Snow Guards for AEP Span Standing Seam Roof Panels
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Snow Guards for AEP Span Standing Seam Roof Panels

Posted by Derek Gamble - SnoBlox-Snojax Specialist on Mar 20th 2024

AEP Span Architectural Metal Roofing and Siding Logo on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Today’s metal roofing market features hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of panel options. Sometimes, this abundance of options can make choosing the correct snow guard for your project difficult. Having many choices can feel like a good thing, that is until you need to make a decision. This new blog series will highlight some top metal panel manufacturers and recommend proper snow guard selections on their most popular panels to ease this process. The goal here is to help our customers avoid analysis paralysis. Let's get started.

AEP Span Concealed Fastener Metal Roof Panels

The first manufacturer we will highlight today has been a leading architectural metal roofing and siding material manufacturer for over 50 years. AEP Span offers a range of high-performance metal roofing products that an official third party evaluates. As an industry leader, AEP Span manufactures high-quality products that provide building solutions for even the most complicated projects in various climates and exceptional technical assistance to customers. AEP Span also claims recognition as one of the pioneering suppliers of concealed fastener standing seam metal roofing. This company even played a small part in helping us develop our snow rail systems in the 1990s, even featuring the earliest version of our ColorBar, then Sno Horse, on their MetalCon booth. To learn more about that, you can check out our recent blog, "The History of Standing Seam Snow Guards."

Curved Span-Lok™ Metal Roofing Profile In Terra-Cotta Color on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Curved Span-Lok™ Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Curved Span-Lok™ metal roofing is a high-performance architectural standing seam roof system. This panel is suitable for both new construction and retrofit applications. It features a mechanically seamed 2" high rib for added aesthetic appeal and a weathertight design. Curved Span-Lok ideally suits commercial, education, hotel, industrial, institutional, and retail projects. This 16" x 2" panel is available in 22 and 24-gauge options and is meant for roofs with a minimum ¼:12 slope.

We recommend using only a clamp-on SnoBar or ColorBar snow rail system with this panel. The non-penetrating clamps in these rail systems attach to the seam without negatively impacting the panels' watertightness or causing corrosion issues. We also do not recommend using individual polycarbonate glue-down snow guards with this panel, as they require a flat attachment surface for proper installation.

 Design Span® hp Metal Roofing Profile In Rustic Red Color on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Design Span® hp Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Design Span® hp metal roofing is a high-performance structural standing seam metal panel ideal for residential, commercial, retail, municipal, and multi-use building applications. Design Span hp is long-lasting, resilient, and sustainable, making it suitable as a roof over metal or wood decking and a fascia or mansard over plywood or supports. Design Span merges effortlessly with other traditional construction materials, giving architects, homeowners, and building owners the ultimate design versatility. This standing seam metal panel features a 1-11/16" rib height and is available in 12", 16", 17", and 18" rib spacing with either 22 or 24-gauge options.

The Design Span® hp intends for standard non-radiused roofs with a 2:12 minimum slope, in contrast to the Curved Span-Lok™ panels, designed for curved roofing. This panel's flat nature and the seams' shape allow for multiple snow retention options. This panel is excellent for use with glue-down polycarbonate snow guards. Still, it may require a more liberal application of adhesive to account for the minor striations of the panel, fill any possible gaps, and prevent moisture from traveling under the guards. Any moisture trapped under the guards has the potential to freeze and expand, which could dislodge the guard from the roof panel. The IceJax II and SnoBlox Ace could be excellent choices for this panel in its larger configurations. At the same time, customers might prefer the Deuce and IceJax I for the smaller panel sizes.

This panel's rib shape makes it compatible with all of our clamp-on snow guards, including the SnoCleat RC and SnoCleat RCT, and both the SnoBar and ColorBar systems with either the standard SnoBar Clamps or RoofClamp attachment options.

Select Seam® Narrow Batten Metal Roofing Profile In Chestnut Brown Color on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Select Seam® Narrow Batten Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Select Seam® Narrow Batten Metal Roofing is a high-performance, non-structural Batten Seam Metal Roofing Panel ideal for educational, civic, and institutional applications. This panel's clean, broad pan design makes it great for achieving a classic architectural effect. Architects and building owners prefer Select Seam, a performance-rated, non-structural batten-seam metal roof system capable of curving for numerous radius applications. This standing seam metal panel features a 13/16" rib height and is available in 12", 16", and 21 1/4" rib spacing with either 22 or 24-gauge options.

Customers can employ this panel in flat or curved installations, but its rib shape limits the available options for snow guards. This panel features a separate batten strip and, as such, cannot be equipped with clamp-on individual snow guards or continuous rail systems. Companies often use batten strips solely for aesthetics, to enhance the visual connection between two panels. We don't recommend clamp-on systems whenever a separate batten strip is on a standing seam panel, as the clamps only attach to the strip itself and might not achieve proper torque on the panels, potentially causing the strips to disengage from the roof and leading to extensive and expensive repairs.

Like the Design Span® hp panel, we recommend using glue-down polycarbonate snow guards with this panel. However, this is only when the panel is not being radiused on a roof. Individual polycarbonate snow guards require a flat mounting surface for correct installation. Please remember that this panel also features minor striations, which may require a thicker application of the Surebond SB-190 adhesive to fill gaps between the panel and the guard.

Select Seam® Wide Batten Metal Roofing Profile In Chestnut Brown Color on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Select Seam® Wide Batten Seam Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Select Seam® Wide Batten Seam Metal Roofing is a high-performance, non-structural Batten Seam Metal roof system suited for use in education, civic, retail, commercial, and institutional settings. This panel's clean, broad pan design makes it great for creating a traditional architectural impact on metal roofs or siding projects. This standing seam metal panel features a 1 7/8" rib height and is available in 13 1⁄4″, 17 1⁄4″, and 22 1⁄2″ rib spacing with either 22 or 24 gauge options. This panel serves non-radiused roofing applications with a minimum slope of 3:12.

Unfortunately, this panel has the same challenges as the Select Seam® Narrow Batten panels when choosing snow guards. Still, it is even more exaggerated by the wider square-shaped batten strip. While this panel is visually stylish, it is also very limited in options due to the wide box-style batten strip. Clamp-on individual snow guards like the SnoCleat RC and RCT are not an option for this panel. Clamp-on snow rails are also unable to work with this panel. That leaves glue-down polycarbonate pad-style snow guards as the sole remaining options for this panel. Like the other panels we have discussed thus far, this panel features the same strengthening minor panel striations and will require a heavier adhesive coating when installed.

Span-Lok™ hp Metal Roofing Profile In Metallic Copper Color on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

Span-Lok™ hp Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Span-Lok™ hp metal roofing is a performance-rated, architectural standing seam panel offering aesthetic appeal and weathertight construction. This panel works with commercial, mixed-use, retail, and multi-use developments. This standing seam metal panel features a 2" rib height and is available in 12" and 16″ rib spacing with 22 and 24-gauge options. The Span-Lok™ hp design suits non-radiused roofing applications with a minimum slope of 1/4:12.

Span-Lok™ hp metal roofing is one of the more popular panels we work with from AEP Span, as it is one of the most versatile panels for snow guard selection. You can equip this panel with clamp-on snow guards, glue-down polycarbonate snow guards, or continuous rail systems. You can't go wrong with these choices when using Span-Lok™ hp metal panels. Continuing the trend of AEP Span's other standing seam panels, a thick coating of adhesive may be required when gluing down polycarbonate snow guards to account for the striations of this panel.

SpanSeam™ Metal Roofing Profile In Light Stone Color on White Background - Image Courtesy of aepspan.com

SpanSeam™ Metal Roofing Snow Guards

SpanSeam™ metal roofing is a high-performance architectural standing seam roof system. This panel has a mechanically seamed 2" high rib, providing visual appeal and a weathertight design. You can use both new construction projects and retrofit applications. SpanSeam is a versatile product suitable for roofing and vertical metal siding applications. This panel is ideal for retail, institutional, industrial, commercial, educational, and hospitality projects. This standing seam metal panel is only available in 16″ rib spacing with either 22 or 24-gauge options. This panel is for non-radiused roofing applications with a minimum slope of 1/4:12.

SpanSeam™ is the only panel from AEP Span meant for non-radiused roofing projects with a flat, non-striated panel. Like the Span-Lok™ hp panels, it is compatible with individual clamp-on snow guards, continuous rail systems, and glue-down polycarbonate snow guards. A standard adhesive application will be adequate because the panel does not feature minor striations.

Mill Finish ColorBar Snow Rail System With IceStopper Attachments Mounted to Blue Standing Seam Roof

6 Considerations Before Buying and Installing Snow Guards On AEP Span Standing Seam Roofing

1. Snow Load

We recommend using glue-down and clamp-on individual snow guards only for projects with ground snow load ratings of up to 45 psf. Projects in geographic locations with ground snow loads higher than 45 psf will require snow rail systems. If the panel type does not work with a snow rail system, we recommend that the customer contact the metal roofing manufacturer for their preferred snow guard systems. You can often obtain ground snow load information through a quick web search or by reviewing the building plans for your project. If this is not the case, you can call your local building inspector or township office. They should be able to provide this information.

2. NO Screw Down Snow Guards for Standing Seam Roofs!

We NEVER recommend installing screw-down, mechanically fastened snow guards on a standing seam panel. Penetration of a concealed fastener roof can damage the panel over time and cause roof leaks due to its floating nature, which may lead to costly repairs and warranty loss from the panel manufacturer.

3. Get a Layout!

Regardless of your snow retention system, obtaining a layout recommendation from the snow guard manufacturer is vital. We offer FREE spacing charts for our products online and FREE quote request forms for our snow rail systems and individual guards when our customers desire a more custom layout solution. Installing snow retention in isolated areas, like just above doorways, HVAC units, chimneys, etc., is never recommended. Isolated installations have a high potential for failure.

4. Color Matching Snow Guards

Color-matching options are available on panels where clamp-on individual metal snow guards or continuous rail systems are compatible. The SnoCleat RC, SnoCleat RCT, and ColorBar Snow Rails Systems can all 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 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 clean, unobstructed aesthetic for your home, commercial, or industrial building. Please remember that powder-coated products are not kept in-house and are custom-made. As a last resort, when customers desire a faster solution or more control over the color, they can have them powder-coated locally or paint them upon arrival.

5. Installing Glue Down Snow Guards at the Right Time of the Year

Install crimp-on snow guards and clamp-on rail systems anytime if the roof is free of snow, ice, and debris. However, installing glue-down snow guards requires more strategic timing. Surebond SB-190, the industry standard for snow guard glue, needs approximately 28 days at 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) to reach a complete cure. Late spring or early summer is the best time for installation for 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!

6. IceStopper Attachments for Snow Rail Systems

If using the SnoBar or ColorBar snow rail systems, we recommend using the IceStopper attachments over at least any pedestrian walkways or parking spaces. The IceStoppers can be attached during the initial installation or easily retrofitted later. On panels with seam spacing up to 17" on center, use 1 IceStopper centered per panel. For panels with rib spacing from 18"-24" on center, 2 IceStoppers should be used and spaced evenly per panel. Panels with Seam Spacing from 24"- 42" on-center require three IceStoppers per panel spaced evenly. Only ColorBar can be used on roof panels with a seam spacing larger than 24" on-center.

Conclusion

Selecting the proper snow guards for your project can be daunting, but hopefully, this blog has helped. Please check back as we highlight other roofing styles and different manufacturers similarly. The #1 thing to remember when purchasing snow guards is that a reputable snow guard company can quickly answer your questions and provide input when requested. 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!