Wintertime can be a lot of fun. Sure, the weather gets cold, but there are so many things to do that you can’t do in summertime. Skating, sledding, skiing and other fun winter sports are favourite pastimes for many people. When people think of wintertime sports, one of the things that comes to mind is snow safety. Snow is fun, but it is cold, slippery and can freeze into solid ice.
To counteract this, people wear helmets, padding, goggles and warm clothing to make sure they stay safe.
However, there is one area of winter safety that people don’t always think of
We think of homes and other buildings as naturally safe spaces, but they can become treacherous when the temperature is low and the world is covered in snow and ice. Rooftops can become especially dangerous, which is why many homeowners and business owners install bolt down snow fences to protect people who may be walking below.
Snow-covered rooftops are a beautiful sight after a night of freshly fallen snow, but when the snow keeps falling, it doesn’t always stay on the roof. Snow, especially heavy, wet snow, can build up to the point where the angle of the roof makes the perfect pathway for a miniature avalanche to occur. For people and vehicles underneath the eaves, this can be extremely unpleasant and downright dangerous. Bolt down snow fences serve as a way to catch built-up snow before it rolls off the roof.
Buildup isn’t the only factor that causes snow on the roof to become dangerous
Snow that was light, fluffy and harmless in the night time can begin to melt in the sun. Melting snow becomes denser, harder and heavier, not to mention more slippery and prone to sliding down the slope of a roof. This heavy snow is more dangerous than fresh snow. After a few cycles of melting and refreezing, we are no longer dealing with falling snow, but falling ice. Ice chunks can cause expensive property damage, debilitating building damage and serious injury when they fall from a great height. Bolt down snow fences are one way to prevent ice chunks from falling on your property (or on your head).
How do bolt down snow fences work?
They’re quite simple and very effective. As the name would suggest, they look like small fences that you install on the edge of your roof. Because snow can be surprisingly heavy, they are bolted directly to the roof to keep them in place, even against heavy snowfall. Snow fences are slotted to allow snow to trickle out as it melts, coming down as water rather than as solid chunks of ice or snow. They are made of strong, rust-proof materials so they do not corrode after constant contact with snow and weather. They are available in a variety of colours, which means they don’t need to look like an afterthought on your home or business; you can make them as attractive as you’d like.
A few things to consider
If you have chosen to install a bolt down snow fence on your roof, there are some things to take into consideration. Of course, you need to make sure that you purchase a high quality fence that will last for years without breaking, rotting or rusting. It’s also important to get it professionally installed and bolted down firmly so that it will remain in place through a heavy snowfall.
As with choosing your home or your business building, location is everything. Put your snow fence where it will offer a maximum amount of protection. Make sure that snow will never fall where there is a high amount of foot traffic. Make sure that parking areas are protected, as well as places where you have put up signs, displays or decorations.
Bolt down snow fences can help make your wintertime a safer experience, but make certain that you have taken other precautions as well. Shovel snow quickly after it falls and sprinkle sand, salt or gravel on frequently used pathways and stairways. Install guard rails and hand rails for people to hold on to in slippery weather, and keep an eye out for icicles that might fall at any time. With the right safety precautions, winter can be the most beautiful time of year.
This article was written Eugene. F. Wallace, a specialist writer on construction, in whose opinion, snow guards are effective tools that greatly reduce the dangers associated with snow and ice gradually accumulating on a building’s roof.