by Dymon Brady
TPO Winter Hazards
With winter approaching, this is the perfect time to evaluate your roof and it’s performance throughout the snowy months. You may feel that your TPO roof is frustrating to manage during the winter, due to constant snow storms, and as a result, snow sliding on and from your roof. Often this snow can be mixed with ice, causing an incredible hazard to any people or objects below.
In Salt Lake City, as with other areas with moderate snowfall, normal snow levels do not slide on textured roofing systems. As a result, systems such as:
tar and gravel
do not generally experience problems with dangerous heaps of snow falling from their roof.
However, any roof installed with a metal or membrane roofing system becomes slick in the winter and can experience problems with snow sliding, even on flat roofs. Any roof with a slope of 2/12 or less is considered a low-slope or flat roof. These roofs are commonly installed with quality roofing membranes such as TPO. Most of these roofs still have a slight pitch, allowing snow to slide on their slick surfaces.
TPO Snow Retention System Dilemma
For TPO roofs, even with a low slope of 1/12, it is recommended to install a snow retention system in areas with moderate to heavy snowfall. If the snow is allowed to flow with the slope of the roof, it could build up in one area, causing damage to your roof and drainage system, or slip off the roof onto walkways or vehicles below. However, snow clips and fences are not usually as effective because TPO membrane is a flat roof system. This means that, without proper precautions, the moisture could sit around the fasteners that hold the snow fences on and cause leaks.
This can be a problem, especially since there has not been an established solution for holding snow onto TPO roofs. In the past, people have screwed down 2” X 4” planks over the TPO, but these make-shift snow retention systems were not solid. They did not hold the snow well, and in some cases the snow would even go up and over the wood.
As we witnessed this dilemma each winter at Brady Roofing, we decided to design a snow fence system specifically for TPO roofs. Our system is a TPO clad metal snow fence that can be screwed into the TPO roofing system. It is stripped in with a membrane such as TPO so it becomes sealed. It is solid, and considerably stronger than any alternative systems I am aware of. Brady Roofing’s TPO Snow Fence is 2 ½ inches tall and will hold heavy amounts of snow, putting your mind at ease. It is generally installed in a single row around the drip edge. On a commercial roof, it may be necessary to install multiple rows.
I presented our design to the Versico representative and design team. Subsequently, they have been referring companies looking for snow fence details to us. They have referred our system as being “Versico approved”. Up until now, there has been no answer to keeping snow on roofs installed with TPO membranes. We are honored that our system has been considered a recommended and approved option for home and building owners.
Our TPO Snow Fence system is available to install yourself, or we can install it for you. Keep in mind, that like any snow retention system, I have seen this system installed wrong. If installed incorrectly, it will be unable to hold snow, and may even cause damage to the roof. When installed correctly, it has been very successful and beneficial.
Some claim that a snow retention system on a flat roof is unnecessary and dangerous, stating that if too much snow piles up on a flat roof, the roof could become unstable and collapse. However, if a roof was engineered for asphalt based roofing systems, it will have no problem handling normal snow levels because TPO weighs less than asphalt. In extreme winters seek the help of a professional to remove snow from any roof system.
Our TPO Snow Fence system should prevent the need to go up on your roof throughout the winter, but if you do feel the need to get on your roof, be aware that because of the deceptively low slope of most flat roofs, they can be very slick and dangerous. Before walking around on your flat roof, be sure to shovel it first and then dry it with a towel, or install walk pads throughout your roof that will minimize any risk involved.
If you are interested in our TPO Snow Fence system, contact us for a free estimate, or explore our website to learn more about our Flat Roofing Resources.Share This:
By Dymon Brady
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? In places with heavy snows, like areas in Utah, it is common for snow to slide from certain types of roof systems causing heavy ice and snow build up to sit 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 may slide off and cause this problem. Gutters will either hold the heavy snow, or they will fall, creating costly repairs.
More often than not, when a customer wants a metal roof, they are excited about the idea of snow sliding off. But after the first few snow storms, these customers see the down side to snow sliding off and piling up on the ground. There are four main downsides to this occurrence:
1. The first is safety. People commonly under estimate the weight of a couple cubic yards of snow. And if it is mixed with ice at the eaves as is usually the case, it can cause serious injury and even death if it lands on someone.
2. The second is if snow that is fluffy while on the roof, falls ten feet and lands on the ground, it packs in and becomes very hard and dense. It takes a steel shovel and even a pick in some cases to get it moved off a drive or walk way.
3. The obstacle that snow sliding off a metal roof can cause is damage to common roof penetrations and gutter systems. Plumbing and Heating ventilation pipes can bend over from the sliding snow. The weight of snow will drop gutter systems.
4. The fourth is the thunderous sound it makes when it lands, and damaged landscape and railings that go with it. I had a customer tell me she thought her house was collapsing as the 300 lb block of snow fell from the roof onto her deck. This happened at night so you can imagine the adrenaline she woke up with! We have a cabin that we let the snow slide off of and it damaged a log railing system, requiring a roof peppered with snow retention clips just to keep the snow from landing on the railings.
To prevent this, you can simply put snow retention clips on your pitched roof above the gutter and throughout the problem area to keep snow on the roof and to keep it from sliding. For example, you may want more retention clips in areas above a patio, walk way, or driveway to prevent large amounts of snow from falling and damaging the property or even worse, causing serious injury to pedestrians below. It can be safer for your roof, your gutters, and the area around your home if your snow is allowed to thaw instead of evacuate your roof by avalanche. There are 3 main types of snow retention systems for metal and tile roofs:
All three choices are effective at keeping snow on your roof. However, snow fences are probably the best choice for a metal panel roof. For a standing seam metal roof, snow clamps are usually the recommended choice. For tile or slate roofing systems, you may want to choose snow brackets as a retention system.
For TPO roofs, even with a low slope of 1/12, it is recommended to install a snow retention system in areas with moderate to heavy snowfall. If the snow is allowed to flow with the slope of the roof, it could build up in one area, causing damage to your roof and drainage system. However, snow clips and fences are not usually as effective because TPO membrane is a flat roof system. This means that, without proper precautions, the moisture could sit around the fasteners that hold the snow fences on and cause leaks. The best course of action in this situation is to install clad metal on the TPO roof to hold the snow. Brady Roofing is able to fabricate this metal in shop, as well as install and seal it properly on your TPO roof.
My advice when designing building a roof system is simply this: Check with building code requirements in your area to find out the snow load, have the roof design reviewed by a residential structural engineer, then keep the snow on the roof using the proper method. Shingled roofs generally don’t have an issue with snow sliding. If you are looking at a smooth surface roof system, and you have a visible slope, you will want to consult with a roofing contractor to see the best method for keeping the snow on the roof.
For more information on snow retention systems, or for a free estimate, contact us today.Share This:
Have you been hearing any strange noises coming from your roof lately? Don’t worry too much, more than likely it’s the colder temperatures we are having that make the sounds more prominent. The wood on the roof contracts when it gets cold. In the winter, all exposed materials will eventually shrink as the temperature drops. In the spring, as the environment warms up, wood will gradually expand to it’s normal size.
Flat roofs are generally more noisy then pitched because the insulation is part of the system so there is no place for moisture to escape. No roof is sound-proof, especially if they aren’t well built or well maintained.
Membrane roofs expand with the heat in the summer and contract with cooler temperatures pulling on the fasteners. This can lead to snapping, cracking and popping sounds. These sounds are most common in buildings where the new roof has been installed over an older roof, causing the weight of the new roof pressing down on the already damaged roof.
There is a solution: The addition of expansion joints can make a big difference and be much, much cheaper than tearing down the roof and rebuilding a new one.
Any material whether new or old can shift regularly with changes in temperature and air pressure. If the noises become unbearable, then getting a new roof may be last resort to prevent further noise. Our employees are certified and trained to install a variety of material on flat roofs. We have chosen to install only the most durable products which include:
All in all, unless you have a family of raccoon’s nesting on the top of your roof making clunking noises from the chimney (true story), then the only way to really diagnose the problem is to contact us for a free estimate and consultation from Brady Roofing. 801-487-5151 We install both flat and pitched roofs.
We are excited to announce our winter promo for December 2014. All of our customers during the month of December will be automatically entered into a contest to win Utah Jazz tickets to a home game in January!
Not only do you have a chance to win, but all of our services are discounted.
Install some of our amazing TPO snow fences to keep the snow on your slick roof this season. Virtually undetectable, and only $11.50 a ft, these snow fences are unlike any thing offered in Utah.
Do you need a repair or re-roof? Save up to $1000, depending on the job, when you hire Brady Roofing!
If you have any questions or would like to request a free estimate, contact us today at 801-487-5151!Share This:
SS675 Pitched Roof Panel Profile
SS150 Flat Panel Profile
By Dymon Brady
Over the last week, we have completely organized our past articles. Including this one, we have published 58 articles containing quality roofing information! I wanted to provide an article highlighting our most useful and popular articles. Here’s our top 10:
Wood shakes are beautiful on a roof, but they require a lot of upkeep and can even be damaged if they are cleaned too aggressively. This guide helps homeowners to know how to clean their wood shakes and shingles correctly.
A beautiful addition to any home, our chimney caps are custom designed and fabricated just for you and your style. See if a chimney cap is right for you!
If you have had problems with heavy snow sliding off of your TPO roof, we have finally presented the solution for you. An incredibly unique and professional option, these TPO snow fences are designed to blend in and keep the snow away from people and objects below.
Learn why we have stopped installing PVC membrane years ago. Discover health risks, studies, and alternatives to PVC.
This article covers a unique roofing job in which we installed TPO membrane over a metal roof with flute fillers. This has increased the R-value and the energy efficiency of the roof.
If you spot water leaking from your eaves, this article can help you determine whether to call a roofing contractor or a gutter contractor.
This is perhaps one of our most useful articles for homeowners looking to install a new roof on their home. We explore options such as shingle style, warranties, expected life, etc. Do you know what shingle you want to install, but can’t decide on a color? Check out How to Choose a Shingle Color.
Do you currently have a stack of roofing bids and contracts to look through? Because each contractor has a different style, you may feel as if you are comparing apples and oranges. This article will help you understand which bid is offering you the best value.
With over 4500 views in the last year alone, this is by far our most popular article we have written. If you are a home or building owner of a flat roof with more problems than benefits, this article will help you explore your options.
Do you have a roofing question that has not been answered in our blogs? Send an email to me at email@example.com and I will try to answer your questions! Also look through our Commercial Article Archive or our Residential Article Archive, or even find articles by category here. Thank you for reading.Share This:
By Dymon Brady
We are excited to announce the lowest prices of the year in our Crazy Christmas Sale!
This is the perfect time of year to finish up those last minute repairs before your roof becomes permanently covered with snow! All repairs are eligible for these big savings! The size of the roof will determine the savings amount.
Looking for something bigger? We are also offering huge discounts on full re-roofs. This offer applies to both commercial and residential roofs.
Take a look at our products page for some ideas of what we could do for you and your home or building!
We also are offering snow fences for TPO roofs. In areas of moderate to heavy snowfall, such as Utah, it is recommended that TPO roofs have a snow retention system installed to prevent injuries or damage from falling snow. See our TPO Snow Fence post for more information.
For a limited time, we are offering these snow fences for only $11.50 / ft.
To take advantage of these limited time offers, request a free estimate today!
By Dymon Brady
Q: What flat roofing materials are best for areas with heavy snow?
A: If you are looking for a roofing material for a flat or low sloped roof that will be able to last through the toughest winters, a thermoplastic membrane is your best option. We specializing in installing TPO, a thermoplastic membrane, that is less likely to wear throughout the winters, or become brittle and crack. Asphalt based products are satisfactory, but they do break down in the freeze-thaw cycle, which is generally how they falter in cold winter climates. To learn more about TPO, see our post.
Q: What pitched roofing materials are best for areas with heavy snow?
The most popular material for areas with heavy snowfall is traditional asphalt shingles. Not only are they affordable, but they are durable and can withstand both hot and cold temperatures. Cedar shakes are also good, but are expensive and do not typically come with a warranty. Metal can be great in snow, but metal roofing isn’t as popular on residential homes. Keep in mind, If you are more concerned about staying warm in the winter than staying cool in the summer, you can choose dark shingles to absorb sunlight and warmth.
Q: Can I reroof my home in the winter?
A: Yes! Some people worry that asphalt shingles will not seal properly in the winter. Though this can be a real issue with an inexperienced installer, a professional roofing contractor will be able to install the product in the colder temperatures and protect against issues with the weather. Actually, winter can be a great time to get a new roof. Roofing contractors usually have a smaller number of jobs in the winter, and as a result, may be able to help you in a more timely manner. It definitely costs less to install in the winter time.
Q: What are “Ice Dams”, and what can I do to prevent and / or remove an Ice Dam?
A: Ice Dams are formed when roofs with poor insulation warm the snow on the roof from the heat in the attic. The snow will melt, and then re-freeze at the edge of the roof where the attic is no longer heating the shingles. You can minimize ice dams by having proper insulation and ventilation, allowing air to enter at the eaves and exhaust at the ridge. To protect your home against leaks due to ice dams, be sure to have ice shield installed on your roof. Ice dams can be removed by a professional team with warm steam removal. To learn more, or explore additional options, see our past post: Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof
Q: What should I do to prepare my roof for winter?
A: Chances are, you roof has been designed to handle the different seasons and climates you live in. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure your roof isn’t needing attention once it is covered with 3 feet of snow. First off, every homeowner should quickly look over their attic ventilation system and insulation to identify any possible issues. If you would like an in-depth inspection done, call a local roofing contractor. Brady Roofing will give you an honest assessment of what problems may arise, and we will help you to find a solution at the best value to you. To learn more, view our posts: How to Inspect Your Flat Roof and How to Preserve Your Roof.
Q: How can I safely access my roof during the winter?
A: The best answer to this question is to try and avoid getting on your roof. If you have an issue, leave it to the professionals. Steep slope roofs, if covered with any amount of ice, can be extremely dangerous. And flat roofs are deceptively dangerous as well, since they always have a slight pitch of at least 2/12 and are very slick when wet. But if you feel you have no other choice, we have provided some safety guidelines: Winter Roofing Safety and Roofing Safety Procedures.
Q: How do I keep snow from falling off of my roof?
A: When deep snow accumulates on a roof, large amounts may fall from the roof to the ground (or whatever else is in the direct path) below. This can be dangerous to both people and your property. If you are experiencing this issue, there are several types of snow retention systems available that can help to control the issue. Read our post: Snow Retention Systems: Do You Need One?
Q: Is there a snow retention system available for flat roofs, specifically TPO?
A: Because flat roof membranes are slick surfaces, it doesn’t take much for snow to slide down their low slope. If your business or home is experiencing problems with snow falling from the roof, you can look into our custom made TPO snow fences. Other contractors may make a makeshift snow fence from 2X4 planks of wood, but we have developed a system that is safer, more attractive and longer lasting. See TPO Snow Fence for more information.
Q: My gutters are overflowing and I have water and / or ice coming up over the sides. What can I do?
A: This is a very common problem, especially in areas with large trees throughout the spring and autumn season. Most likely, your gutters have become clogged. This is a manageable issue. Find a tutorial on cleaning your gutters here.
Q: What is ice shield, and do I need it?
A: Ice shield is a type of underlayment installed around problem areas of your roof to help protect against water and ice that may enter under the shingles, by an ice dam or other issues. Ice shield is an essential component of any home in Northern or Central Utah. Learn more from our post: What is Underlayment?Share This: