Snow Guard Design: When Do I Need an Engineering Stamp?

This home in Vail, CO had the snow guard layout stamped by a Colorado engineer to satisfy Town of Vail Building Code requirements

Do I need to have my snow guard layout approved by an engineer? This question has come up a lot lately in the snow retention world. A few local municipalities are actually starting to require that all snow retention designs and layout be stamped by a local engineer that is familiar with the area and various snow load/drifting issues particular to that region.

The short answer is, it is up to you (in most cases). We here at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards have been designing functional and safe snow retention systems for many years and have tested our systems in some of the harshest winter climates in North America. We obtain and use all available information about the load ratings and strength testing for all of our products and can provide these calculations on request. We utilize these calculations in every single snow retention layout we do so you can rest assured that your system will be compatible not only with your roof type but all the varying conditions in the area you reside. This is one reason we ask so many questions!

That all being said, if your municipality requires a certified engineers stamp then there is no way around it. These can be obtained through Rocky Mountain Snow Guards and our engineering partners for an additional fee. Also, if you live in an extremely high snow load area, or in an older building and have ANY concerns that your roof may not be able to hold the excess strain put on it by the additional snow load, it may be within your best interests to contact a structural engineer to come inspect your property and ensure it will be able to hold the excess snow. An engineering stamp from us only guarantees your snow fence or guard system will not fail based on the system calculations, not that your building won't cave in.

For any questions on engineering or to obtain a quote, please feel free to contact us.

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