When safety counts, it’s important to act fast. That’s just what a team of industry professionals did when dangerous snow slides began falling on patrons at the North Conway, N.H. Walmart store. With an average annual snowfall of 80 inches, it is important to protect people from the hazards of accumulated snow. But for retailers, you can’t close your store and wait for the snow to melt. When the snow falls…it’s business as usual.

The Dangers of Snow Sliding from Roofs

Snow will accumulate on rooftops and begin to slide off unexpectedly as the UV rays of the sun warm up the roof surface. The suns rays break the bond between the roof and the accumulated snow pack causing a dangerous snow “avalanche” hitting anything in its way. Tons of snow could fall down on people and parked vehicles at a moment’s notice. Management at the Walmart store in North Conway, N.H. saw this coming. Unfortunately the small plastic devices installed to stop the avalanching snow were no match to the volumes in this region. Consequently, store management needed to close off the front of the store to prevent a dangerous incident.

Experts to the Rescue

A team of experts was quickly formed to provide a solution. Walmart’s Construction Management group, in coordination with BRR Architecture of Bentonville, Ar., and general contractor, Bast Hatfield of Clifton Park, N.Y., contacted metal roof contracting specialists Jottan-Jorel of Evans City, Pa. and manufacturer S-5!, Metal Roof Innovations, Ltd. Together the teams assessed the problem and formulated a solution within a few weeks. Based on past experience, Jottan-Jorel recommended the S-5! ColorGard Bar/Rail system.

The Importance of “Engineering” a Solution

Due to the significant snow loads encountered on this project, the snow retention system will be required to hold sizable weight. A snow retention system needs to be load-to-failure tested by an independent third party laboratory to assure it will perform in these conditions. It is important that this load test is performed on the specific roof material, roof manufacturer, and product configuration used on the project to assure proper results.

The resulting test data is then used in an engineering calculation to assure the snow retention system will perform in the weather environment of the project. Without manufacturer-specific test data and a location-specific engineering calculations there is no way to determine if the system will protect people and property. The alternative could be catastrophic failure and significant injury or loss.

The Solution

The sub-contractor and manufacturer used the product-specific testing for the snow retention system and engineered the solution for the specific Walmart location. The team presented its recommendations to the construction experts, who accepted them and proceeded immediately.

Once installed, the new S-5! snow retention system provided the store with a greater level of safety for patrons and employees from the dangers of falling snow. The installation was completed in a matter of days, and will perform for the life of the roof. This system also features a matching roof color strip to enhance the beauty of the system by matching the existing roof color.

For more information, please visit http://www.s-5.com/home/index.cfm