Polycarbonate is a popular choice for snow guards due to its durability, transparency, and resistance to extreme weather conditions. Polycarbonate guards are often clear, translucent, or colored, allowing them to blend with the roof's appearance. The Snojax I holds the honor of being the first clear plastic snow guard ever made. We only use American-made, UV-stabilized, virgin-grade polycarbonate, the same material used on the astronaut's face masks. Not all snow guard companies use this type of plastic. Some will source the material from overseas to make them less expensive, resulting in subpar performance.
Snow guards help to break up and hold back snow and ice on the roof, allowing it to melt and gradually release in smaller, manageable amounts. This prevents sudden snow avalanches that can pose risks to people and property below. Polycarbonate snow guards can add function and beauty to your roof.
Polycarbonate snow guards are typically attached to the roof's surface using screws or adhesive. Because of the important chemical reaction with the SB-190 adhesive, this is the only type of snow guard that is suitable for glue down attachment. The installation pattern and spacing of the snow guards depend on factors such as the roof pitch, local weather conditions, and the type of roof covering. If you are installing on a mechanically fastened metal roof panel, please see the screw down spacing design considerations. If you are installing polycarbonate snow guards on a floating standing seam metal roof, please see the spacing recommendations for adhesive mounted snow guards.
Some benefits of using polycarbonate snow guards include their durability, resistance to UV rays, and transparency, which allows natural light to pass through, making them practically invisible! They are also relatively easy to install and maintain. Most importantly, there is no chance of dissimilar metal reactions with the metal roof.
Polycarbonate snow guards typically require minimal maintenance. Periodic inspections to ensure the adhesive or screws are securely attaching the snow guards to the metal roof and checking to make sure they are free from any type of debris is advisable..
Polycarbonate snow guards enhance safety to property and pedestrians below by preventing large volumes of snow and ice from cascading off the roof suddenly. This greatly reduces the risk of injury and property damage.
Polycarbonate Snow Guards Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We never recommend combining systems of different types together. This is true whether you are combining different guards from the same company, similar guards from different companies, or completely different system types. In most cases, snow guards and rail systems are designed with different specific load ratings and purposes. Because of this, it is almost impossible to create an unmatched snow guard system and have it function properly. This is especially true when combining products from different suppliers, because this information is rarely shared between competitors.
The quickness and ease of installing polycarbonate snow guards will depend on your level of expertise. DIY-savvy homeowners make up a large portion of our clientele. Installation instructions are delivered with your order and are also available on our website. Working safely on a metal roof with a sloping surface is the riskiest part of installing snow guards. Before beginning an installation and ascending to your roof, please make sure you are using suitable fall protection, such as the RidgePro. If you decide to hire a professional, any licensed general or roofing contractor should be able to install these guards for you.
Snow guards that have been correctly installed and are laid out properly should require little to no maintenance. However, to check if any have released from the roof, we do advise an annual inspection, often in the spring. In the event of release, guards applied with adhesive can simply be washed with soap and water and reapplied to the same location with SureBond SB-190. Newly applied SureBond will bond to the existing adhesive remaining on the roof. Release of mechanically fastened snow guards frequently points to a more serious issue, such as insufficient structural material, an improper layout, or ground snow load areas that are higher than the maximum recommended threshold of 45psf.
Polycrbonate snow guards should last the life of the roof and possibly beyond. Proper layout and installation are vital to ensure the performance and lifespan of our products. Check out our spacing guideline page for layout recommendations for your project. Clear and concise descriptions and diagrams take the guess work out of this process.
YES! Protection of gutters and downspouts is the number one reason that our customers purchase snow guards. A complete system with a proper layout and without isolated placement will ensure protection for costly gutters. Most of our guards and rail systems hold the snow and ice on the roof, in place, allowing it to melt and drain safely into the gutters.