How snow retention keeps both properties and people safer

TRA Snow Snow Retention and safety 2.20
February 27, 2024 at 9:00 a.m.

By Emma Peterson. 

While many homeowners shovel their paths and driveways in the snowy months to be clear and safe, it is equally important that the same care be given to their roofs. 

Winter weather brings homeowners a whole new series of challenges, with snow being one of the most common. In Season 5, Episode 66 of Roofing Road Trips®, Heidi J. Ellsworth sat down with Mindy Dahlquist from TRA Snow and Sun and Nick Mentzer from The Roofing Company to learn all the details of keeping your friends and family safe during the cold, winter months.  

Nick has worked as a contractor in Colorado for over ten years now and before that was working in Nebraska. He’s seen his fair share of snow over the course of his career and knows the dangers it can pose to those around it. He explains that “as the winter progresses and the snow accumulates, altering weather patterns produce a layering effect on the roof. Then, when you have lack of friction forming on the roof, freeze thaw cycles that start to introduce different elements into the layering and eventually something's going to slide.” This slide is not just one or two inches of powder, this is an avalanche that poses real danger to those passing by. 

Living up in the mountains of Oregon, Heidi has seen this happen countless times, explaining, “[You’ll see] these huge piles, mounds of snow around buildings that sometimes won't melt until midsummer. And what does that do? Obviously, loss of life, people walking underneath it, animals, pets, but even if you really look also at what it does to your plants and your landscaping, it's not pretty." 

Mindy works in Utah with TRA Snow and Sun combatting this issue through snow retention systems. While this may initially seem counterintuitive, she explains that the solution is not fighting the elements and trying to keep the snow off the roof, but rather preventing the snow to fall all at once. She says, “What a lot of people don't realize too is when that snow accumulates on the roof, it's going to be there whether you want it to be or not.” Snow retention systems control the snow accumulation and the rate at which it melts. By capturing and freezing the snow on the roof, these systems allow snow to melt off gradually rather than falling in a dangerous avalanche.  

Read the transcript or Listen to the podcast to learn more about the several types of snow retention systems TRA Snow and Sun produce. 

Learn more about TRA Snow & Sun in their Coffee Shop Directory or visit

About Emma

Emma is a content intern for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When she's not writing, she enjoys a good movie night with friends and trying to cook new recipes.

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