Rooftop Snow Retention – Solving the Mystery (L&L)

TRA will be presenting an open snow retention lunch and learn with the Associated General Contractors of Utah on February 12th, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. This lunch and learn is open to anyone who would like to attend. The cost for AGC members is $15 and for non-members is $20 which includes lunch. Follow the link to register. To Register Click Here

Event Location:

AGC Headquarters
2207 South 1070 West
Salt Lake City, UT. 84119

Event Description:

In the building world there are codes and standards for everything, that is except for rooftop snow retention.  That’s right, there are no national or local codes that that govern the engineering, manufacturing, testing, or installation of snow retention devices.  This is a dilemma for building professionals trying to deal with the safety issues caused by sliding snow and ice. 

This course discusses the primary reasons snow retention is needed on a roof and the science behind each type of system.  It explains why engineering is the key to a successful system and why a lack of engineering is the primary key to a system failing.  You will also explore many of the common objections to including snow retention on a building project and why they are worth the added expense in the long run.  Finally, you will learn how a good snow retention company will help bridge the gap created by the lack of codes and standards.

Snow Guards: “What Are They?”

snow clips, snow guards, snow bracketA question once asked – On the roofs of many houses, along the eave, there are…best as I can describe it… shaped thingies. I’ve seen others that look octagonal and yet others that are round. I’ve seen them on steep roofs and not-so-steep roofs. My bank even has them. They look great, but do they do anything? 

The answer is yes. What you’re talking about are called snow guards for retaining snow on the roof. When snow and ice accumulate on the roof, they are pulled by gravity and want to slide down the slope of the roof. A well-designed snow retention system is intended to hold the snow on the roof so that it can melt in place.

At TRA Snow and Sun, we engineer and manufacture over 54+ variations of snow guards, and always welcome custom pieces made just for your roofing project. Yes, 54 may seem a lot, right? And your right it is, and here’s why – every roof design can be complex and is different from material, slope, shape, size, pitch, valleys, etc.., and ground snow loads vary significantly from one area to another. This is why we make several different engineered (from the fail point of the system) snow guards tailored to each unique roof designs for every roof type, new or existing, and in many styles that differ in form and function.


The Snow Bracket™ D – Apex is a permanent snow retention system that is aesthetically pleasing on any new asphalt shingled, simulated slate /or simulated shake roofs. Choose between a vast array of painted powdered colors, available in standard mill finish of steel, copper or aluminum. The Snow Guard Bracket D fastens to roof sheathing to any new construction of an asphalt shingled roof.

Asphalt shingle roofs very common in the United States and it is important you have a Snow Bracket™ that fits the roof type you are installing the product on.

trasnowandsun, snow retention, solar mounting systemsSecure Attachment

trasnowandsun, snow retention, solar mounting systemsSuperior Strength

trasnowandsun, snow retention, solar mounting systemsVariety of Material Types

Snow Bracket™ D – Apex

Snow Bracket™ D – Apex


Length: 12″
Width: 2.25″
Height: 3″


• Paintlok Steel: 16 ga
• Copper: 48 oz (ASTM B152)
• Stainless Steel: 16 ga (ASTM A240)


• Zinc Plated
• Powder coating available in many colors

*We can provide Paintlock brackets unpainted BUT they must be painted before installing or rusting will occur.

At TRA Snow and Sun, we engineer and lay out each project free of charge using many factors specific to your roof. We then provide you with the snow retention plan, layout and product detail. TRA Snow and Sun representatives will work with you to design the most efficient snow retention system. Fill out our Snow Retention Checklist to get started.


All Snow Brackets have been tested from the fail point of the system.

Is Plastic Snow Guard Retention Better Than Metal?

Every once in a while a customer will ask us why they should purchase our metal snow retention rather than the plastic ones they see. We typically don’t like plastic snow guards for many reasons.

The first reason is because of the type of adhesive used to attach plastic snow guards. Through our testing, we have found that failure exists when freeze-thaw temperature is introduced to the adhesive.
The second reason is they crack and deteriorate when continuously exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet light (UV). See the images below.
The third reason, manufacturers don’t warranty failure when the plastic snow guards pull apart from the adhesive.
Because of this, metal snow guards are best for retention!


plastic vs TRA

TRA Metal Clamp-on vs Plastic Guards


Most plastics eventually become brittle when exposed to the sun.

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. If you already have a metal roof, it simply does not make sense to put plastic on it. Metal snow guards will ensure that your metal roof is protected.


Cracked, Brittle and Broken “Plastic Snow Guards”


TRA’s metal snow retention systems are attached securely using a variety of durable and strong mechanical methods.

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

  • If the roof is dirty or wet when installing this makes the adhesive not adhere properly. When have you ever seen a truly clean roof?
  • More common than not snow guards are installed at temperatures below 40 degrees.
  • Caulking cure time can be more than 30 days above 40 degrees.
  •  Over time plastic will crack & deteriorate when continuously exposed to the sun UV.


1 rail snow guard for metal roof

TRA C21Z Clamp-on with Ice Flags 


Unlike plastic, metal lasts.

Plastic snow retention manufacturers generally do not warranty the attachment, just plastic snow guard. If a plastic snow guard fails, the architect or contractor becomes liable for the damage to property /or human life. This should be a big red flag to any property owners.

Next time you are near a roof with plastic snow guards, see if any are missing and let us know!

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.


Snow Guards With A Fresh Look To Color Hardware

Take a look at these pictures for a fresh new snow guard clamp-on look. Our black Xylan hardware is now available for any colored clamp-on. Would this be your new snow retention look? Tell us by a simple comment on our contact page

Color Trends…



    • New specialized color option for any colored clamp-on
    • Full paint application extending to the entire bolt thread
    • They’re resistant to heat and wear
    • Improves the functionality and life span by reducing the amount of wear 
    • Adds protection from corrosion
    • Stand out with a UNIQUE bold look 


TRA snow guards for 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 guard 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 guard 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 Guard Retention System to fit your project. For more information call TRA Snow and Sun at 800-606-8980.                                                                                                

                                                                    REQUEST A QUOTE



TRA Snow and Sun, Inc. Offers Roof Snow Retention Specification Details Online

CAD Details LogoIn response to requests from architects and other construction specifiers, TRA Snow and Sun has added CAD details of many of their roof snow retention devices for easy access online.

TRA Snow and Sun, Inc., of American Fork, Utah, has recently provided their newly updated CAD details for their roof snow retention devices on their website –

Architects and specifiers are gradually moving away from keeping large volumes of information in their offices and many also work on their projects during non-business hours.  They have indicated some preferences as to how manufacturers can assist them to make their jobs easier.  One way is for manufacturers to provide online versions of their product data sheets, specifications and computer aided drawings.

TRA Snow and Sun President, Terry Anderson, patent holder on snow retention devices and other Snow and Sun products, expressed his desire to accommodate architects’ wishes.  “Obviously our world has changed.  In the old days I would drop off a binder full of product brochures, specifications, and drawings at an architect’s office, he would put it on his shelf, and then convert those later to use on his projects.  I would make in-person calls to update that information.  With the advent of our Information Age, most architects prefer a simpler and more timely and accurate method of obtaining their information.”

TRA Snow and Sun on CAD DetailsAvailable now by choosing the “CAD Details” button on the main navigation bar at, are details for Snow Brackets™ A-L, details for all concrete tile manufacturers, asphalt, slate, metal and ceramic tile manufacturers, and decorative snow maple leaves, moose, bear and others).   There are also details for Gutter Brackets, Clamp-on Snow Fences, Deck Mount Snow Fences and their patented Ridge Riser.

Although the company still offers hard copies of all their information, they anticipate requests for information provided the old-fashioned way will continue to dwindle.  Taea Hall, Marketing Director, is spear-heading the effort to put all of TRA’s product details and drawings online, including their ventilation devices and solar mounting products.  ”CAD Details helps TRA Snow and Sun stay more connected to architects and specifiers.  Posting CAD Details on our website makes it easy to keep the information up to date and pertinent. Architects and specifiers don’t have to worry anymore if our information
is out of date.”

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 Robyn Finch at TRA Snow and Sun at 800-606-8980 or visit

PDF version CAD Details

TRA Snow and Sun Announces New Cost-Saving Deck Mount Snow Fences

TRA Snow and Sun, Inc., is now offering new Deck Mount Snow Fence designs that will save the end user money.

TRA Snow and Sun, Inc., well known for their Snow Bracket snow guards and engineered snow retention system, has developed new lower cost deck mount snow fence called the Mount Shasta and Diamond Mount.

Terry Anderson, President, explains why the company, which also offers individual snow guards and other snow fences, decided to expand their product line.  “Our other snow fences have been very successful but we wanted to provide a less expensive option.  The Mount Shasta Deck Mount fits this need while still providing superior protection from sliding snow and ice.”

snow fence, snow retention, heavy duty snow fences, snow rails

The new deck mount system is designed for installation on most stick framed roof types and works with 3/4” X 3/4” square fence pipe (Diamond Mount style) or 1” (1.315”OD) fence pipe (Mount Shasta style).  Customers can choose from one or two rail designs.

The engineers at TRA Snow and Sun always take the snow load, slope of the roof and roof type into account when calculating how many snow fences are needed and how far apart they are placed on the roof.   The heavier gauge, larger snow fence mounts as well as this new mount are considered for each job.

All three factors determine which snow fence system is recommended.  If, for instance, a roof calculates out to require 1.2 fences from eave to ridge using TRA’s original deck mount snow fences, then two fences are specified because you cannot disregard the need for the .2 of a fence that would hold back snow.  If the new Mount Shasta deck mount snow fence calculates out to 1.8 fences from eave to ridge, that would also mean two snow fences, but the new snow fence clamp is less costly, still ensuring a safe system with less expense to the customer.

The Mount Shasta and Diamond Mount Deck Mount Snow Fences are available in steel, copper and Cor-Ten®, with finishes in raw steel, electro-galvanized steel, hot-dipped galvanized steel, mill finish copper, mill finish Cor-Ten®.  Powder coating is available. These snow fences are used on: asphalt shingle, cedar shingles, flat seam metal, granule metal, metal panel, slate simulated slate, tile roofs and woods shakes.

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 offer free engineered designs of all their systems. For more information call Jacob Anderson at TRA Snow and Sun at 800-606-8980 or visit

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