By Adam Cabrera.
When winter blankets rooftops with layers of snow and ice, one aspect often overlooked is the need for effective snow retention systems. In a recent episode of Roofing Road Trips, host Heidi J. Ellsworth explored this crucial topic with Nick Mentzer, a roofing contractor from The Roofing Company in Granby, Colorado, and Mindy Dahlquist from TRA Snow & Sun, a snow retention manufacturer based in American Fork, Utah.
Nick underlines the importance of life safety when it comes to snow retention. Uncontrolled slides of snow and ice off rooftops can lead to accidents, injuries and significant property damage. Nick stresses that early engagement with customers, particularly for commercial projects, is critical for ensuring an appropriate snow retention system is in place. “I like to have the commercial owners and the general contractors be aware that it is out there,” said Nick. “You've done your best to inform the customer.”
Mindy emphasized that snow retention systems need to be specifically tailored to the roofing material and the application. "If you know there's a problem, find a solution for it. Don't just put a sign up and hope that somebody's going to be able to read that after a snowstorm," she said. She advocates for choosing a snow retention manufacturer that offers engineered systems and robust customer support.
Mindy also shared harrowing examples of accidents caused by falling snow, underscoring the need for proactive measures. "When that slide does occur, you're not talking just one or two inches of snow. It is a mound of snow that weighs thousands of pounds depending on what area you're in," she explained.
Both experts agree that preventive action is the key to avoiding accidents and liabilities. "It's pay now or pay later. And unfortunately, that's the reality of the situation," Nick remarked. When it comes to snow retention, safety, proper planning and customized systems are not just optional but essential for preventing tragedies and liabilities.
Adam Cabrera is a writer and podcast producer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When he isn't writing about roofs he enjoys camping in the Rocky Mountains, going to concerts and playing music.
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