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Snow Guards For Exposed Fastener Metal Roof Panels by American Buildings, A Nucor Brand
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Snow Guards For Exposed Fastener Metal Roof Panels by American Buildings, A Nucor Brand

Posted by Derek Gamble - SnoBlox-Snojax Specialist on May 16th 2024

American Buildings Logo - Image courtesy of

See the Snow Guards Compatibility Chart for American Buildings (Nucor) Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing Panels.

When it comes to exposed fastener metal roofs, being proactive is vital to protecting your property from the potential dangers of sliding snow and ice. The unique designs of various metal roof panels often require specialized snow guard solutions to manage and mitigate these winter weather challenges effectively. This practical guide presents a range of snow guard options specifically designed for the exposed fastener metal panel manufactured by American Buildings (A Nucor Company), giving you the knowledge to make an informed decision that fits your roof system's needs. As part of an ongoing series, these blogs will highlight prominent metal panel manufacturers and recommend compatible snow guard solutions. The goal is to empower you with the confidence and expertise to navigate this process, enabling you to make well-informed choices that safeguard your investment and prioritize your property's and its occupants' safety. By providing detailed information and expert guidance, we strive to help you select the most appropriate snow guard system, ensuring optimal protection and peace of mind throughout the harsh winter months.

American Buildings R-Panel Roofing Mounted On A Barn - Image courtesy of

Exposed Fastener Metal Roof Panels by American Buildings, A Nucor Brand

American Buildings is a top manufacturer of custom-engineered steel building systems, known for their advanced tech, flexible designs, and long-lasting quality. Starting as a small, Georgia-based regional fabricator in 1947, the company has grown tremendously to running full-service plants across multiple states. Their success comes from expanding their builder network, with nearly a thousand design-build contractors across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. As a brand under Nucor Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and North America's biggest steel producer and recycler, American Buildings has serious financial muscle and stability behind it. They take sustainability seriously, with all their products and metal building systems made in the U.S. using American steel from Nucor.


The R-Panel is a metal roofing panel system that combines functionality and aesthetic appeal. With a 36-inch coverage width, the panel features prominently spaced ribs at 12-inch intervals, creating an evenly shadowed, visually striking, and structurally sound appearance. The R-Panel features a rib height of 1.25 inches and is available in two steel thickness options: 24 and 26 gauge. This panel can be ordered in lengths ranging from 3 feet to an impressive 45 feet, accommodating various building dimensions. Designed for efficient installation, the R-Panel is suitable for any roof with a minimum slope of 1:12. Its reinforced ribs for added strength offer a durable and cost-effective solution for roof and wall applications in pre-engineered steel building systems. Its combination of performance, aesthetics, and versatility has solidified its position as a trusted choice in the metal roofing industry. See the Snow Guards Compatibility Chart for American Buildings (Nucor) R-Panel Exposed Fastener Metal Roofing Panels.

American Buildings R Panel Profile Rendering - Image courtesy of

R-Panels offer remarkable flexibility when installing snow guards, catering to various preferences and requirements. These panels are compatible with multiple snow guard models, including the screw-down SnoBar, ColorBar, SnoCleat PBR, and the stainless steel SnowCatchers, including designs like the Standard, Fleur-de-lis, Sun Burst, Maple Leaf, Mustang, and Kodiak. Additionally, most polycarbonate snow guard models, except the Snojax I, can be affixed to these panels using adhesive or mechanical fasteners. It's crucial to note that the Snojax I requires installation solely with mechanical fasteners. When working with polycarbonate models, you must use the Surebond SB-190 adhesive because the manufacturer formulated it specifically for compatibility with these materials. This glue is incompatible with metal pad-style snow guards. You should mount smaller snow guards between the minor ribs, centering them on the panels for optimal installation. Specific models, such as the Snojax II and Icejax II, necessitate off-center mounting, straddling either the left or right minor rib, and consistent placement over the same rib is vital in these cases. It is essential to avoid securing individual snow guards or rail systems directly onto the high ribs of the panel. Instead, the recommended approach is to fasten them by screwing through the panel's low flats into a solid underlying structure, ensuring maximum installation strength and stability.

American Buildings Snow Guards Compatibility Chart

Six Things to Think About Before Putting Snow Guards on Exposed Fastener Metal Roofs

1. Understanding Ground Snow Load

The ground snow load is the maximum snow weight your roof can handle. Weather stations across the U.S. have been collecting this data for years. If your project's ground snow load is below 45 pounds per square foot, you can go with adhesive-mounted or screw-mounted individual snow guards and bar systems. For higher loads, we suggest using snow rail systems exclusively. You can find the ground snow load for your area by searching online or checking the building plans. If you need help, contact your local building inspector or township office for the specifics.

2. Securing Snow Guards to the Roof Structure

When installing snow guards with screws, make sure you're screwing into at least 1" of wood structure. This structure could be plywood decking, purlins, or retrofitted blocking behind each snow guard or bracket. Mount the snow guards into metal purlins whenever possible for pre-engineered metal buildings. Never install snow guards or rails using only the panel as the structure – that's a recipe for disaster. If you can't easily add blocking under the snow guard mounting points and your ground snow load is 45 psf or less, switch to adhesive-mounted products instead.

3. Getting the Snow Guard Layout Right

No matter what snow retention system you install, the manufacturer should provide a design recommendation. We offer free spacing charts for our products on our website and free quote request forms for our snow rail systems and individual snow guards if you need custom layout guidance. Don't install snow retention in isolated areas, such as just above doorways, HVAC systems, or chimneys.

SnoCleat PBR Mounted on Blue R-Panel Roof

4. Matching Snow Guards to Your Roof Color

You can color-match our metal snow guard in several different ways! The SnoCleat PBR, SnoCleat 2.67, and ColorBar Snow Rail Systems come with slide-in color strips you can buy or make using leftover roofing material for a perfect match. We can also powder coat our metal snow retention systems to your desired custom color, including unique shades for one-of-a-kind projects. The powder coating makes the snow guards blend seamlessly with your roofing panels for a cohesive look. We don't stock powder-coated products; we make them specifically for each order, which may take 3–4 weeks, depending on size and color. Suppose you need a faster turnaround or more color control. In that case, you can have your snow guards powder coated locally or painted after arrival.

5. Avoiding Roof Leaks

Products like the SnoCleat PBR, SnoCleat 2.67, SnowCatchers, or screw-down rail systems come with butyl tape gaskets that work without liquid sealant. When paired with our Master Grippers for wood or Master Drillers for metal, which have neoprene washers for a weather-proof seal, you can avoid roof leaks. Some customers prefer to add liquid silicone around the snow guards for extra protection, but it's not required. If you're screwing polycarbonate snow guards to your roof, use a neutral curing, cold-weather liquid silicone to seal the entire base. Apply enough silicone so that it oozes out around the edges, then run a gloved finger around the perimeter to finish it off. We recommend the NovaFlex MR150 silicone sealant, which we've endorsed for years. Use screws with neoprene washers for these guards.

6. Timing Adhesive-Mounted Snow Guard Installation

You can install screw-down snow guards and rail systems anytime the roof is clear of snow, ice, and debris. But you need to time the installation correctly for adhesive-mounted snow guards. The SureBond SB-190 adhesive we use for polycarbonate snow guards takes around 28 days at 50°F to fully cure. Late spring or early summer is ideal for installations in the U.S. and Canada. Temps below 50°F won't harm the adhesive but will pause the curing process until it warms up again. Rain won't affect the adhesive after 24 hours. Don't use SureBond SB-190 with copper roofing, as the adhesive and metal can react.

Galvanized SnoBar Mounted To R-Panel Roof in Gray


Watch for more informative content as we expand our featured blogs to cover a broader range of roof panel brands. Partnering with a reputable company that promptly addresses your queries and guides you through the purchasing process is critical. SnoBlox-Snojax takes pride in being one such company dedicated to assisting you every step of the way. If you have any questions or are ready to order, please get in touch with us at or 1-800-766-5291. To further aid your decision-making process, our comprehensive Snow Guard Buyer's Guide and "What Works and What Doesn't" page offer valuable insights. Our team is readily available to ensure you have all the necessary support in selecting the most suitable snow guards for your project, making the process as simple as possible.


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    Lifetime Warranty

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