Snow Guards For Metal Roofs

Protect Your Property From Snow Avalanches

Metal roofs are extremely weather resistant: they cannot be damaged by fire, rain, snow, decay and even strong hails. However, if you live in a cold climate, there is one thing that can affect your roof and the surrounding property each spring (or every time the weather breaks and the snow accumulated on the roof starts to melt): snow and ice avalanches.

Why does happen?

After a snow storm, a lot of snow will accumulate on the roof. Metal roofing, as we all know, encourages snow shedding (a very useful feature in warmer climates where precipitations are not abundant). In colder climates, however, this benefit can sometimes turn into a disadvantage:  if there is a lot of snow on the roof, a sudden temperature rise will melt the ice on the surface of the roof. The resulting water will make the entire mass of snow and ice accumulated on the roof panels to slide down easily, creating dangerous avalanches that can damage the gutters, affect your property and even threaten the lives of the pedestrians walking nearby.

snow guards metal roofs

Is there are solution to metal roofs related snow avalanches?

Fortunately, a very ingenious device was invented: the snow guards. These are small snow barriers made of metal or plastic that are attached to the roof surface in order to prevent dangerous movements of the accumulated snow. Thanks to the snow guards, the snow will remain on the roof, melting gradually and falling off in small amounts.

Without snow guards on your metal roof, you could experience damage resulting in damp and moldy walls. Once your home has mold, you will need to hire a mold remediation and water damage restoration company. To avoid this headache, have a contractor install guards on your roof today.

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If you want, you can install snow guards all over the roof (this strategy is appropriate for smaller residences). If you own a large commercial building, however, you can install the snow guards only above places that need extra protection: entries, sidewalks, garages and parking areas, patios and lawn decorations.

It’s also very important to mount the snow guards at spaced intervals in several rows near the roof edge. The exact distribution must depend on the pitch of the roof, its overall surface and also the climatic conditions of your area. The number of snow guards and their spacing are very important for the functionality of the system, that’s why it’s recommendable to hire a specialist to do the job!

Before buying snow guards, you have to consider several factors that determine their ability of holding back the snow: the shape, the height and the width. If the face of the guard is not big and wide enough to block the snow, then the devices will not be capable of stopping snow avalanches. Snow guards can have flat or pointed faces. Specialists consider that the flat devices are more effective. Their form can vary as well: some look like the letter L, while others have the shape of an upside down T.

How are snow guards installed?

There are several mounting possibilities: mechanical fasteners (such as screws or clamp down systems), adhesives and tape.

The materials from which snow guards are made also vary. Metal guards are popular because they usually come in colors that match the traditional metal roofing color chart. The downside of metal snow guards, however, should also be taken into consideration: they usually cast shadows on the roof, creating a specific ‘sundial effect’; sometimes, they can also cause galvanic reactions with the surface of the roof, producing rust.

This is why experts recommend another material that does not cause rust and shadows: clear plastic (polycarbonates). This material is both functional and aesthetic, being almost invisible and blending with the roof and the sky.

By choosing an appropriate snow guard system for your metal roof you will protect your property from unwanted avalanches, this way reducing your maintenance expenses. Don’t forget to consult a professional contractor prior to buying a certain type of snow guards! Thanks for reading the Bellco Blog!