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Are snow guards really necessary?
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Are snow guards really necessary?

Posted by Derek Gamble - SnoBlox-Snojax Specialist on Mar 13th 2024

Closeup view of a single staggered row of Color Matched SnowCatcher Kodiak snow guards holding snow

Snow guards for metal roofs are devices installed along the roof's edge or strategically placed to prevent the sudden sliding of snow and ice, which can pose safety risks and cause property damage. Today's snow guards come in multiple shapes and materials, such as metal or plastic. Snow retention creates friction to hold the snow in place, allowing it to melt or release gradually. Particularly vital for metal roofs due to their smooth surfaces, snow guards help distribute the weight of snow evenly, reducing the likelihood of giant snow avalanches and safeguarding both the roof and surrounding areas from potential harm.

Here are ten key reasons why installing snow guards on a metal roof is essential.

1. Snow Guards Protect Building Occupants and Pedestrians from Potential Rooftop Avalanches.

Snow guards serve as a vital safety feature by preventing the sudden release of snow from a metal roof, which can form dangerous snow avalanches. These avalanches pose a significant risk to anyone walking near the building or entering/exiting the premises. Snow guards create a barrier by holding the snow in place, enhancing pedestrian safety and reducing the accidents or injuries caused by falling snow.

2. Snow Guards Safeguard Vehicles, Equipment, and Landscaping from Damage Caused by Falling Snow.

Snow slides can cause significant damage to vehicles parked nearby, outdoor equipment, and landscaping features such as gardens or shrubbery. Snow guards provide a protective barrier that prevents snow accumulation from sliding off the roof unexpectedly, thus safeguarding these assets from costly damage. Whether protecting a fleet of vehicles in a parking lot or preserving delicate landscaping, snow guards help maintain the value and integrity of property assets.

Multiple rows of Kodiak SnowCatcher snow guards on a roof holding snow

3. Snow Guards Protect Building and Roof Elements from Damage Due to Snow Avalanches.

Snow guards safeguard external assets and protect essential building components such as windows, gutters, and vents from damage from snow avalanches. The force of a snow slide can exert considerable pressure on these elements, potentially causing cracks, leaks, or other structural damage. Snow guards mitigate the risk of such damage by holding the snow in place, ensuring the longevity and functionality of building elements.

4. Snow Guards Reduce Maintenance Costs by Preserving the Integrity of the Metal Roof.

Metal roofs are durable and long-lasting but can sustain damage from heavy snow loads and ice dams. Snow guards help prevent snow accumulation on the roof, reducing the risk of structural damage and prolonging the roof's lifespan. By minimizing the need for costly repairs or premature replacement due to snow-related damage, snow guards offer a cost-effective solution for maintaining the roof's integrity over time.

5. Snow Guards Can be Color Matched to Blend Into The Roof's Aesthetics.

A color-matched snow guard will blend into the roof and may appear almost invisible. The viewing distance and angle can impact how noticeable it is. Some customers may view snow guards as an eyesore, so any opportunity to make them visually disappear is beneficial.

Closeup of a single staggered row of clear SnoBlox Deuce on roof holding snow

6. Snow Guards Ensure the Roof's Longevity by Reducing Wear and Tear Caused by Snow Accumulation.

The weight of accumulated snow can stress a roof's structural integrity, leading to premature wear and tear. Snow guards distribute the snow load evenly across the roof surface, reducing the strain on individual sections and minimizing the risk of damage. By preserving the roof's structural integrity, snow guards extend the roof's lifespan and reduce the need for repairs.

7. Snow Guards Comply with Building Codes That Require Snow Retention Systems for Safety Reasons.

Building codes may require the installation of snow retention systems, including snow guards, on roofs to ensure compliance with safety standards. These codes safeguard property owners and occupants against heavy snow loads and sliding ice. By installing snow guards, property owners demonstrate adherence to building regulations, avoiding potential fines or penalties for non-compliance.

8. Snow Guards Prevent Costly Repairs and Replacements Due to Snow-Related Damages.

Snow-related damage can result in costly repairs or replacements, mainly if addressed over time. Property owners can proactively protect their investment by installing snow guards, thus avoiding the expense of repairing damage caused by sliding snow or ice. This preventive measure not only saves money in the long run but also ensures the continued functionality and value of the property.

IceJax snow guards mounted on roof holding snow and ice

9. Snow Guards Ensure Proper Drainage of Melted Snow to Prevent Water Infiltration Issues.

Improper drainage of melted snow can lead to water infiltration problems, such as leaks or moisture damage within the building structure. Snow guards facilitate proper drainage by preventing sudden slides of accumulated snow, allowing melted snow to flow off the roof and away from the building. This proactive approach to water management helps preserve the integrity of the building envelope and reduces the risk of costly water damage repairs.

10. Snow Guards Contribute to a More Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Roofing Solution with Reduced Maintenance Needs.

Sustainable construction techniques strive to reduce environmental impact while optimizing efficiency and durability. By prolonging the life of a metal roof and reducing maintenance requirements, snow guards contribute to a more sustainable roofing solution. Snow guards contribute to environmental friendliness for property owners by reducing the necessity for frequent repairs or replacements, thereby conserving resources and minimizing waste.

These reasons underscore the importance of snow guards in protecting property and individuals from the dangers of heavy snowfall. For inquiries or orders, contact us at or 1-800-766-5291. Before purchasing, check out our Snow Guard Buyer's Guide and What Works and What Doesn't page for helpful insights. We're here to help!


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