Snow Guards for American Building Components (ABC) Standing Seam Roof Panels
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Snow Guards for American Building Components (ABC) Standing Seam Roof Panels

Posted by Derek Gamble - SnoBlox-Snojax Specialist on Mar 29th 2024

American Building Components Logo on white background

Today's metal roofing market offers customers a wide variety of panel options, which can make choosing the right snow guard a bit overwhelming. While having many choices can seem beneficial initially, it can also lead to decision fatigue when selecting. This new blog series spotlights leading metal panel manufacturers and provides tailored recommendations for compatible snow guard solutions. Our goal is to guide customers through this process so they can make informed decisions without feeling stuck.

American Building Components Roof Installed on home

American Building Components (ABC) Standing Seam Roof Panels

American Building Components (ABC) has provided quality products and reliable service for over a century. ABC offers an extensive selection of metal building materials backed by industry-leading warranties. Their decades of experience in the field allow them to help customers grow their businesses confidently. ABC has earned a reputation for exceptional quality and performance across its entire product lineup, including metal roofing, siding, light-gauge framing, trim, and accessories. ABC offers two standing seam metal roof panels: LOKSEAM® and SL-16®. This blog will focus on these options.

LokSeam Roof Panel by American Building Components profile on white background

LOKSEAM® Metal Roof Panels

LokSeam® standing seam metal roof panels, boasting concealed fasteners, offer unparalleled weather protection and a sleek, enduring aesthetic. Versatile across various applications, these roofing systems impart a contemporary flair, making them perfect for residential and commercial construction. ABC engineered LokSeam® for longevity and energy efficiency. This standing seam metal roof system presents a cost-effective roofing solution, potentially reducing customer maintenance and energy expenses. This panel exudes a distinctive ribbed appearance with fasteners discretely tucked beneath raised seams. LokSeam® has a minimum slope requirement of 3:12 and features 1-3/4" high ribs in 12", 16" and 18" seam spacing options. This panel is available in 22, 24, and 26-gauge thickness options.

LokSeam has multiple snow retention options because of its wide panel size and seam shape. This panel is excellent for use with glue-down polycarbonate snow guards. Still, a more liberal adhesive adhesive application may be required to account for the panel's minor striations, completely seal any possible gaps, and prevent moisture from traveling under the guards. If moisture becomes trapped beneath the guards, it is at risk of freezing and expanding, potentially causing the guard to detach from the roof panel. The IceJax II and SnoBlox Ace could be excellent choices for customers who desire large snow guards with this panel. At the same time, customers looking for a snow guard with a small footprint prefer the Deuce and IceJax I. This panel's rib shape makes it compatible with all of our clamp-on snow guards, including the SnoCleat RC, SnoCleat RCT, and both the SnoBar and ColorBar systems with either the standard SnoBar Clamps or RoofClamp attachment options.

SL-16 Roof Panel by American Building Components profile on white background

SL-16® Metal Roof Panels

The SL-16® panel is a discreet fastener panel system crafted with a modern aesthetic to complement your clients' design preferences perfectly. SL-16® roof panels boast a contemporary allure, ensuring your clients enjoy style and functionality without compromise. With cost-effective advantages and minimal maintenance demands, the SL-16 panel is optimal for diverse commercial or residential projects. The SL-16® panel has a minimum slope requirement of 3:12 and features 1" high ribs with 16" seam spacing. This panel is available in 26 and 29-gauge thickness options.

The SL-16® panel offers multiple snow retention options due to its wide panel flat and seam shape. It is compatible with various snow retaining snow guard options, including glue-down polycarbonate snow guards such as SnoBlox Ace, Snojax II, and Icejax II, making it ideal for customers seeking larger snow guards. Alternatively, customers preferring a smaller footprint may opt for the Deuce and IceJax I models. For those aiming to allow safer, controlled shedding of snow and ice, products like SnowBreaker and SnowBreaker 3M effectively slow down and break apart snow and ice for safer dispersal. With two distinct striation options, any polycarbonate snow guard selection may require a heavier adhesive application to accommodate minor panel striations to ensure comprehensive sealing to prevent moisture infiltration beneath the guards. Should moisture become trapped under the guards, there's a possibility of it freezing and expanding. This expansion could potentially dislodge the guard from the roof panel.

The panel's rib shape enables compatibility with all clamp-on snow guards, including SnoCleat RC, SnoCleat RCT, SnoBar, and ColorBar systems, with various attachment options. Because of the wider trapezoidal shape of this panel's seams, our clamps could crimp the seam around the attachment point. Our clamps have a required torque setting of 90-inch pounds. As such, we recommend buying a sample clamp for a test fit before placing your main order to ensure an appropriate torque and that the customer approves of any visual panel distortions. Some of our biggest competitors use clamps that sometimes require double that amount of torque, which may cause more significant panel distortion than our clamps.

Icejax snow guards mounted on roof holding field of snow and ice in place.

Seven Considerations Before Purchasing and Installing Snow Guards on MBCI Standing Seam Roofing

1. DO NOT Install Screw Down Snow Rails or Mechanically Fastened Snow Guards on a Standing Seam Roof!

Screw-down mechanically fastened snow guards and snow rails are not for use on standing seam panels. Such installations have the potential to damage the panel over time, leading to roof leaks due to the roof's floating nature and thermal expansion and contraction. Isolated installations could result in expensive repairs and a potential loss of warranty from the panel manufacturer.

2. Test-Fitting Snow Guards Can Aid in Making the Right Decision!

Before placing your order, it's crucial to test-fit snow guards, clamps, brackets, and IceStoppers to ensure a proper fit for your project. We offer these products online without minimum order requirements for use as test samples. Additionally, we provide bar sample kits in 20" and 27" lengths for test-fitting purposes. This small investment can save you significant expenses if the product doesn't fit during the final installation.

3. The Layout of a Snow Retention System Is Key to Its Effectiveness!

Regardless of the snow retention system chosen, obtaining layout recommendations from the manufacturer is essential. We offer free spacing charts for our products online and free quote request forms for our snow rail systems and individual guards if you require a custom layout solution. Installing snow retention only in isolated areas, such as above doorways, HVAC units, or chimneys, is not advisable, as these installations are prone to high failure rates.

4. Timing Matters for Installing Glue Down Snow Guards.

You can install clamp-on snow guards and rail systems anytime, provided the roof is clear of snow, ice, and debris. However, the timing for installing glue-down snow guards requires careful consideration. Surebond SB-190, the industry standard for snow guard adhesive, typically requires approximately 28 days at 50 degrees Fahrenheit to cure completely. Late spring or early summer is the optimal time for installation for customers in the USA and Canada. Rain will have no negative impact on the adhesive after 24 hours. It's important to note that installing snow guards with Surebond SB-190 adhesive on copper roofing is NEVER recommended.

5. Obtaining and Understanding Ground Snow Load Information Is Essential.

Projects with ground snow load ratings of 45 psf or less can install all snow retention types. Use snow rail systems in areas with ground snow loads exceeding 45 psf. These products feature increased holding power to handle more significant snow load conditions. If your panel type is incompatible with a snow rail system, contact the metal roofing manufacturer for their recommended snow guard system. Accessing ground snow load information is often possible through a quick web search, consulting your building plans, or contacting local building authorities.

6. Incorporate IceStoppers for Standing Seam Snow Rail Systems.

When utilizing SnoBar or ColorBar snow rail systems on standing seam roof panels, you should include IceStopper attachments, especially over pedestrian walkways or parking areas. IceStoppers can be attached during installation or later as a retrofit option. Proper spacing of IceStoppers is crucial for effective snow and ice retention.

7. Color-Matching Options Are Available for Snow Guards.

All of our metal snow retention options offer color-matching features. SnoCleat RC, SnoCleat RCT, and ColorBar Snow Rail Systems are compatible with slide-in metal color strips to match the face of the products to your roof. Custom powder coating is also available for a more comprehensive color match on all SnoCleat, SnowCatcher, and snow rail system models. Powder coating ensures that your snow guards and rails blend seamlessly with the roofing panels, providing a clean aesthetic for your building. Powder-coated products are custom-made and not stocked in-house. Custom colors may be subject to a surcharge and may affect lead times. You may need to provide a color sample before placing your order.

Conclusion

Selecting the right snow guard for your project can be challenging. Still, we hope this guide has provided valuable insights to simplify the process. Stay tuned for future posts as we cover other roofing styles and manufacturers. Remember, having access to a knowledgeable company for inquiries and guidance is crucial when purchasing snow guards. SnoBlox-Snojax is committed to providing support every step of the way. For questions or orders, contact us at support@snojax.com or 1-800-766-5291. Explore our What Works and What Doesn't Page and our Snow Guard Buyer's Guide for more important information about snow guards. We're here to assist you throughout your project!