Winter weather is known to create safety hazards, but this means more than slippery sidewalks or icy driving conditions. Staying safe in the snow means putting measures in place to protect against lesser-known threats like falling snow and ice dams.
If you have a metal or steeply pitched roof, snow and ice can slide off unexpectedly with a deadly force, breaking tree limbs, damaging property, and injuring people and pets in the process.
To effectively mitigate this problem, consider a snow retention system.
Snow stops and snow fences work very similarly; they both hold snow on the roof until it melts so it doesn’t crash to the ground. These products can also be used to protect heat tape you have installed on your roof. When deciding between a stop or a fence, you must consider several factors: roof type, snow load, and phase of construction. Talk with one of our seasoned professionals to discuss which option is best for you. We will then work with the manufacturer to develop a solution for your specific needs.
Ice dams can form when snow begins to melt and flows toward the edge of the roof but refreezes before reaching the ground.
Icicles are often formed at the eaves and near the gutters, growing larger and becoming heavier as this cycle repeats. As ice builds up, water that tries to reach the gutters or flow onto the ground gets backed up, forming a dam. Water then pools behind this blockage and can find its way into the joints and seams of your roof, often resulting in costly damage.
Heat tape can help prevent ice dams from forming. Installed in a zigzag pattern on your roof, it cuts channels in ice dams, allowing water to drain into your gutter system. Install additional heat tape in your gutters and downspouts to ensure water stays warm enough to flow onto the ground and away from your home before it refreezes.
Another de-icing solution is the roof ice melt (RIM) system, which keeps your entire roof free of snow and ice. In this case, a thermally conductive metal panel is installed that works continuously to keep your roof warm. If you experience heavy ice loading on your roof, or if you’re looking for an attractive alternative to heat tape, consider a RIM system.