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The Dos and Don'ts of Installing Snow Retention on a Metal Roof
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The Dos and Don'ts of Installing Snow Retention on a Metal Roof

Posted by Snoblox-Snojax on Aug 14th 2023

When dealing with a metal roof, snow retention is an important consideration. Snow bar systems are one way to keep snow from sliding off a metal roof and creating potential hazards. While installing snow retention on a metal roof, there are certain dos and don'ts that should be followed in order to ensure that the snow guards will work effectively. Let's discuss the key points to keep in mind when installing snow retention on a metal roof.

Understanding Snow Retention on Metal Roofs

When it comes to sloped metal roofs, damage from sliding snow and ice can be a major concern. If too much snow accumulates on a metal roof, it can cause serious damage to the structure or even lead to injury or property damage. This is where snow retention systems, or snow guards, come into play. Snow guards are designed to prevent snow avalanches from occurring by holding snow in place until it can safely melt off during the warmer part of the day. Snow guards for metal roofs come in a variety of designs and styles to match different metal roof profiles and to withstand various amounts of snow. One popular type is standing seam metal roof SnoBar systems, which are attached to the standing seam panels on the roof using non-penetrating seam clamps. Other options include individual seam-mounted snow guards or polycarbonate snow guards that can be affixed to the panels using adhesive or screws.

Choosing the best snow guards for your metal roof will depend on a few factors. The type of metal panels, the pitch of the roof, and the average amount of snowfall in your area. Additionally, it's important to ensure that the guard system is properly installed, with enough guards spaced evenly across the roof to effectively hold the snow in place.

Investing in a quality snow guard system and having it properly installed will help ensure a successful snow retention system installation. There are several options available for color matching existing metal roofs. From colored polycarbonate snow guards, to powder coated Snow Catchers and bar systems. 2" color strips can also be used in some of our bar systems for a simple color matching solution.

The Importance of Properly Installed Snow Retention Systems

One of the most critical factors in maintaining the structural integrity of a metal roof during the winter season is ensuring that it has proper snow retention systems in place. Snow can be incredibly heavy, and the weight of accumulated snow and ice can pose a significant threat to the stability and safety of a metal roof. A properly installed snow retention system will help mitigate these risks by distributing the weight of the snow more evenly across the roof's surface, preventing it from sliding off in large chunks.

It is essential to note that not all snow retention systems are created equal, and not all installation methods are appropriate for every type of roof. The effectiveness of the system will depend on factors such as the type and slope of the roof, the type of snow guard being used, and the number of guards required.

Therefore, it is crucial to enlist the services of experienced professionals to design your snow retention system properly. A poorly designed system could lead to more significant damage to your metal roof and potentially compromise the safety of pedestrians below it.

Ultimately, the investment you make in a quality snow retention system can save you a lot of trouble and expense in the future. A correctly installed system will not only keep your roof safe but also ensure the longevity and durability of your metal roofing system.

Factors to Consider When Installing Snow Bar Snow Retention on a Metal Roof

When it comes to installing snow bar snow retention on a metal roof, there are a number of factors to consider to ensure that the system is properly installed and will function effectively.

One important factor is the pitch of the roof. Steeper metal roof pitches require additional rows in order to properly control sliding snow and ice. It is also important to balance the snow load evenly across the roof structure.

Another factor to consider is the type of roofing material used. Different types of snow retention systems are designed for use with different types of roofing materials, such as standing seam metal roofs, round corrugated metal roofs, or screw down panels such as r-panels, pro panels, PBR panels, etc. Choosing the right system for your specific roofing material will ensure that it is properly installed and will function as intended.

It's also important to consider the local ground snow loads when designing a snow guard system. Factors such as building orientation, wind drifting, and the location of vent pipes, chimneys, and HVAC equipment should also be taken into account when selecting and installing a snow retention system.

Ultimately, proper installation and selection of a snow retention system is crucial to preventing damage to your roof and ensuring the safety of those on the ground below. Consulting with a professional can help ensure that the system is installed correctly and tailored to the specific needs of your roof and climate.

Dos and Don'ts of Snow Retention Installation

When installing snow retention on a metal roof, it's important to follow certain dos and don'ts to ensure the safety and longevity of your roof. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

DO consider the type of snow retention system you need based on your roof's pitch, the amount of snowfall in your area, and the roofing material.

DO choose high-quality snow retention products that are designed specifically for metal roofs and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

DO follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and use the recommended installation techniques.

DO periodically inspect and maintain your snow retention system to ensure it's functioning properly and to prevent any potential damage to your roof.

DON'T install snow retention systems on damaged or deteriorated roofs as it may cause more harm than good.

DON'T rely on temporary solutions like untested, homemade folded pieces of metal to hold snow in place on your roof. It's essential to use a properly engineered and tested snow retention system.

By following these dos and don'ts, you can ensure the effective installation of a snow retention system on your metal roof. Remember to prioritize safety and longevity when selecting a system and proper layout.

Image showing multiple rows of snow rails systems on a large roof holding snow

Common Snow Retention Installation Methods for Metal Roofs

When it comes to installing snow retention systems on a metal roof, there are several common methods that are often used. Here are some of the most popular methods:


Adhesive is the most common method used to attach snow retention systems to a metal roof. snow guards installed with adhesives are effective in controlling snow and ice in areas with ground snow loads up to 45psf.

Non-penetrating seam clamps

Clamps are another popular method of snow retention installation. These clamps are attached to the metal roof and provide a secure anchor point for the snow retention system. Our Snobar, Colorbar, and SnoCleat products are all compatible with this seam clamp attachment option.


Screws can also be used to install snow retention systems on a metal roof. This method uses heavy duty self-drilling roofing screws to secure snow guards and brackets into the structural supports under the metal roof panels. This method can not be used on standing seam metal roof panels.

3M Peel and Stick

Our 3M Snowbreaker product is designed with a 3M VHB peel and stick base pad. This provides a temporary attachment method for this product during colder winter months giving the adhesive around the base to properly cure and add additional holding strength.

When it comes to installing snow retention systems on a metal roof, it's important to choose the method that is best suited for your particular roof type and conditions. Consulting with the snow guard manufacturer can help ensure that your snow retention system is installed correctly and provides reliable protection throughout the winter season.

Image showing aluminum ColorBar with ColorStrips mounted on a PBR metal roof and holding snow.

Get Expert Advice and Installation

When it comes to installing snow retention on a metal roof, it is crucial to follow the dos and don'ts to ensure the safety and longevity of your roof. By considering factors such as roof slope, roofing material, climate, and snowfall, you can choose the right snow retention system that will effectively hold back snow and ice. Using high-quality products specifically designed for metal roofs are essential steps to take. Additionally, following the manufacturer's instructions, conducting regular inspections, and properly maintaining the snow retention system are important for its effectiveness and to prevent any potential damage.

Remember, a proper snow retention system is necessary to prevent rooftop avalanches and protect both your roof and anyone below it. By investing in quality installation and selecting the right snow retention system, you can ensure the safety of your property and save yourself from potential headaches and expenses.

If you are unsure about the best snow retention system for your metal roof or need assistance with installation, it is always advisable to consult with professionals who have experience in this field. Don't hesitate to reach out for expert advice to make the most informed decisions regarding snow retention on your metal roof.


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