Cascade School, ID Snow Retention Case Study

“We selected the ColorGard system and have not only eliminated the problem (of failing gutter systems) on this project but it allows us to avoid the costs associated with snow and ice damage.” -Rocky Thompson, Upson Company

Danger of Falling Snow

Cascade High School is located in a mountainous region of Idaho where 2 to 3 feet of snow can regularly accumulate on the roof. With this tremendous snow load, failure of the external gutter system was inevitable. Most gutters cannot bear the weight of freezing water, let alone the force of shedding ice and snow. Snow accumulations on sloped metal roofs can pose significant danger to property and life. Upson Company asked LMCurbs, Longview, Texas, to assist in solving an ongoing snow retention problem.

What Worked?

LMCurbs’ solution was the S-5!® ColorGard® snow retention system. This system provided the strength that the project demanded and the ease-of-installation Upson Company required. The load test information found at and the ColorGard Calculator enabled the roofing contractor to figure out how much material was needed. The S-5! system required 80% less parts and came in at 30% of the cost of a plastic snow guard system. Due to the long-term costs associated with reinstalls and replacements of the plastic solution, the actual savings of the ColorGard system was even more pronounced.

ColorGard dramatically reduces the risks associated with rooftop avalanches and maintains the clean, colorful appearance of the roof with color and finish matching. Properly installed, the roof snow retention system will last as long as the life of the roof and can be backed by the S-5! ColorGard System Lifetime Limited Warranty. Unlike glued-on solutions, because the S-5! system mechanically attaches to the roof panel, it can be installed at any time of year at approximately 18 to 24 feet per man hour.

Long-Term Outlook

As the Cascade High School case effectively illuminates, when it comes to snow retention, experience can be a great teacher. In time, the solution that may look the easiest is often not the most cost-effective, especially when it needs to be replaced every few years.

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