A quality snow retention system is an important part of mitigating damage to your roof from sliding snow and ice. Selecting a quality system backed by an experienced and tested manufacturer is the first step. Always design for the worst possible scenario. I usually start by asking my customer “What is the MOST snow you ever remember seeing at this location in your life”. That is what we need to protect the roof from, because eventually it will happen again.
In the past, there were only a few types of snow guards available. Today, you have a wide variety of guards to choose from If you do not know where to begin, or have no idea what value each type brings, keep reading. We have compiled a list of common snow retention systems below.
1. Pad Style
These are individual snow guards that can be mounted in a variety of ways. Adhesive, screws, seam mounted, or even peel and stick options are available. They can be manufactured from polycarbonate or metals. A quality snow guard should last the life of a metal roof. Pad style guards will typically be mounted in multiple staggered rows, spaced evenly up the slope.
Polycarbonate are the popular choice due to their clear design and inexpensive costs. They are also easily installed by homeowners. Metal guards can be made of cast aluminum, die cast zinc, or stainless steel. They must be installed with either screws or mounted to the seams with set screws. Metal guards can not be glued down.
2. Bar or Rail Style
This type of snow retention system uses clamps at each seam and non-penetrating set screws. Once the clamps are in place, lengths of bar are dropped into the clamps and mechanically fastened. This system creates zero penetrations into the metal roof system. Bar systems typically require fewer rows than pad style guards and also less labor on larger jobs. Bar systems can also be color matched to the existing roof using Colorstrips or custom powder coating. Bar systems have a very clean, low profile finished look. Layouts always include the bottom row installed 6”-12” up from the eave. Multiple rows should be spaced evenly up the slope, not placed just above the bottom row.
A snowBreaker style guard is a pad style guard, but designed to break up snow, not hold it. While pad style snow guards have flat faces to maximize holding time, SnowBreakers are wedge shaped guards made of polycarbonate. This shape is designed to prevent avalanching, but still allow the snow and ice to shed off safely. These are very effective for isolated placement in areas over doorways and HVAC equipment when a full snow guard system is not being installed.
Finding the best snow guard for your home is just a matter of doing enough research. You need to consider several factors like the snowfall in your area and the pitch and material of your roof. Whatever your decision, you need to purchase your snow guards from trusted, quality suppliers.
Snoblox-Snojax not only patented the world’s first polycarbonate snow guard, we have also been the innovators for today’s most common practices and methods. Lab testing, field testing, customer interactions, and constant product development has kept us on the forefront of the industry. Our systems can be found on thousands of homes, businesses, military bases, and airports in several countries. If you’re looking for a snow guard for your metal roof or need help replacing your current snow guards, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.