused by a worn out or faulty roofing product.

The flashings in these areas might have worn out or might not have been installed properly. Let’s face it, when you bought the house did you even look up? Roofing isn’t the most interesting issue when buying a house, right?  And sometimes flashings are installed unprofessionally, or corners are cut to save money. Oftentimes no one realizes this until there is a leak.

Uncle Jim

Good Ole Uncle Jim

So, if you’ve got this issue, and there’s no Good Ole Uncle Jim around to help, think like a raindrop and see where you would flow.  (Hint – This is always down!)  Sometimes you’ll head for an obstruction rather than flowing right off the edge.  So check around penetrations, in the valleys, the walls that abut to the roof and locations where flashings are supposed to divert water from going under the roofing material. If these are cracked, loose, or just plain absent, it’s time to install new flashing.  Or do what smart Uncle Jims do. Use duct tape – roofer’s duct tape!

TRA Snow and Sun has something we like to call the “roofer’s duct tape” and it works like magic!

VersaFlash and TileSeal are flexible aluminum rolled flashing that attaches down with a butyl adhesive and is flexible. You can use it in areas like around roof-to-wall abutments, around chimneys and pretty much everywhere else. They work like magic as flashing for tile roofs! It’s super easy to work with and competitively priced.


Why to Inspect Your Roof in the Spring

You felt how harsh the winter weather was – just imagine the beating your roof must have taken.  In order to keep your roof over your head for many more years to come, it’s important to perform a spring inspection, to catch any damage or budding issues that could threaten the integrity of your roof.

Why Inspectmedium_7567357174

After the freezing, thawing, wind, and cold that your roof was exposed to during the winter, shingles could easily have been ripped off, cracked, or peeled.  Cracks often form around chimneys and pipes, and buildup in gutters could have dammed pools of water on top of your roof.

All these things, if left untreated, can cause serious damage to your roof.  By inspecting your roof in the spring, you can isolate and fix these problems before they get out of hand.

What to Look For

First, start inside by inspecting your attic or uppermost floor.  Check for leaks, discolored ceiling tiles, soggy insulation, and cold drafts.  These issues will indicate where you have leaks and/or missing shingles.

Second, walk around the perimeter of your home and look for shingles that have fallen off the roof and chunks of ice under roof eaves.  Take note of these problem areas to inspect more closely later.

Finally, if you are sure your roof is ice-free, you can climb up on the roof and check for these things:

  • Missing, broken, or warped shingles
  • Mold
  • Rusty metal
  • Cracks on or near chimney/pipes
  • Clogged gutters

If you do happen across any damage, it’s best to call for professional help.  While you certainly can do some maintenance by yourself (like cleaning out gutters), more serious damage should be handled by professionals.

Safety First

As you are inspecting your roof, never forget – safety first!  If you decide to climb up on your roof, follow these basic safety measures:

  • Always face the roof’s edges
  • Close any roof hatches and avoid all skylights
  • Stay at least 6 feet from the edge
  • Use the buddy system

photo credit: desoda via photopin cc

How to do a Roof Inspection

Getting into the habit of inspecting your roof can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Your roof is what protects your home from Mother Nature and it’s important that you take the time to inspect your roof and fix any problems with it before extensive damage occurs.

Throughout the years you will find that your roofing material will start to wear down, just like any other material used in your home. Some people put off repairing their roof because they don’t want to incur the cost of the repairs. The cost of repairing your roof will be minimal when compared to the cost of repairing damage that can occur if you do not take the time to fix your roof now.

First, you should figure out when you are going to inspect your roof. You want to make sure that you are looking at your roof once a year if not twice a year. If you live in an area with mild weather conditions you should be able to get by with only inspecting your roof once a year. If you’ve had a big variance in weather or any extreme weather, you should make sure that you check your roof at least twice a year.

Second, once you get up on your roof you should make sure that you know what to look for based on the material that is used for your roof. If you have asphalt roofing you will want to look for buildup of the granules from the tiles in your gutter. A buildup of these granules shows that the tiles are wearing down quickly. If you have wooden shingles look for signs of dry rot or any warping that may have taken place. If you have slate, clay tile, or cement shingles it is important that you inspect them to find any ice damage, broken shingles, chipped shingles, or missing pieces.

If you find that a third of your roof is damaged, it’s probably time to call a professional. You want to make sure that your roof is in good working order year round to ensure it is always there to protect you and your home.  Roof Consultants are also available to inspect your roof. They know the code requirements and best roofing practices to ensure a proper inspection.

How to Find a Leak in Your Roof

If you start to notice a dark spot on your ceiling or if you hear incessant dripping, you may have a leak in your roof. If you’ve never had a leak in your roof before, you may be in for a bigger project than you bargained. These steps may help you find the leak and fix it.

  1. Finding the leak can be frustrating. Even though you can see a dark spot on your ceiling, it is important to understand that water could be leaking inside your roof and dripping down the roof line before it manifests itself on your ceiling. Start by getting up on your roof and looking for damaged tiles or dark spots on your roof. You may be able to find an area of damaged tiles that is causing the leak. If you have an attic you may also want to spend a rainy evening in your attic with a flashlight searching for the leak.
  2. Patching may not be your best solution. Patching your roof may temporarily solve your problem but if the material that makes up your roof is deteriorating it is only time before you will have another leak. If you are finding consistent problems with your roof, you will need to have your roof replaced. The longer you wait to have your roof replaced the more expensive it will be.
  3. The southern and western sides of your roof may break down faster than the northern and eastern sides. The southern and western sides are where the sun will be most intense and this intensity can quickly cause deterioration on your roof.

As you are dealing with a leak in your roof, it is important to remember to be safe! Always wear the proper footwear and clothing when on your roof. Take time to make sure that the fix you have for your leak is going to last you for years to come!

Did Sliding Snow and Ice Damage Your Roof?

As the snow melts off of your roof, it can be nerve wracking to make the first trip up to the top of your house to assess the damage. With snow and ice sliding on and pulling at your roof all winter, there aren’t many homes that make it into the spring time unscathed.

Throughout the winter time you may notice large icicles forming at the edge of your roof or you may even see sheets of snow hanging off of your roof. The pressure that this snow and ice puts on your roof throughout the winter time can be extremely damaging. This spring, take the time to install a system on your roof that will prevent you from making repairs every spring.

damaged-roof-300x200Sound too good to be true? Stick with us! With a few tweaks and changes you can have a roof that is able to hold on to the snow throughout the winter. That’s right, hold on to the snow. If the snow stays on your roof, rather than melting, sliding, re-freezing and breaking it will simply act as an insulating layer for your roof. This insulating layer on your roof will slowly melt away without causing damage as it melts.

Let us help you keep make the necessary changes to your roof to ensure that snow sticks around throughout the winter and melts off naturally. With the right ventilation system, the right tiles and the right brackets we can be sure that you never have to make that scary trip up to your roof to assess winter damage again!