How Do I Protect My Chimney from Sliding Snow?
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How Do I Protect My Chimney from Sliding Snow?

Posted by Derek Gamble - SnoBlox-Snojax Specialist on Mar 1st 2024

Chimneys and vent pipes, essential for maintaining warmth and ventilation in homes, face a seasonal threat from sliding or “avalanching” snow and ice during the long winter months.

These stove pipes, vents, and stacks are often quite vulnerable to even small amounts of sliding winter precipitation when there is adequate velocity behind the snowpack. We hear from hundreds of customers every year about their chimneys and vent pipes being either crushed or completely sheared off. This can lead to expensive repairs after damaging not only the chimney or vent pipe, but also the pipe boots, roof panels, and structure below as well. The solution to this dilemma is simple and this blog explores our innovative solution called  VentSaver.

The VentSaver snow diverter is available in 3 models called the  VentSaver EZVentSaver HD, and VentSaver Extreme which are designed to shield chimneys, vents, and stack vents from sliding snow and ice damage. The primary advantage of investing in VentSaver products lies in their ability to shield chimneys from the damaging effects of sliding snow. These solutions help prolong the lifespan of chimneys and ensure uninterrupted functionality. VentSaver snow guard products feature a user-friendly design that facilitates easy installation. With clear instructions and minimal hardware requirements, homeowners can quickly and efficiently safeguard their chimneys without the need for specialized tools or expertise.

VentSaver EZ Mounted on blue metal R-Panel Roof

VentSaver EZ

The  VentSaver EZ snow diverter presents a straightforward yet effective solution to safeguard chimneys from sliding snow and ice. Introduced as a replacement to the original VentSaver P-383 and FB-151 models, the VentSaver EZ is larger and stronger than these models. The VentSaver EZ is crafted from corrosion-resistant aircraft-grade aluminum with stainless steel hardware. It features a 12” long mounting base with 6 fasteners for superior strength. The center vertical fin is 12” long and when installed, has an adjustable standing profile of 9” to 12” depending on the pitch of your roof. The VentSaver EZ is compatible with pipes up to 14” in diameter with its adjustable stainless steel aircraft cable. The EZ comes in mill finish, allowing the customer to spray paint or powder coat it to match the roof’s color if a matching finish is desired.

VentSaver EZ Height Extender

In situations where additional height is necessary, the optional VentSaver EZ Height Extender can be purchased and installed. This additional vertical fin is made from the same high-quality materials and mounts to the top of the EZ’s main vertical fin. It adds approximately 14” of height to the unit and a second cable wrap for additional support for the pipe. This extender can be installed during the initial installation or retrofitted onto the device later.

VentSaver EZ Wing Kit

Another optional accessory for the EZ is the wing snow diverter kit. Mounted to both sides of the main vertical fin, the wings offer 14” of wingspan and aid in the spreading of snow and ice around the pipe. These wings are especially useful for providing an extra level of protection for rubber pipe boots.

It is important to note that both the EZ Height Extender and the EZ Wing Kit require the use of either the optional  VentSaver SD Mounting Plate Kit or the VentSaver SS Mounting Plate Kit add-on to function correctly. Use of these accessories without a mounting plate is not recommended. We will cover these mounting plates later in this blog.

VentSaver HD With Wing Kit Mounted on Blue R Panel Metal Roof

VentSaver HD

With increased strength and resilience,  the VentSaver HD showcases upgraded attributes specifically designed to endure harsh winter conditions. Its sturdy build quality and innovative design position the VentSaver HD as a dependable stove pipe snow guard to protect against the persistent challenges posed by sliding snow and ice. Crafted from durable aircraft-grade aluminum resistant to corrosion, along with stainless steel hardware, the VentSaver HD snow diverter shares the same high-quality materials as the EZ model. Additionally, it boasts a 12” long mounting base equipped with 6 fasteners to bolster its durability. The extended center vertical fin measures 18” in length, surpassing that of the EZ model. Upon installation, it maintains a standing profile ranging from 14” to 16”, depending on your roof's pitch. Compatible with stove pipes up to 14” in diameter, the VentSaver HD features an adjustable stainless steel aircraft cable. Finished in a sleek, corrosion-resistant light gray powder-coated finish, the HD promises an extended lifespan while adding a touch of style to your roof.

VentSaver HD-C Height Extender

If extra height for your chimney is required, you have the option to install the  VentSaver HD-C Height Extender. Crafted from premium materials, this supplementary vertical fin attaches to the top of the HD’s primary vertical fin. It increases the unit's height by approximately 10 inches, resulting in a total standing profile of 23 to 25 inches. Additionally, it provides a secondary cable wrap for further reinforcement of the pipe. Whether during the initial installation or as a retrofit later, this extender can be easily incorporated onto the device.

VentSaver HD Wing Kit

In contrast to an available option for the EZ model, the  VentSaver HD includes the optional Wing Kit as a standard feature within the kit. Positioned on each side of the primary vertical fin, these wings have a generous 14" span and assist in dispersing snow and ice around the pipe. The wings also provide added protection for rubber pipe boots. The Wing Kit for the HD doesn't necessitate the use of a mounting plate, but it can be used with either the Screw Down or Standing Seam mounting plates if desired.

VentSaver Extreme With Plate, Lower Wing Kit, and Upper Wing Kit Installed on Light Blue Roof

VentSaver Extreme

For those folks who experience extreme winter weather conditions, and seeking unparalleled protection,  the new VentSaver Extreme emerges as the ultimate snow guard for chimneys, vents, and stack vents. Engineered with “cutting-edge” design and reinforced materials, this product sets a new standard in roof defense, ensuring maximum security in the face of nature's fury.

Constructed from robust aircraft-grade aluminum, resistant to corrosion, and complemented by stainless steel hardware, the VentSaver Extreme snow diverter shares the premium materials found in the  EZ and HD models. Featuring dual mounting brackets on each side of the vertical fin, secured by a total of 12 fasteners, the Extreme ensures enhanced durability. The central vertical fin spans 18 inches in length with a profile height of approximately 14 inches, adjustable depending on your roof’s pitch. Accommodating pipes with diameters of up to 14 inches, the VentSaver Extreme includes an adjustable stainless steel aircraft cable. The VentSaver Extreme’s corrosion-resistant light gray powder-coated finish doesn't just ensure longevity but also adds aesthetic appeal to your setup.

VentSaver Extreme Lower Wing Kit

The Extreme model offers an additional enhancement called the lower wing kit. Similar to the VentSaver HD, the Extreme includes the lower wing kit as a standard feature within its package. Positioned on each side of the primary vertical fin, these wings have a much wider span of 20.5 inches which helps divert the snow and ice around the pipe while adding support to the pipe. They also provide extra protection for rubber pipe boots. Like the HD, the Wing Kit for the Extreme doesn't need a mounting plate, though it can still be used with either the SD or SS plates if desired.

VentSaver Extreme’s Revolutionary Upper Wing Kit

When only the most rigorous protection suffices, customers can bolster their  VentSaver Extreme snow diverter with the height-extending upper wing kit. This cutting-edge addition, exclusive to the VentSaver Extreme, is crafted from premium materials. Attaching to the Extreme's primary vertical fin, these upper wings elevate the unit's height by approximately 18 inches. With their innovative design, the large upper wings effectively divert snow and ice, shielding vents, chimneys, and pipes, while also providing an additional cable wrap for added chimney reinforcement. For maximum strength, security, and durability, it's highly recommended to use one of the VentSaver Mounting Plates in conjunction with the upper wing kit. The VentSaver Extreme, combined with the upper wing kit, stands as the epitome of vent pipe protection systems, unrivaled in the market.

The VentSaver Standing Seam and Screw Down Mounting Plates

The VentSaver SS and  SD Mounting Plates are designed to provide extra structural support for the VentSaver models while offering a larger surface for adjustable positioning on vent pipes, chimneys, and masts on metal roofs.

VentSaver SS Standing Seam Plate Kit With VentSaver EZ Mounted on Blue Standing Seam Metal Roof

VentSaver SS (Standing Seam) Mounting Plate

The VentSaver SS Plate is an optional mounting plate designed to make the VentSaver products compatible with most standing seam metal roof panels without the need for roof penetrations. It is an adjustable aluminum plate that allows for various seam spacing configurations between 12 to 24 inches wide, making it suitable for a wide range of today’s popular panel sizes. This plate is compatible with the EZ, HD, and Extreme VentSaver snow guards. The kit includes a 12" X 27" SS VentSaver Adjustable Aluminum Plate, a custom adjustable Ice Ramp with Edging Strip, 4 RCT clamps, set screws, top bolts/washers, and Tek screws. The universal fit RoofClamp RCT clamps are compatible with over 500 standing seam profiles. The cup point set screws allow for superior posi-lock connection to the panel’s seam with only 90 in-lbs. of torque, minimizing panel deformation. The SS VentSaver Plate is simple to install with basic hand tools, made in the USA, and constructed of durable, non-corrosive components.

VentSaver SD Screw Down Plate Kit Mounted on Blue R-Panel Roof

VentSaver SD (Screw Down) Mounting Plate

The VentSaver SD offers an optional mounting solution tailored to enhance adjustability when installing all VentSaver models onto mechanically fastened roofing panels. It's particularly suitable for a range of panel types including PBR, R-Panel, Ag Panel, and 2.67 wavy corrugated panels. Each kit includes a 12" X 27" Screw Down VentSaver Adjustable Aluminum Plate, a custom adjustable Ice Ramp complete with an Edging Strip, 3-inch-long roofing screws featuring neoprene washers, tek screws, and a tube of NovaFlex MR-150 All Weather Sealant. Installing the VentSaver SD is a straightforward process achievable with basic hand tools. Manufactured in the USA, this kit is crafted from durable, non-corrosive materials ensuring prolonged and reliable performance.

Combining Snow Guards for Snow Retention with VentSaver

While the VentSaver models have incredible strength, support, and durability on their own, combining a snow retention system with these products is always recommended for maximum protection of your roof. A properly installed snow guard system will feature a manufacturer-recommended layout, typically featuring rows of snow guards spanning across the entire length of the roof and including rows up the slope for equal weight distribution. Holding the snow and ice in place and allowing it to melt and shed slowly and safely will put less stress on your vent pipes, chimneys, and stacks, increasing the effectiveness of your entire snow retention system. It is crucial to avoid using snow stops in isolated placements just above vent pipes or chimneys alone, as this can lead to overloading and potential damage not only to the vent pipe but also to the panels and roof structure.

Snojax 2 Layout mounted on maroon standing seam roof panel with adhesive holding snow

Snow Guards for Standing Seam Roofs

Standing seam roofs should never be penetrated by mechanical fasteners, so individual metal screw-down guards like the stainless steel  SnowCatcher and aluminum SnoCleat PBR will not be compatible with this kind of roof. Instead, a customer can use glue-down polycarbonate guards like our SnoBlox AceIcejax I, and SnoBlox Deuce with SureBond SB-190 adhesive for attachment. Individual clamp-on snow guards like our aluminum SnoCleat RC and RCT models are also great products for a standing seam roof, as they clamp directly onto the seams without causing penetration. For high snow load areas above 45 PSF, an individual glue-down or clamp-on snow guard is not recommended, so at that point we pivot our customers to the SnoBar and ColorBar Snow Rail Systems. These snow retention systems consist of long continuous bars that span the roof and attach with non-penetrating clamps.

Close Up View of IceJax 1 snow guards mounted on r panel roof with screws and sealant holding snow load

Snow Guards for Screw Down Roofs

Screw-down roofs with PBR, R-Panel, and Ag Panels offer a bit more attachment options due to their mechanically fastened nature. As such, individual glue-down and screw-down guards work perfectly with these types of panels. Penetration of the panels will not negatively impact the roof or the snow retention system if they are installed properly using a good sealant like our recommended  NovaFlex MR150 for polycarbonate models or with a butyl tape gasket when using our SnowCatchersSnoCleat PBR, and also our SnoCleat 2.67 for wavy corrugated panels. Screw-down snow rail systems are also available and feature screw-down ColorBrackets in place of clamps for secure installations.

No matter what kind of snow guard or snow retention system you choose, it is important to follow the manufacturer's recommended  installation instructions and spacing. We offer full-color instructions on our website and include them with every order. We also have Spacing Guidelines for all our products available for FREE, easy access on the website as well. Our website has been optimized for use on desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices so the answers you are looking for are never far away.

In Conclusion

Numerous homeowners have experienced firsthand the benefits of  VentSaver products in protecting their chimneys, vents, and stack pipes from sliding snow and ice. From preventing costly repairs to ensuring peace of mind during harsh winter weather, these solutions have garnered praise and recognition from satisfied customers. As spring approaches and while winter is still fresh in your mind, now is the time to invest in chimney protection with VentSaver snow guard products for next winter. By choosing quality, durability, and reliability, homeowners can safeguard their chimneys and ensure the safety and comfort of their homes for years to come.

For further information or to place an order, please contact us at support@snojax.com, or call 1-800-766-5291. We are here to help! Before completing your order, review our  Snow Guard Buyer's Guide and What Works and What Doesn't page for valuable information.