Snow Retention Insights from DaVinci Roofscapes

November hasn't hit yet and already the first snowfalls of the season have come down in many parts of the country. If you're in one of those "snow prone areas," it's not too late to add a snow retention system to your roof before Mother Nature unleashes her full winter fury.

The most important thing about selecting a specific type of snow retention system is to have it meet the needs for your roof and climate. "There is no 'one size fits all' system that is foolproof," says Tyler Storfa, Western Technical Services Manager with DaVinci Roofscapes. "Engineering calculations need to be factored in for, among other things: ground snow load, slope of the roof, drift zones on the roofing plan, fail point of the type of snow retention chosen and the safety factor of the project."

Storfa relates that most snow retention product manufacturers will design a custom system from your roof plans. They'll also provide detailed layout and installation instructions.

"From snow brackets to guards to fences to coils, I've seen all types and methods of snow retention, especially for polymer roofing," says Storfa. "The key is make sure the snow retention method selected can handle the expected snow loads on your composite roofing.

"One area most overlooked is the upper roofing sections that drop into lower sections. The snow on the upper parts shed and overwhelm the snow retention system in place on the lower section of the roof. When that happens, it's almost impossible to stop it from sliding once it's on the move."

For more considerations of snow guards and retention systems for plastic roofing materials, see  Q & A Guide to Snow Guards,  On Guard for Winter Weather … with Snow Retention Systems and To Guard … or Not to Guard.