By DaVinci Roofscapes.
If you’re installing composite roofing in a state with snowy weather, how are you treating snow guards? Are you positioning them to homeowners as a recommended addition or a “must have” for their roofs?
In Colorado, roofer Nick Piontek, owner of On Point Contracting, is a full service roofing and remodeling contractor. His team serves the snowy areas of Denver, Summit and Eagle Counties. You’d think homeowners in that area would be 100% behind snow guards on synthetic roofing, but they’re not. Why? The typical reasons. The added cost factor, they deter from the appearance of the roof, and the big one … the homeowner simply doesn’t understand the need for them.
We asked Nick to share his thoughts on snow guards, and how he and his company overcome snow guard objections:
Q: What do you do when homeowners refuse to have snow guards, or balk at the quantity of snow guards you recommend on their roof?
Nick: It starts with education. When homeowners are making a change from a cedar shake roof to a synthetic shake roof, they don’t understand why they need snow guards. We explain the roof composition differences, and why so many snow guards are needed at specific locations. Then we share stories of snow avalanching off roofs. For example, recently a hotel at a ski resort in southern Colorado had snow tumble from a synthetic roof. Two children and their mother were hospitalized. Avalanching snow is serious business, and we make sure our clients know this.
Q: What if they still won’t install snow guards?
Nick: We only install DaVinci Roofscapes composite roofs with a full snow retention plan. We’re such firm believers in the importance of a snow retention system on a synthetic slate or shake roof that we are willing to walk away from a project if a client refuses to include the full snow retention plan.
Q: What kind of retrofitting snow guard projects are you getting involved in?
Nick: Much of the snow retention work we do comes from homeowners who have realized — ideally by observation, but sometimes through an accident — that their previous contractor either didn’t include a snow retention system at all, or tried to go the easy way out and randomly fastened snow stops to the roof. At that point the homeowner is actually comforted to see a proper plan laid out by Rocky Mountain Snow Guards that we implement the correct way.
Q: What tips do you have for other roofers who are doing retrofit snow guard installations on DaVinci roofs?
Nick: Don’t use your own screws. The Woodbinder® screws provided by Rocky Mountain Snow Guards for the Rocky Guards, STs and Yetis, specifically designed for DaVinci products, are fantastic. They’re self-sealing, self-tapping screws that have a wide head that completely encapsulates a rubber gasket that seals to the top of the snow guard strap.
Check out the tests done on these screws. They placed a column of water on top of their screws fastened at just 50% into a DaVinci tile and started watching for leaks. After a couple weeks they ended the study because there was still no leaking. Impressive.
Our experience has all been with Rocky Mountain Snow Guards. If you simply follow their instructions you’ll be in good shape. Typically the instructions require three screws per snow guard, with caulking at every screw head. We’ve been using their products since 2020 and have never experienced a single leak.
Q: Does your company do the takeoffs for the snow retention system or do you rely on the manufacturer?
Nick: 100% of the time we rely on Rocky Mountain Snow Guards to do the takeoffs. They’ve always been right on with their measurements. If we don’t have blueprints for a given roof, we use satellite imagery to get the measurements and share that data with them for their recommended layout and quantities. They know the DaVinci product completely and make great recommendations for which of their snow guards to use.
Q: Overall, how have the DaVinci and Rocky Mountain Snow Guards products been holding up in your rough weather area?
Nick: We’re in a location that can get 20” snow storms back-to-back. Clients who have had the roofing and snow guards for several years are still ecstatic. The products are working well long-term, plus they’re maintaining their appearance. That’s a win-win for us and for the homeowners.
About DaVinci Roofscapes
The experienced team members at DaVinci Roofscapes develop and manufacture industry-leading polymer slate and shake roofing systems with an authentic look and superior performance. DaVinci leads the industry in the greatest selection of colors, tile thickness and tile width variety. The company's reliable products have a limited lifetime warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. All DaVinci high-performing roofing products are proudly made in America where the company is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Roofing Contractors, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council. For information call 1-800-328-4624 or visit www.davinciroofscapes.com.
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