Snojax Frequently Asked Plastic Snow Guard Questions
- What are Snojax plastic snow guards and why are they needed?
- Why plastic instead of metal?
- What is the policy on price matching?
- Are the dimensions, shape and mounting methods of a snow guard system important?
- Is spacing important?
- Should I use color matched or clear snow guards?
- Do you recommend mounting snow guards with any type of tapes?
- How do I find my roof pitch?
- How many plastic snow guards does my roof require?
- I just want to protect a doorway or vent pipe, any suggestions?
- What is the curing time of the SureBond Everseal SB-190?
- What about cold weather adhesives?
- Is snow guard installation a do it yourself project?
- How do I calculate my Snow Load?
- Can you clarify the recommended use of the SB-190 adhesive?
- Can you use snow guards on TPO or membrane roofs?
Snojax are clear polycarbonate snow guards that sit on the flat part of a metal roofing panel. They are designed to hold snow and ice in place, allowing it to gradually melt off safely and preventing injury to pedestrians and property below a structure. Polycarbonates like Lexan® are UV stabilized and virtually unaffected by weather.
Developed in 1976 by the late Jack McMullen, after receiving negative feedback on metal snow guards used in his metal building business, clear Lexan™ plastic snow guards are not prone to corrosion associated with their metal counterparts. Plastic snow guards, such as Snojax and SnoBlox, have the following advantages:
- No rust or staining due to rust as associated with metal snow guards
- Do not become brittle in cold temperatures
- Clear snow guards are aesthetically pleasing to the eye
Don't take the risk of ruining your beautiful metal roof with a non-compatible metal snow guard!
To review our price matching policy, please view our price match inquiry page.
Yes; in fact, these factors are vital to the effectiveness of the snow guard system. The height and shape of the face of a snow guard determines its ability to hold back layers of ice and snow. Additionally, the shape of the smooth edges of the Snojax reduce the likelihood of personal injury during installation and normal roof maintenance.
Mounting snow guards in the lowest portion of a roofing panel where the snow and ice actually moves is crucial. A flat, non-pointed surface should stand at least the height of the seam to hold snow and ice stationary until it can melt off safely. On a standing seam floating type roof, the snow guard should only be mounted with adhesive.
The correct spacing of a snow guard system is as important as the proper selection of materials that go into the design of a building. Snojax provides fast, free spacing layouts based on the roof pitch, panel runs from the ridge to the eave, panel widths and profile, and the snow load design of the building. Use the Project Estimator for an instant spacing layout and price quote.
This matter is a matter of preference. Clear snow guards are far less noticeable on a roof than colored ones. A color matched snow guard will act as a sundial and cast a shadow with the sun all day. Additionally, natural fading of color will be different if the snow guard is not the same material as the roof, painted at the same time, and painted with the same type of paint. This will make the color matched snow guards more noticeable over time.
Tapes have very little UV stabilization, and tend to roll up underneath the snow guard when exposed to shear loads. In our many years of marketing snow guards, we have never seen tapes last very long except on our pointed SnowBreaker 3M snow guards that break up the snow and ice on a roof. To preserve the 3M Tape, the SnowBreaker snow guards should be installed with a perimeter of SB-190 around the entire base. We have found that tapes are a quick, effective temporary solution only when mounting a pointed snow breaking guard in cold weather. If weather permits, we always recommend the use of SureBond SB-190 clear as the strongest adhesive for adhering all polycarbonate snow guards.
This is actually a simple task:
- 1. Using any builders level placed downhill anywhere on the roof, measure out 12 inches on a horizontal level plane.
- 2. Measure up from the roof surface to the 12 inch mark on the level.
- 3. This number is then placed over 12 (i.e. 4/12).
Use our Project Estimator to determine how many snow guards you will need for your roof.
We market a products made just for vent pipe and chimney protection called the VentSaver FB 151, VentSaver P383 and
VentSaver HD. Protecting just a doorway is a tricky proposition. Even though we do not recommend it, it is possible to retain snow on partial roof sections in locations where snow does not frequently freeze. However, in areas where snow and ice can accumulate and freeze for several days at a time, the disproportionate loading that is created extends well beyond the secluded area of guards. The general rule of thumb is that snow and ice guards should be equally staggered over the entire roof so the loading is distributed evenly. Most engineers agree it is better to have equal loading verses unequal loading on a building structure.
When used with our SnoBlox, SnoJax II and IceJax, the SureBond EverSeal SB-190 requires at least 672 hours (28 days) of cure time with temperatures of 50° Fahrenheit or above to adequately cure prior to being subject to a snow load. The curing process does not have to take place all at one time however it is essential that a cumulative total of at least 672 hours of 50° F. is attained. The adhesive is not ruined in cold weather, and instead, just enters a dormant stage until temperatures rise above 50° F. In many instances the delay caused by cold weather can actually double or triple the 28 day curing period.
Since 1985, we have spent thousands of dollars testing tapes, sealants and adhesives and in our opinion the only adhesive that works is the SureBond SB-190. The only minor drawback is the specific time and temperature requirements that prevent winter time installation. To our knowledge, there are no miracle "cold weather" adhesives, tapes or sealants that work. Although we are the biggest fans of the SureBond brand of products, we feel obligated to caution against using what several competitors are touting as the "New Cold Weather Adhesive" called SureBond EverFlex Bondaprene 1800. Just ask to see their professional snow guard testing results and project references for this new product and you will see what we mean!
Some manufacturers offer tape as a cold weather adhesive, however, we have found that tapes have a short life expectancy after being exposed to the sun's UV rays. View "Do you recommend mounting snow guards with any type of tapes?" for more information.
Snow Guard installation is a reasonably straight forward process; see our installation page or the installation video for details. Although not a difficult task, we recommend hiring an experienced metal roofing contractor if you are not familiar with walking on steel roofs. Since we are the manufacturer, we do not install snow guards, nor do we make specific contractor recommendations. If you plan to install the guards yourself, we encourage you to invest in a shoe that is specifically made for walking on metal roofs, such as Cougar Paws. IceBlox Inc. d.b.a. Snojax does not assume liability for the installation process or recommendations of its products.
Please call your local zoning office or county building inspector. Your local building supply store or lumber yard may also know the local snow load values.
SureBond SB-190 is the only adhesive recommended by Snojax. It requires 28 days or (672 Hours) at 50° F or above to achieve full cure. Temperatures below 40° F will delay the cure time, until temperatures reach 50° F or above to completely cure. The user must always determine the suitability of the products for their intended use as we do not stand behind the method of attachment for our snow retention systems due to the lack of control over workmanship. We also recommend that a manufacturers spacing layout is used for appropriate placement of the snow guards for maximum protection, assured satisfaction and validation of the warranty.
Glue Down Applications:
A chemical reaction takes place between the plastic and the solvent base of the SB-190. Over 28 days the SB-190 chemically welds itself to the polycarbonate snow guard. Not all plastics can withstand this type of chemical welding without losing integrity. However, we have found that after 22 years of selling the SB-190 product, it does not affect the high quality polycarbonate we use. Visit our test results page to see holding power of the SB-190 on our snow guards.
Screw Down Applications:
SureBond SB-190 is not recommended as a sealant for use with mechanically fastened snow guards. Though we have never experienced a snow guard failure as a result of using the SB-190 in conjunction with screws, we have experienced minor crazing around the screw holes after 30 days. The crazing, resulting from using the sealant, is usually more evident when screwing down the snow guards into a steel purlin rather than a wood purlin. As mentioned in our installation instructions, a screw down application of snow guards should have 100% clear silicone uniformly covering the entire underside of the guard before mounting. The screws should then be snug tightened to about 50% compression of the washer.
When installing snow guards on a membrane roof, the method of attachment can be a concern. If the manufacturer of the roof allows, we only recommend mechanically attaching snow guards to a membrane roof's structural support. We would not recommend using any type of adhesive as the weight of the snow and ice could cause stress and premature failure of the roofing membrane.