Snojax I: The World's First Polycarbonate Snow Guard
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Snojax I: The World's First Polycarbonate Snow Guard

Posted by Derek Gamble - SnoBlox-Snojax Specialist on Dec 15th 2023

In 1976, the world saw the birth of the Snojax 1, the very first  polycarbonate snow guard. This clear plastic snow guard was created as an answer to the cheap cast metal guards on the market at the time. These guards were often made of dissimilar metals and were prone to becoming brittle over time, oxidizing, and staining metal roof panels. This revolutionary guard was invented at a time when no other polycarbonate snow guards existed. Recognizing its groundbreaking potential, the inventors patented the  Snojax 1 in 1982. Since then, this guard has continued to be manufactured and remains a popular choice among customers.

Unique Rib Straddle Design

The Snojax 1 features a unique design that is made to straddle over a minor rib on most PBR and R-panel exposed fastener screw-down roofs. The Snojax 1 is molded from 100% virgin polycarbonate that has been UV stabilized. This will protect the guard from becoming amber over time. Unlike some acrylic snow guards that will become brittle, the Snojax 1, when installed properly, should be good to go for the life of your roof. Whether you have a flat surface or a ribbed panel, the Snojax 1 has got you covered.

Enhanced Drainage

One of the standout features of the Snojax 1 is its eight drain holes located on the face of the guard. These drain holes play a crucial role in facilitating the melting of snow and ice on the roof. By allowing water to drain more effectively, the guard helps to prevent the buildup of excess weight and potential damage to the roof structure. This innovative drainage system sets the Snojax 1 apart from other snow guards on the market.

Image of a Snojax 1 snow guard mounted on a metal roof holding snow.

Installation and Specifications

When it comes to installation, the Snojax 1 is designed for screw down application ONLY. Simply use two #14 roofing screws to secure the guard in place. We offer 2 screw types that are compatible with the Snojax 1. The  Master Grippers are 2” long screws designed for use with wood structures and purlins. For metal buildings, we offer the  Master Driller screws which are 1.5” long. To ensure a watertight seal, we always recommend the use of screws with neoprene washers. It is also recommended to apply  Novaflex MR150 sealant between the guard and the panel with a thick enough layer to ooze out slightly from the edges. You will run a gloved finger around the perimeter to finalize the seal. The dimensions of the Snojax 1 are as follows: it is 5.25” wide, 3.25” tall, and 2” deep at the base. These measurements make it compatible with typical nine-inch and twelve-inch wide panels, such as R-Panels, PBRs, and Imperial Ribs. 2 structural supports provide added strength to the face of the guard, thus preventing breakage. As such the face should always be oriented towards the peak of the roof. When tested by an independent laboratory, the Snojax 1 was rated at 1800 lbs of strength.

Images showing a Snojax 1 on a white background with labeled dimensions

Recommended Layout

Any good snow guard, no matter how strong, is only as effective as its layout.  Snojax 1 is no exception to this rule. A proper layout for any type of snow retention system should include snow guards traveling the entire length of the roof and, when necessary, multiple rows up the slope to aid in weight distribution. Rows of Snojax 1 should be installed with an approximately 12” vertical stagger creating a zig-zag pattern that will further spread the snow load. Speaking of snow loads, we never recommend the use of Snojax 1 or any other pad-style snow guard, polycarbonate or otherwise, in geographic locations with ground snow loads in excess of 45 psf. For areas with higher snow loads, we offer heavy duty snow rail systems called SnoBar and ColorBar which can also be attached with mechanical fasteners. We also NEVER recommend isolated placement when installing snow guards in areas like just above doorways, walkways, chimneys, and HVAC units. Isolated installations are prone to dramatic failure due to overloading which can lead to property damage and injury or death to people and/or pets. You can visit our  Spacing Guidelines Page for more information about effective layout strategies.

Remember, the Snojax 1 is not just any ordinary snow guard. It is the world's FIRST  polycarbonate snow guard, a testament to the innovative spirit of its inventor Jack McMullen, whose legacy lives on proudly today with his son and grandson. With its rib straddle design, enhanced drainage, and easy installation process, the Snojax 1 is a reliable solution for safeguarding your roof from heavy snow and ice. Choose the Snojax 1 and stay protected. For more information about the Snojax 1 or any of our other fine products, you can send us an email to support@snojax.com or give us a call at 1-800-766-5291.