Snow Guards for AEP Span Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing
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Snow Guards for AEP Span Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

Posted by Derek Gamble - SnoBlox-Snojax Specialist on Mar 22nd 2024

AEP Span Logo on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Today, there are many metal roofing brands and panel types. Choosing the right snow guard for your project can be challenging, with so many options. Having many choices seems like a good thing, but it can make deciding hard. This new blog series will discuss some top metal panel brands and suggest snow guard solutions for their most popular panels. Let's get started!

AEP Span Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

Our last blog highlighted AEP Span's current product lineup of standing seam roofing panels. Today, we will look at their offerings of exposed fastener roof panels. AEP Span, a leading architectural metal roofing and siding material manufacturer for over 50 years, offers a range of high-performance, third-party evaluated metal roofing products.

HR-36® Metal Roofing Profile on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

HR-36® Metal Roofing Snow Guards

HR-36® metal roofing features an exposed fastened panel with a 36" net coverage and is currently available in 20, 22, 24, and 26 gauge thickness options. AEP Span designed this panel for roofs with a minimum slope of 1:12. It is used most commonly in commercial, hotel, industrial, retail, and mixed-use settings, as well as for heavy-duty metal fencing or gates. HR-36 is long-lasting, resilient, and sustainable, and it is available in various energy-efficient hues and paint systems to suit almost any need or style. Designers sometimes use this unusual metal paneling to create vertical or horizontal arrangements.

This exposed fastener metal panel features equally spaced low and high ribs with 2 1/16" wide flats, approximately 7 3/16" from center to center. Because of the thin flats of this panel, you will need a more narrow solution. This panel will accept glue-down or screw-down pad-style snow guards like our SnoBlox Deuce if you are looking to retain the snow and ice on the roof or our SnowBreaker product if you are looking to control shedding snow and ice from the roof in smaller, safer pieces. Unlike standing seam roof panels, exposed fastener panels can usually accept mechanical screw-down attachment or glue-down installation. When mounting polycarbonate snow guards with glue, we recommend Surebond SB-190 adhesive, the industry standard for glue-down snow guard installations.

This panel is compatible with our screw-down ColorBar and SnoBar snow rail systems when installed with our Tall ColorBrackets. Installing screw-down snow guards or mechanically fastened rail systems on the high ribs of a panel is never recommended. You should always screw down through the low flats of the panel and into an adequate structure for a proper installation. For more information on why this is important, you can check out our recent blog, "Mounting Snow Guards on the High Ribs or the Panel Flats: Which is Correct?"

Reversed Box Rib™ Metal Roofing Profile on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Reversed Box Rib™ Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Reversed Box Rib™ metal roofing features an exposed fastened metal panel with a net coverage of 36" and is available in 20, 22, 24, and 26 gauge thickness options. This panel is suitable for commercial, industrial, retail, mixed-use, civic, and even domestic roofs with a slope of at least 1:12. When paired with various building materials, Reversed Box Rib creates a unique and adaptable design.

This exposed fastener metal roof panel features alternating 1 3/8" wide high ribs and 4 1/8" wide low panel flats. Like the HR-36® panel, we do not recommend mounting snow guards or rails to the high ribs and only advise installation in the low flats. This panel is compatible with the SnoBar and ColorBar screw-down rail systems and will, again, utilize the Tall ColorBrackets for attachment. If you want to use an individual glue-down or screw-down pad-style snow guard, this panel allows for more options than the HR-36 panel due to its wider panel flats. Customers looking for a stainless steel option may opt for our screw-down SnowCatchers. Polycarbonate snow guard options for this panel include the SnoBlox Deuce, SnoBlox Ace, and IceJax I for snow retention. The SnowBreaker will also work with this panel for customers looking to allow the shedding of snow and ice in a more safe and controlled manner.

Nu-Wave® Corrugated Metal Roofing Profile on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Nu-Wave® Corrugated Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Nu-Wave®, corrugated metal roofing, is a traditional 7/8" exposed fastener wavy corrugated metal panel designed for siding and roofing applications. It features a net coverage of 36" and comes in 20, 22, 24, and 26 gauge options. Various applications utilize this metal panel, including civic, educational, hospitality, hotel, residential, retail, and mixed-use buildings, with a minimum slope of 3:12. This panel is also sometimes utilized on roofs with optional factory curvature. When paired with other construction materials, Nu-Wave® Corrugated Metal Roofing creates a distinctive yet adaptable look.

This panel features no panel flats, making it incompatible with most traditional pad-style snow retention methods. Customers using this panel and desiring an individually mounted solution can use our SnoCleat 2.67 snow guards. This newer product in our lineup will straddle 2 of the high ribs on the panel and utilize 3" long screws for attachment. Unlike standard exposed fastener roofing styles, wavy corrugated panels are the exception to the rule about mounting on high ribs due to these panels' unique shape and design. Customers who opt for a snow rail or snow fence system for their projects can equip our SnoBar and ColorBar with the same bracket as the SnoCleat 2.67, allowing for continuous runs on the roof. In both cases, each 2.67 ColorBracket features six holes for attachment. Although each bracket only requires four screws, you can utilize the additional two holes to enhance mounting strength in more extreme conditions. The installation of these brackets is limited to non-radiused roofs. Contact AEP Span for recommendations regarding snow guards on this panel when radiused.

Mini-V-Beam Metal Roofing Profile on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Mini-V-Beam Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Mini-V-Beam metal roofing is an exposed fastened panel with a net coverage of 32 inches available in 20, 22, 24, and 26 gauge thickness options. This corrugated metal panel is suitable for roofs in agricultural, commercial, institutional, residential, retail, and mixed-use applications and requires a minimum pitch of 1:12.

Unfortunately, due to its narrow flats and the wide center-to-center spacing of the high ribs, this panel is incompatible with any of our current snow retention options. If your project currently has this panel installed or includes it in the specification for a future project, we recommend contacting AEP Span for a recommendation for snow guards.

PBR Panel Metal Roofing Profile on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

PBR Panel Metal Roofing Snow Guards

PBR mechanically fastened metal roofing panels are the most common type of panel that you will see on today's homes and businesses. This panel has a net coverage of 36 inches and is available in 22, 24, and 26 gauge thickness options. PBR Panel metal roofing is an excellent choice for pre-engineered metal, post-frame, and agricultural structures with a minimum roof slope of 1:12. This metal roofing panel is well-suited for light commercial and industrial projects and DIY projects. Livestock and animal confinement facilities also commonly use PBR panels. This long-lasting, resilient, and sustainable metal panel creates a distinct yet adaptable look when coupled with different construction materials.

This panel features a high rib on 12" center-to-center spacing with two minor ribs between each high rib on approximately 4" wide spacing from center to center. As such, PBR panels are one of the most versatile exposed fastener panels for snow guard installations, with the most available choices. This panel can work with our screw-down SnoBar and ColorBar Rail Systems using the Tall ColorBracket, the SnoCleat PBR, all of the stainless steel SnowCatcher Models (Standard, Fleur-de-lis, Sun Burst, Maple Leaf, Mustang, and Kodiak), and every polycarbonate snow guard in our current lineup. You can install all polycarbonate models with adhesive except for the Snojax I model, which is incompatible with Surebond SB-190 adhesive. While most of these options require mounting the snow guard in the center flat of the panels, some guards may need to be mounted off-center to straddle either the left or right minor rib. Ensuring consistent mounting over the same rib is vital in these circumstances.

U-Panel Metal Roofing Profile on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

U-Panel Metal Roofing Snow Guards

U-Panel metal roofing is a "Utility" panel that provides 36" of net coverage and is available in 22, 24, and 26 gauge thickness options. This metal panel, renowned for its cost-effective exposed fastener design, commonly finds use in light commercial and industrial applications. U-Panel is ideal as an internal partition or liner panel for mini-storage facilities. The purlin-bearing leg facilitates installation and increases the quality of panel side laps, resulting in a constant weather-resistant junction.

This panel features alternating 1" wide high ribs spaced at 6" on-center with 3" panel flats in between. It would work well with the SnoBar or ColorBar rail systems with Tall ColorBrackets for mounting. The different SnowCatcher models and the SnoCleat PBR are also compatible with this panel. All polycarbonate snow guard models, except the Snojax I, Snojax II, and Icejax II, are compatible with a glue-down or screw-down attachment on this panel.

SnoBar Installed on Gray PBR Panel With Tall ColorBrackets

5 Considerations Before Buying and Installing Snow Guards on AEP Span Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing

1. Knowledge is Power: Ground Snow Loads

We recommend that glue-down and screw-down individual snow guards be used only on projects with ground snow loads of up to 45 psf. Projects in areas with ground snow loads of more than 45 pounds per square foot require snow rail systems. A quick web search or inspection of your project's building plans will typically provide you with your building's ground snow load information. If you need help finding this information, contact your local building inspector or township office; they should be able to provide it.

2. It Is Always Vital To Get a Layout!

Regardless of your snow retention system, getting a design recommendation from the snow guard manufacturer is critical. We provide FREE spacing charts for our products online and FREE quote request forms for our snow rail systems and individual guards for customers who require custom layout advice. Installing snow retention in isolated areas, such as just above doorways, HVAC systems, chimneys, etc., is not suggested, as they will always have a high risk of failure.

3. You Have Options To Color-Match Your Snow Guards

Color-matching options are available on all of our metal snow guard options. The SnoCleat PBR and ColorBar Snow Rails Systems can accept slide-in color strips purchased with the guards or created by cutting leftover roofing material. These slide-in strips will color-match the face of these products to your roof. These snow guards and the stainless steel SnowCatcher models can also be custom powder coated for a full coverage color match. We can match any roofing shade and even create custom bespoke colors in more unusual circumstances. Powder coating allows snow guards to blend in with the roofing panels and creates a cleaner, less obstructed aesthetic for your home, commercial, or industrial building. Please remember that powder-coated products are not kept in-house and are custom-made. Typical lead times are approximately 3-4 weeks and are subject to change depending on the color and size of the order. As a last resort, when customers desire a faster solution or more direct control over the color, they can have their snow guards powder-coated locally or painted upon arrival.

4. Installing Glue Down Snow Guards at the Correct Time of Year

You can install screw-down snow guards and rail systems any time of year as long as the roof is free of snow, ice, and debris. However, installing glue-down snow guards requires more strategic timing. SureBond SB-190, the adhesive industry standard for polycarbonate snow guard installation, needs approximately 28 days at 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) to reach a complete cure. Late spring or early summer is the best time for installation by our customers in the USA and Canada. Temperatures below 50 degrees will not harm the adhesive but will temporarily halt the curing process until the temperature reaches that threshold again. Rain will not adversely affect the glue after 24 hours. Furthermore, using Surebond SB-190 adhesive with copper roofing is not advisable!

Icejax I layout mechanically mounted on PBR Roof and holding snow and ice

5. Sealing Screw Down Snow Guards To Avoid Roof Leaks

When using the SnoCleat PBR, SnoCleat 2.67, SnowCatchers, or a screw-down rail system, these products include butyl tape gaskets for sealing purposes that, when paired with screws that have neoprene washers, will create a weather-tight seal. The additional use of liquid silicone around the perimeter of these snow guards is not required, but some of our customers choose this extra step for an added level of protection. When screwing down any of our polycarbonate snow guards, it is essential to use a neutral curing, cold-weather liquid silicone to seal the entire base of the guard. You must use enough silicone over the whole base so that it oozes out around the edges. Wipe it with a gloved finger around the perimeter to complete the seal. We also recommend using screws equipped with neoprene washers with these guards. We recommend NovaFlex MR150 silicone sealant for use with our snow guards. Years of comparisons and testing of many different sealants have led us to this product, and we haven't looked back.

Conclusion

Choosing the correct snow guards for your project might seem complicated, but hopefully, this blog has helped. Please check back as we continue to spotlight other roofing types and manufacturers in the future. The most important thing to remember when buying snow guards is that a respectable manufacturer should be able to answer your questions and provide guidance when needed. SnoBlox-Snojax is no exception to this rule. For questions or orders, please get in touch with us at support@snojax.com or 1-800-766-5291. Check out our Snow Guard Buyer's Guide and What Works and What Doesn't page for more information. We are here to help!