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The Hidden Dangers of Cheap Knockoff Snow Guards: Protecting Your Roof with Time-Tested Quality
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The Hidden Dangers of Cheap Knockoff Snow Guards: Protecting Your Roof with Time-Tested Quality

Posted by Derek Gamble - SnoBlox-Snojax Specialist on Dec 18th 2023

The Deuce vs A Competitors Model of Similar Size

Winter's icy embrace brings with it the beauty of snow-covered landscapes. However, for homeowners and business owners alike, winter precipitation poses a potential threat from roof avalanches of sliding snow and ice. To mitigate this risk, many turn to snow guards – typically  polycarbonate plastic or metal devices designed to prevent the sudden release of snow and ice from roofs. While the market offers a variety of options, opting for cheap knockoff snow guards can be a costly mistake. In this blog, we'll explore the reasons why you should never buy cheap knockoff snow guards for your roof and the importance of investing in genuine, high-quality snow retention systems.

Inferior Materials and Construction:

Cheap knockoff snow guards are often produced using subpar materials and construction methods. This practice relies heavily on creating products that look similar to the untrained eye. These imitations may look similar to genuine products, but they lack the durability and reliability that come with authentic established brands of snow guards. Inexpensive materials, often obtained from overseas, can compromise the guard's ability to withstand the harsh winter conditions, exposing your roof to potential damage. Proven snow guards are crafted from high-quality materials, manufactured in the USA, ensuring longevity and effectiveness in safeguarding your roof against snow slides. Clear plastic snow guards are sometimes made from brittle acrylic plastic instead of durable long/lasting  polycarbonate which is known to be vastly superior. Metal snow guards, which should be made from stainless steel or aluminum, are often crafted from dissimilar metals that are prone to oxidizing, becoming brittle, and staining roof panels. The SnoBlox Deuce Next to A Direct Knockoff of our Product

Limited Testing and Certification:

Authentic snow guards undergo rigorous independent lab testing to ensure they meet industry standards for safety and performance. Cheap knockoff products, however, may not be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. In the pursuit of lower costs and higher profit margins, some companies may use suppliers from foreign countries with lax or non-existent standards or regulations as governed by their laws. The absence of proper testing and certification puts your roof at risk, as these imitations may fail to provide the necessary protection during extreme weather conditions. This is definitely a situation where ignorance isn’t bliss. Investing in certified snow guards guarantees that your roof is equipped with a reliable and tested solution. Always ask to see the testing data page before purchasing a snow guard system. Ours are published and easily accessible. Without snow guard  testing data, there will be insufficient information for an architect or engineer to use when designing snow guard layouts and creating project  specs for potential bidders.

Design Flaws and Ineffective Installation:

Cheap knockoff snow guards often mimic the appearance of genuine products without replicating their design principles. This is an increasing problem as some injection molders begin producing snow guards based on expired patents without the knowledge of snow retention specializing manufacturers to back them up. These imitations may lack crucial features that contribute to the proper functioning of authentic snow guards. Additionally, since cheap knockoffs are not designed to the same standards, installation may be more challenging and less effective. Genuine snow guards are engineered with precision, ensuring they are easy to install and function as intended, providing optimal protection for your roof. It is also important to obtain your snow guards from a company that offers layout and/or spacing protocols for their products. You can see our layout recommendations on our  Spacing Guidelines Page. Any snow guard is only as strong as its layout. Any reputable snow guard manufacturer will also have their recommended methods of attachment in stock and available for purchase to eliminate confusion.

Examples of Customer Reviews From A Knockoff Producer's Sales Listing

Voided Warranties and Liability Concerns:

Choosing cheap knockoff snow guards may end up voiding your roof's warranty.  Snow guard-specializing companies will typically recommend specific snow guard solutions that complement specific roofing types. Installing unauthorized or substandard guards can result in the cancellation of your roof warranty, by the panel manufacturer, leaving you responsible for any future damage. Moreover, in the event of a failure, using cheap knockoff snow guards may raise liability concerns with insurance companies, potentially leaving you without coverage for repairs. Snow and Ice slides can damage more than just your snow guards and roof panels. Gutters, HVAC systems, and expensive landscaping are often destroyed when not protected properly. In some worst-case scenarios, improper installations or cheap knockoff snow guards can even result in injuries or death to people and/or pets. Some examples of critical snow guard installation knowledge that may be foreign concepts for these cheap knockoff companies could include proper torquing of  clamp on snow guards and snow rails, not using screw-down guards on standing seam panels, and proper  adhesive curing times. It is one thing to make a product. It is an entirely different thing knowing what it is and how it functions.

Costly Repairs and Replacements:

While cheap knockoff snow guards may seem like a cost-effective solution initially, the long-term consequences can be financially devastating. Roof repairs and replacements are significantly more expensive than investing in high-quality, genuine snow guards upfront. These products offer a better return on investment by providing durable protection and minimizing the risk of structural damage, saving you money in the long run. Failed snow guard systems can result in damaged panels, structures, and more with costs often multiple times higher than the initial purchase price. In extreme cases of failure, it could be necessary to completely re-roof your building. There is an old saying that goes “Buy once, cry once." Even though the initial sticker shock for quality can seem like a lot at the time, at least you only have to do it once.

In conclusion, the dangers of purchasing cheap knockoff snow guards for your roof extend beyond the immediate financial implications. The potential for roof damage, voided warranties, and increased liability make investing in genuine, high-quality snow guards from SnoBlox-Snojax a critical decision for homeowners. Prioritizing the safety and integrity of your home by choosing certified and well-tested snow guards will ultimately provide peace of mind during the winter months and safeguard your investment in the long term. For more information about our products, you can send us an email to or give us a call at 1-800-766-5291.


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    Our database of compatible snow guards for various Roof Panel Manufacturers and their panels.