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Roof Snow Guards: Does Your Roof Need Them?

After a period of heavy snowfall, who isn’t relieved to see the sun shining and melting the remnants of harsh winter weather away? Although it may be a welcome sight, melting snow can cause more problems than you may realize. Roof snow guards might be a good investment. These products keep snow in place on the roof so when it begins to melt, it doesn’t slide down all at once, which can cause damage to the roof, gutters, lights, and any items that happen to be in the trajectory of the avalanche.

Continue reading to learn more about snow guards and whether they are the right choice for your home. You will find information on types of snow and ice guards for metal roofs, as well as whether or not installation is a project you can do yourself.

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Do You Need Snow Guards?

Whether or not installing snow guards makes sense depends on where you live and the type of roof you have. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, they are a good idea no matter what type of roof you have, since the weight of the snow is likely to cause problems once it begins to melt. 

On the other hand, if you live in an area with lighter or more occasional snowfall, whether or not snow guards make sense depends on the type of roof you have. With a metal roof, snow guards are useful because the smooth surface allows for snow to easily slide down once the weather starts to get warm. With a shingled roof, you may need snow guards depending on how steep it is. The steeper your roof is, the more likely there’ll be an avalanche after a storm. Snow guards can help prevent this.

How Snow Guards Work

During a snowstorm, when snow accumulates on the roof, it can become compacted with ice and stay in place for a period of time. However, when the temperatures rise, snow and ice will begin to melt, which can cause heaps of snow to slide off the side of the roof at once, possibly causing damage. When you install snow guards, they hold the ice and snow in place so it can’t all suddenly slide down when the weather gets warmer. This allows it to either slide down in small pieces that don’t cause damage, or completely melt, allowing the

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water to run into your gutters.

Types of Snow Guards

As you think about whether or not these are a good choice for your home, consider the different types that are available.

Bar Style

Bar style snow guards are a continuous metal bar that spans an entire roof. In some cases, one bar is enough for the job, while other times, multiple bars are needed. These can be customized to match the color of your roof, so they may be a more attractive option than other types.

Fence Style

Fence style snow guards are designed to barricade snow so it doesn’t fall off the roof. They are installed by using mounting clamps that keep them in place, which prevents entry points from being created that can cause leaks.

Pad Style

Pad style snow guards are small devices that are installed on the roof in multiple rows. Since they’re not a continuous system that spans across the roof like metal snow guards, they are individually mounted with adhesive or screws. Generally made from stainless steel or plastic, these guards are easy to install and affordable. However, if they are installed with screws, the holes created may cause leaks.

Snow Guard Installation: DIY or Professional?

Whether or not homeowners should install snow guards on their own depends on the type they choose and how steep the roof is. Although pad style snow guards can be easier to install than other types, for example, if you’re not careful, you might create holes in your roof that make it vulnerable to leaks. Fence and bar style snow guards can be tricky to install, especially if you have a steep roof, so it may be a good idea to hire a professional for the job. 

If you want to discuss your roofing project with a professional, we can help. 

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