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Roof Snow Guards

Snow guards are an important addition to any roof. They not only protect you and your family from snow falling off your roof, but they also protect your gutters and your property. Without a properly installed snow guard system, snow can accumulate in your gutters, weighing them down, and potentially tearing them from your house. This is especially important for standing seam and corrugated metal roofs. Accumulated snow from your roof can also seriously injure you or your family, and cause property damage.

a snow guard installed onto a standing seam metal roof

Photo courtesy Sno Gem

What is a Snow Guard?

Snow guards, also called snow bars, are products that are installed onto roofs, especially metal roofs, such as standing seam and corrugated metal. They hold snow back and help prevent it from sliding down the roof and causing damage to gutters or injury to those below. By holding the snow back, snow guards gives it time to melt. Snow melts either from heat rising through your roof or from the outside temperature, or both. Instead of snow sliding like an avalanche down your roof, tearing your gutters off, and landing in front your door, it slowly melts and safely runs into your gutters, and down your downspouts.

For those in high snow load areas, snow fences are an option. A snow fence is essentially a tall snow guard. Excessive snow accumulation on gutters can cause them to break away from your house. Excessive snow falling from your roof onto you or your family or pets can cause serious injury.

snow guard installed onto metal roof holding snow back

Photo courtesy Sno Gem

Snow Guards for Any Roofing Material

Most metal roofing is slick. It has a lower coefficient of friction. This means snow more easily slides down it compared to other roofing products, such as asphalt shingles, stone-coated metal shingles, or wood shake. These roofing products have a higher coefficient of friction. It takes more snow or a steeper roof pitch for the snow to break loose and avalanche. It is for this reason, there are snow guards available for all popular roofing materials.

We install snow guards for these roofing products:

  • Standing Seam Metal Roofing
  • Corrugate Metal
  • Traditional Asphalt Shingles
  • Metal Shingles
  • Cedar Shake and Shingles
  • Slate
  • Concrete and Clay Tiles
  • EPDM, TPO, and PVC
a snow fence installed onto pvc roof

Photo courtesy Sno Gem

Advantages of Snow Guards

The advantages of snow guards and snow fences should be obvious. For one, they prevent ice dams. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your gutters and are dangerous for people below them. Snow guards also prevent heavy snow loads from reaching your gutters and tearing them from your home or other structure. In addition, they prevent avalanches from falling onto you, your family, and/or your pets or other animals. Lastely, they prevent snow from your roof from damaging your property, such as cars parked under car ports.

Disadvantages of Snow Guards

There are no disadvantages to snow guards. Snow guards installed onto standing seam metal roofs are simply clamped directly to those standing seams. No additional holes are drilled into your standing seam metal roof. For traditional asphalt shingles, the tabs for the snow guards are installed under the shingles, covering the additional nails required to secure them to the roof deck. For corrugated metal roofing panels, although additional fasteners are used, they all are sealed.

a close-up of a snow guard attached to a standing seam metal roof

Photo courtesy Sno Gem

Snow Guard Installation

Whether we installed your roof not, we can install snow guards for you. In addition, we can install your new snow guards regardless of which roofing material you have. When you contact us to install your snow guards, we evaluated your specific situation, such as your roofing product, roof pitch, which direction your roof faces, etc. and determine which snow guard is best for you. As with our roofing estimates, snow guard installation estimates are also free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Really Need a Snow Guard?

It depends upon the amount of snow you get. In our Northern Colorado Front Range area, we get enough snow that they are recommended.

Do Snow Guards Cause Ice Dams?

Short answer – no. Snow guards do not cause ice dams. In fact, they help prevent them. Ice dams form on the eaves of sloped roofs. The eave is that foot or so of roof that hangs over your house. Ice dams are the result of melting snow under packed snow reaching the eave and freezing. Snow guards prevent snow from reaching eaves.

snow guard installed onto residential garage