Snow guards: Are they necessary on a Metal Roof?

Snow guards: Are they necessary on a Metal Roof?

A question that we get asked a lot, is if it is really necessary to install snow guards on a metal roof. The short answer is that it depends where you live. Lets unpack some of the information regarding snow guards.

What is the purpose:

Snow 2

The purpose of snow guards is to hold accumulated snow on the roof, until it can slowly melt. Lets say that you live in a area that receives 4-6 inches of snowfall regularly. The snow can build up on your roof throughout the winter until there is 12″ or more accumulated. As the weather begins to warm, this accumulated snow can slide off the roof in large chucks, causing possible damage to gutters and personnel. If snow guards are installed, they prevent the snow from sliding, until it has a chance to melt.

What Damage can be Caused:

Depending on the situation, and the severity of the winter, the lack of snow guards can cause a lot of damage. Sliding snow and Ice can tear gutters off of your home, requiring new gutters to be installed. Chunks of snow can also slide off at the most inopportune times,inuring anyone that happens to be standing in its way. The last thing that you need is to have someone suing you because of being injured by sliding Snow and Ice.

What options of Snow Guards are available:Snowgem

There are several options of snow guards available depending on the style and look that you prefer. There are plastic snow gems that can be caulked, or screwed to the roofing surface. These are very economical and can be installed with little effort. There are also continuous bar options for both the Ag Panel and Standing Seam Roofing. These bar option are the cadillac of snow guards and are proven to work well in all conditions. If you are looking for a more decorative look, there are many options along that line as well.Snow 3ACE copy

In Summary:

Snow guards are something that can be overlooked at times, however, they play a important part in the performance of your roofing. Talk to your installer and be sure that this vital component is not neglected.

Be sure to give us a call if you have any question concerning your roof, and we will do our best to answer them for you.


The information provided is for reference only and may change without notice



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2 thoughts on “Snow guards: Are they necessary on a Metal Roof?

  1. Jenny Reply

    Hi, I live in Asheville NC where we receive an average of 12-16 inchesbof snow fall per year and an average of 212 days of sunshine per year. I’m wondering if my metal roof, which has a steep pitch really needs snow guards? And if the plastic gems are an option on metal roofs.

    Thank you!

    • Kevin Yoder Post authorReply

      Hello Jenny
      There are a lot of things to consider when deciding if your roof needs snow guards. Most times if your roof has a pitch that is 8/12 or greater, the snow tends to not stick to the roof, or slide off as it falls. This most times eliminates the need for snow guards as the snow is not building up and sliding off in large pieces. One option is to only install snow guards in areas of your roof that have fragile items below, like landscaping, walkways, air conditioners, and more. This way your are taking pro-active steps, without having a lot of cost up front.

      Plastic gems or snow guards are a option for metal roofs although there are a few drawbacks to this style. The clear ones tend to turn yellow in time, and if there are only attached with caulking ( think a standing seam metal roof ) the adhesive may release in time.

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