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.

If it’s 3/12 it doesn’t need anything but elbow grease; get up there and shovel it off.

Snow guards glued to EPDM can be torn off by sliding snow, resulting in a large hole. Snow guards really should be attached to the structure. However, most manufacturers make walkway pads that are glued to the field membrane. I would put them throughout the roof though, as just putting them at the edge would cause a lot of stress on the membrane, especially if it is not fully adhered.

If it were me I would shovel the roof and wait; after a couple years the EPDM will weather and get dirty, which wont allow the snow to slide as easy.

Heat cables, or Carlisle/Firestone Gravel Guard.

If Snow or ice dams forms in the snowy season, then using a roof rake is the best option that does not need spending cash by calling professionals. The rake has an long handle, which easily allow you to pull away snow off the roof – from the safety of the ground. This is the best way to remove snow and is necessary otherwise the snow will create the lots of damage on the roof.

I need more advice

There is not much you can do, maybe add a reverse gable over the walkway.

It’s the design of your house to dump snow right where it does now.

I agree with installing a slotted gravel guard. Maybe leave 1’ spacing between the 10’ lengths for more drainage during the wet season. Just be sure to use proper amount of Water-Block Mastic between guard and EPDM then between EPDM and Facia/Coping then Lap Sealant along top edge to keep water from getting in between gravel guard and EPDM.