Should Your Building Have Snow Retention Devices?

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


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.


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


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

Some Tidbits About BYU-Hawaii Roofs and TRA’s Owner


The owner of TRA Snow and Sun, Terry Anderson, recently visited Laie, Hawaii and was thrilled to see construction on some buildings at the BYU-Hawaii Campus and his products being installed!  – RIDGE RISERS!


4550242308_1cb83458ee_oBYU Hawaii ridge riser cropped

IMG_1880   Ridge Riser - Hawaii

Concrete tile is a good choice in the tough, humid climates like you find in islands of the Pacific.  Whereas wood can rot and asphalt shingles wear out due to weather conditions, tile gets stronger over time and is not as susceptible to the ravages of the climate conditions.

As a roof consultant decades ago, Terry helped the Mormon Church with some roof consulting on tile roofs in the Hawaiian Islands. Concrete tile was used on many buildings then. The roofs have lasted for decades and this year on his trip, he discovered that Boral Tile is being re-installed on some of the buildings on campus.

TRA Snow and Sun’s Ridge Risers were not invented until recently (and patented by Anderson) so Terry was excited to see them being used on the re-roof project.



Ridge risers are used on: Concrete and Clay Tile Roofs

• They elevate the nailing board for proper ventilation
• Easy application for hip and ridge tiles
• They fit all tile profiles at the hips and ridges
• Long term durability

We have Ridge Risers in stock right now! Call 800-606-8980 or visit:

Check Your Roof NOW Before the Snow Flies….

TRA Flashin

With the warm weather that many areas of the US are experiencing this fall season, it’s a perfect time to complete a few more projects on your home and be prepared for winter.

Start at the top by checking your roof for any leaks, breakages or deformations. It’s hard to believe that winter is just around the corner, but soon enough the snow will begin to pile up and rain will beat down on our houses. Don’t get caught off guard!

Checking Your Roof

It’s a good idea to check your roof two times a year to repair the natural wear and tear that weather brings. When looking for damage, you’ll want to look for different things depending on the type of roof you have. For example if you have an asphalt roof, you’ll want to check the gutters for buildup of granules indicating that the tiles are wearing down. If you have wooden shingles check to see if they’re warping or rotting. Be sure to use proper safety equipment while performing this inspection.

Be sure to check flashings where pipes come through the roof to be sure they are in good shape. Valleys, hips and roof-to-wall junctions also have flashings that should be checked. These are common locations for leaks and relatively inexpensive and easy to fix.

What is Flashing?

Flashing is a metal material installed on your roof that prevents water from leaking into your house. It is typically applied around the chimney, pipes, skylights and junctions where the sidewalls of the house meet the roof. TRA Sun and Snow provides a variety of copper and aluminum flashing that are congruent with all sorts of roof types—asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, corrugated metal, flat seam metal, metal panel, simulated slate, slate, standing seam metal, tile roofs and wood shakers. TRA has the very best option on the market for tile roof ventilation and flashing.

versaflash roof flashingversaflash for tile roofcopper versaflashcopper flashing for tile roof

Why You Need Good Flashing

The purpose of flashing is to help water properly run off of your roof to avoid any chances of seepage into your house. With flashing you can avoid problems associated with water damage like mold and structural damage. Put away those buckets you use to catch water from a leaking roof! Appropriate flashing will keep your home dry and safe even when the winter rain and snow beats down on your home.

While the weather is still relatively warm, check your roof to make sure it is ready to withstand the coming winter storms. Your roof is what protects you and your family from wet and snowy weather, so it’ll be worth the look. Use our flashings to make sure your roof is water tight.

Advantages of a Metal Snow Retention System

Summer always goes by quickly. Soon enough the kids will be back in school, the fall months will pass and we’ll be faced with winter weather. Anticipating a change in seasons, we should think about how to equip our homes and buildings for upcoming snowstorms. However, these structures shouldn’t be equipped with just any snow defenses. They should be equipped with the proper snow defenses. One of those necessary defenses is a snow retention system.

A snow retention system is a combination of devices installed on your roof that prevents snow and ice from sliding off of rooftops onto people and property below. Some buildings have plastic snow retention systems but imagine snow avalanching off of a rooftop, and the only thing holding the snow and ice back is plastic. Plastic isn’t a durable and dependable so that’s why we recommend having metal snow retention. We highly recommend metal snow retention systems and here’s why.

Metal can withstand excessive exposure to UV rays

Because of its tough nature, metal can withstand the sun’s destructive UV rays. Over time plastic will crack and deteriorate when continuously exposed to the sun.

Snow retention using metal snow guards are more secure

Unlike metal, plastic snow guards are attached to a roof using caulking, which is likely to fail for the following reasons:

  • The roof is dirty or wet when installing (when have you ever seen a truly clean roof?)
  • The snow guards are installed at temperatures below 40 degrees
  • Caulking cure time is less than 30 days above 40 degrees. 

Metal is made to last

Plastic snow retention manufacturers generally do not warrant a failure to the entire snow retention systems, only the attachment. If a plastic snow guard fails, the architect or contractor becomes liable for the damage.

We recommend only metal snow retention because we know it can properly protect those in and around your home. For extra protection we engineer from the sheathing up with the fastener and provide a warranty on the entire snow retention system. Before installation, we engineer a specific layout to see that the system is exactly what you need for your specific location and weather. Contact us with any of your project details and we’ll provide you with the best snow defense system that’ll get you ready for winter.

The Types of Roofing Materials

There are many types of roofing materials, each having different advantages and disadvantages depending on what the homeowner is looking for, and the region of the country you live. Take into consideration the factors that influence your roof, and which material will best suit you.

Things to Consider When Choosing Roofing Materials

If you’re building a new home, or replacing the roof on your existing one, consider these things before choosing the roofing material:

• What types of weather conditions are common in your area? Rain, snow, hurricanes, or tornadoes should all be considered.
• What is the cost? Make sure the roofing material you get is worth the cost.
• What is the slope of the roof? Some roofing materials are better suited for slope than others.
• Will the roof fit in with the style of your home?

Asphalt Composition Shingles

Asphalt Roofing shingles
The most popular roofing material for homes in the US is asphalt. Compared to metal roofing, it will wear and will need to be replaced over time.

• These shingles will either be made with organic paper fiber mat or fiberglass. The fiber mat is more resistant to cold weather and wind, while the fiberglass will be more fire and moisture protected.
• These shingles can be used on low to steep sloped roofs.
• There are both the traditional 3-tab shingle appearance or the thickly laminated architectural shingles for homes.

Metal Roofing

New blue grey roofing from stainless metal plate
Metal roofing is more expensive than the more common asphalt shingles, but will last longer and is more resistant to wind damage.

• There are many types of materials that can be used in metal roofing, including steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc.
• The metal roofing can be installed in sheets, or as shingles.
• Metal roofs are very durable, able to withstand weather conditions, fire, and wind.

Metal roofing is available for steep or low sloped roofs. While more expensive than asphalt, the cost of metal roofing ranges from moderate to expensive.

Concrete Tile

Roof Inclined

Concrete tiles are more expensive than asphalt and metal, but their life-cycle cost is dramatically lower because the roof won’t need replacement every 15 – 20 years. In addition to this, they are fire resistant and attractive.

• Buildings built according to standard building codes after 1980 can withstand the weight of concrete tile.
• Concrete tiles are made from a sand and cement mixture. They can be designed to look like wood shakes, slate, or clay tiles.
• There are many colors available
Concrete tiles have little maintenance but can break under certain conditions.

Clay Tile

Orange terracotta old style roof tiles pattern

Clay tiles may break easily when dropped, but once on the roof they are not only fire resistant, but can last a long time and are aesthetically pleasing:

• Clay tiles are made by firing in a kiln.
• These roofs have the traditional Spanish and Italian look, giving a unique appearance.
• The clay is a natural material, making this roofing eco-friendly.
• Clay tiles require little maintenance, but can be brittle and break in the wrong conditions.
• Roofs with moderate to steep slopes can use clay tiles.
• Compared to other roofing materials, clay tiles are expensive.

Plastic Polymer

These roofing shingles are made of synthetic material.

• These can be made from recycled materials, and be recycled when replaced.
• Moderate to steep slope on roofs can use plastic polymer shingles.
• These shingles are long lasting and are fairly low maintenance.
• Compared to other roofing materials, plastic polymer are moderate in cost.

Wood Shake

Wooden roof Shingle texture

Wood shakes are made from rot resistant woods, and can be treated to be more resistant to fires:

• The most common material used for wood shakes is cedar for its rot resistant quality.
• Wood shakes are natural looking, and can be thick or sawn depending on the roof.
• Requires more maintenance than other common types of roofing material.
• Moderate or steep sloped roofs can use wood shakes.

These are just a few of the most popular types of roofing materials. Consider where you live, and other factors when choosing the roofing material for your home.

When looking to install snow guards, solar panel systems, or ventilation systems on your roof, TRA Snow and Sun products that work on all roof types, making it easy for you.