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Standing Seam Roof???

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by jaclawn, Jan 22, 2001.

  1. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 490

    I have got a small commercial lot that has a metal standing seam roof on the building (2 years old). The building has no gutters though, and a vert, very steep (almost vertical) pitch to the roof. The problem is that the snow will stick to the roof, only to fall to the sidewalks below it in the days following the storm. This leads to a build up of ice on the sidewalks.

    I cleared the walks to wet pavement yesterday afternoon, and by this morning, there was 2 inches of ice on them. When the sun comes out in the afternoon, and melts the snow and ice, it then drips on the sidewalk, and at night it re-freezes.

    So, what can be done to help reduce the ice buildup? It is a relativly new concrete walkway. I have used a good amount of de-icer on them, but it just does not work well on 2" of ice.

    I know that the obvious soultion is gutters on the building.
  2. Smither

    Smither LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    They have snow guards that they can fasten onto the roof. They look kind of like pieces on angle iron. They stop the snow from falling down the roof. I would think the cost of that would be far less than paying you all the time to keep the sidewalk clear. I don't know if this helps you or not. This is something the owner must provide, not you. Is the building small enough that you can rake the roof from the ground right after a storm???
  3. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    Here in Northern Il every gutter is stacked with 6" ofice. Except those that have collapsed. Don't know of an answer, just keep charging them for their design flaw.
  4. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    We have had a building like this for 6 years now. In our case, they shut the heat off at night, and it comes back on sometime around 5 or 6 AM. The same thing happens, what is clear at 5 AM is snow covered at 7 AM. They get billed again, and in response to the shop owners complaining, we tell them to leave the heat on when snow is due. There's not much else you can do. Just plow it or shovel it when it falls. Also, we can tell who left the heat on, because the snow fell off, or didn't accumulate on their overhang. I'm not sure how well those angle irons would work, since the snow can slide right past them, unless they were 4" tall or more. I have a feeling it might make the building not look too pretty.

    Raking the roof is another "billable" option....

  5. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    All the building at my shop are like that, anyways we just run the plow around the building every day.

  6. Smither

    Smither LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    For what it's worth, the snow angles are clear. Metal building manufacturers sell them all the time. I agree, though, I don't know what good they would do with a snow deeper than the vertical leg. Hopefully jaclawn your client doesn't balk at you billing him all the time, and you have the time to keep coming back. If he/she does, and insists that the walks remain clear, than they are going to have to do something to help remedy the problem, or live with icy sidewalks.

    A sidenote: Here is a story related to icy sidewalks. When a good buddy of mine was getting married, we took him out to this huge bar for his bachelor party. There were a bunch of us at the table, and the waitress was carrying over alot of pitchers, sometimes two or three at a time. We kept giving her tips for her effort. My buddy was getting pretty drunk. One time after the waitress had left our table and had made her way almost all the way across the bar, he stands up and yells, "Hey, you forgot your tip". We had given her a tip, so we weren't sure what he was up to. He stood up and yelled it a couple more times, and the waitress started back over. When she got a couple of feet from the table, he looked right at her and said "Watch out for icy sidewalks". That was it!!! She got the biggest tip of the night from the rest of us.
  7. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    Watch it...

    Couple more stories like that and Dino will ban you.
  8. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    My parents house has a steep slate roof. Same problem. But the snow needs to be able to slide off otherwise ice dams will be a problem along with the water damage that goes with them.

    Late at night I remember being awakened by the roar of the snow falling off the roof in one big avalanche, and the shoveling party the next morning removing the mountain of snow from the driveway.
  9. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 442

    I have a standing seam roof with a similar problem, especially on the sunny side. Their are a couple of solutions which have been presented to me. I haven't really consulted a good commercial roofing contractor friend yet, but will shortly. Hopefully I can make it through this season without making the necessary additions.

    By the way we have huge gutters, and this doesn't do enough to solve the problem when it occurs. Our roof pitch is 2 to 12, and the roof is 10,000 square feet in size.

    A company called Berger Bros. sells commercial snow guards, and other products for roofing preservation or improvement. The phone number on the flier I have is (215) 355-1200 or (800) 523-8852. The title of the fliers are: Commercial Snow Guards and Residential Snow Guards. Their product line appears to be a stick on the roof solution.

    Another company (no name on the photocopy) sells a product called the S-5 Metal roof utility clamps. The caption is "How do you attach almost anything to a standing seam roof...". These are small fasteners which would allow you to attach snow guard strips or another product called SnoClips. The phone number listed is 800-821-5448

    Let me know how you make out.


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