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Old 02-22-2014, 10:15 AM   #1
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


I've got a low-pitched roof, maybe 3:12, that's EDPM. When we get a warm, sunny, day after a snowfall (like today) the snow pack on the roof turns into a glacier and slides off. It really is kind of glacial, maybe a few inches per hour, depending on conditions. When it gets about 18 inches of overhang it snaps off into a dense snowbank, right over the walkway and main entrance into the house. So what I'd like to do is find a way to keep the snow up there and melt like a "normal" roof.

There are snow fences for metal roofs, but I refuse to poke holes in the rubber. Other thoughts I had:

- Mix up some gritty sand into some liquid EDPM and spread that along the bottom 2,4,?? feet of the roof to provide friction similar to shingles.

- Glue down some mats along that bottom 2' - ??' edge. The mats would need to be rated for long life in the sun, cold, etc.

- Glue down some shingles like above. Much cheaper than mats.

- Attach some kind of fence to the roof fascia. Cheapest, but the most visible.

- And here's a stray thought: Build some "hooks" of 12' long PT, or maybe composite boards that hook to the peak of the roof at one end and have a fence connected to the other ends of all the boards. This would be visible, but easily removable when snow season is over.

Any other thoughts?

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Old 02-22-2014, 02:10 PM   #2
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


I can't seem to edit my post, but it's "EPDM".

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Old 02-24-2014, 12:21 PM   #3
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


You could caulk down some snow guards.

Or use walk way pads, made for epdm roofs. I would put them starting at 2' from the edge maybe make a double row of them.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:06 AM   #4
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


Thanks, 1985gt. I'm leaning towards the walkway pads. One thing I'm thinking of is a trial run in one area. I'd need $600 worth of pads to cover the entire length of roof. So maybe go with two 8-ft pads, one row deep, and go from there.

One question - Why start 2 ft away from the edge?
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:28 AM   #5
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


Instead of doing anything to the roof, why don't you manually remove the snow when you get those large over hangs?

I know I would rather do that then do anything else that could compromise the roofing system.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:04 PM   #6
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


The 2 ft is run off if you will, every thing 2' and up should be held in place, 2' and below will leave room to melt and run off, EPDM melts snow very quickly when the sun is out.

I would get the QA walk way pads, they are 30 x 30" have seam tape on the back side, so you would just clean and prime the area where the tape is and stick it down.

http://wimsattdirect.com/products/lo...-walkway-pads/

@ParagonEx

QA walk way pads and caulking will do nothing to compromise the roof system. Manually removing the snow can be hazardous at best some times.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:22 PM   #7
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


@ParagonEx, that's what I've been doing, most recently this weekend, and what's given me incentive to look for alternatives .

I use a roof rake to knock of the overhang and drag maybe 2-ft of snow from the edge. Then I have to break up the dropped stuff with a metal shovel because the snow blower's housing can't cut into that dense stuff. I can blow it 10, maybe 20 ft, where I have to blow it again to get it completely out of the driveway. The entire process takes 5 - 6 hours over two days to get most of it. And I'm not getting any younger :-)

@1985gt, I called around and it seems like those walkway pads are a fairly common method. There's even a local supplier for them at a decent price.

Or maybe I should save up and get a small tractor with a loader. May as well make the job fun. And then I'd have a tractor
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


@1985gt, any chance that the pressure from the snow could pull a caulked-down snow guard away, taking a piece of the roof membrane with it? Or are you saying install them with screws and the caulk is for what caulk is for - sealing?

I'm real nervous about putting screw holes in my roof, but the snow guards would be about 1/4 the price if I use one every 2 ft. And I found some on Amazon that have EPDM bases that they say "no caulk needed".
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:53 PM   #9
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


The caulking would most likely fail before any damage is done to the roofing. I assume your EPDM is fully adhered? I would avoid screwing snow guards down as caulking would be a poor sealant for this.

The ones on Amazon are they these?

http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Corr...ds=snow+guards

IF they are they should work. The EPDM tape at the bottom is what would hold them on. There is a chance that these would come off and end up on the ground, but that could happen with any of them.

You would want them at 1 foot centered and staggered in rows. SO one row at 24" up at 24" apart then another row 12" up 24" apart, but staggered if you know what I'm saying.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:47 PM   #10
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


@1985gt, yep, those are the ones (on Amazon). I'm still too new to post a link on this forum. I don't see how that EPDM tape would hold them on, though. The writeup doesn't say they're pressure sensitive or anything. It looks like it's just a strip of EPDM glued to the base that provides a seal when screwed down. No big deal, though, since I can caulk them down if I need to. And I do understand what you're saying about the staggered mounting.

I think that the roof is fully adhered, but this roof was there when we moved in, so I'm not sure. I'm mostly going on assumptions that most EPDM roofs are fully adhered.

I had another thought (forgive the engineer/tinkerer/geek in me) - How about using some AZEK (PVC) trim and caulking those down in a couple strips 2 and 3 ft up from the edge? Maybe mount them in a slight "V" pattern, like:
/ \ / \ / \ / \

/ \ / \ / \ / \

to let the melt drain down. I'm pretty sure the snow guards don't need to be all that tall on my roof. All the sliding is most likely at the bottom 1/8" (or whatever) layer of melting snow. And the slow speed of the slide tells me it wouldn't take that much force to stop it. So just a 3/4" X 1-1/2" PVC board (or some composite) could be enough.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:05 PM   #11
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


If it's EPDM tape on the bottom of the snow guards it will come off the metal before it comes off the EPDM membrane if installed properly, ie with cleaner and primer. It's no different then the seams in the roof or the tape sealing off the edge metal.

It's most likely fully adhered but there is mechanically attached EPDM roofs also. They will either be smaller 6'-8' rolls and you would see the plates in the seams or anchor bar striped in ever 6-10 feet.

I wouldn't know why PVC trim wouldn't work. Just like caulking the snow guards to it, the worst that really could happen would be them falling off. Damage to the roof its self I don't think would happen. Either way I'd use a good caulking like NP-1.

What ever you do, you just want to make sure there is enough to hold the weight of the snow. That is why you see snow guards hanging off of metal roofs, they didn't install enough.

I don't know how much snow you see ect but I would think a couple rows like your planing would be fine.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


Thanks. I'm pretty sure it's not mechanical. I don't remember seeing any plates or anchors up there. I don't remember how wide the rolls were, but the only thing other than the membrane were round rubber patches where the corners of the sheets meet.

This is New Hampshire, so we see a fair amount of snow. We had about 18 inches on the roof before this past weekend's warm weather and sun melted it down some. And 12 inches of that was the heavy sticky stuff that got heavier thanks to the rain that fell all the following day. We've had around 3-ft up there a couple years back, but that was lighter fluff.

So now I'm anxious to give it a shot. I want to do just a short section to test, but I only have a slight chance this weekend of getting a dry roof. More snow is expected next week and then it's tough to tell if we'll get any more this season. I don't see that Home Depot sells that NP1 locally, so this will probably end up being a summer project, and then I'll just do the whole length.

Thanks again for the advice. It's great that people with pro experience give back on a DIY forum like this.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:47 AM   #13
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Snow sliding on EDPM rubber roof


The caulking doesn't have to be NP-1, There are other brands I just say NP-1 because its what we have used for years and know what it can and works well for. It is a Polyurethane,

Others would be Volkem 116, and Geocel makes a good one also but I don't know the number off hand.

Good luck on your project.

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