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Snow Guards - Known by Many Names

Posted by Roof Things on 5/31/2013 to Snow Guard Articles

Snow guards are referred to by several names in the roofing industry. The purpose of this page is to give you an explanation why each name has come about and give you a better understanding of this product. So let's get to it, the many names are:

  • Snow Cleats
  • Snow Stops
  • Snow Breaks
  • Snow Blocks
  • Snow Catchers
  • Guttar Guards

Snow Cleats

There are really two reasons why snow guards are sometimes referred to as snow cleats. The first reason is probably the more obvious of the two. When snow guards are attached to a roof they basically look like a shoe cleat upside down with projecting pieces of metal or plastic. This projecting pieces of metal or plastic, snow guards, are what stop the snow from sliding off of a roof.

The second reason a snow guard is referred to as a cleat has to do with sea-farers. In sailing, a cleat is a little piece of metal that sticks up off of a dock. Often a boat will be secured to the cleat without a knot, stopping the boat from floating away. In this case, the cleat is used to stop the boat from going where it is not supposed to. In a similar fashion, a snow cleat is used to stop snow from going where it is not supposed to go. Some early snow guards resembled the look of the sailing cleats.

Snow Stops

The alternate name of snow stops for snow guards in my opinion is a pretty obvious name. Basically it's name suggests that "the snow stops here". Snow stops do just that, stop the snow from coming off of the roof. Purchasing snow stops for a metal roof is an investment in safety. As this product performs its duty, damage caused by sliding snow and ice is prevented saving money in the form of insurance claims, doctor bills, broken windshields, damage plants, and more.

Snow Breaks

The alternate name of snow breaks for snow guards most likely derives from the fact that as snow slides down the roof it slides in one large chunk, or basically a small glacier. Snow guards that are placed in an alternating pattern on the roof with varying distance from the eve, break this glacier into smaller glaciers. The shortened explanation in the industry thus being "snow breaks for metal roofs." The separation of the snow into smaller pieces as a result of a snow break, breaking the glacier down.

Other people claim that the name originates from the word brake, not break. As a brake is a device for slowing or stopping some moving object by applying negative energy. In this case, snow brakes would refer to the actual snow stopping power of the snow guards on the roof.

Snow Blocks

The name of Snow Blocks as an alternate name for snow guards could derive from a couple of different industry terms. The first being that snow guards block the snow and ice from sliding down the roof, thus giving us the term "snow blocks". The second comes from a company that manufacturers snow guards called SnoBlox. The SnoBlox company has been around since 1976 when they "invented the first plastic snow guards made from polycarbonate." Being one of the first to the snow guard industry has steered some people to calling snow guards "snow blocks".

Snow Catchers

Snow catchers is a name several people call snow guards. The name derives from that fact that snow guards will "catch" the snow and ice as it slides off of the roof. The snow is stopped from sliding off which can cause damage to people and property below as well as pull screws out of the roof resulting in leaks. As the snow is caught on the roof, heat from the sun and heat escaping from the home melt the snow and ice causing it to slowly drip off the roof.

Guttar Guards

Very few people actually call snow guards, "guttar guards", but there are a few out there and here is why. When snow comes sliding off of a roof where guttars are installed, often times the snow and ice will rip the guttars right off the side of the house. When people install snow guards, the snow guards act as a guttar guard. Thus giving us the term guttar guard.

This is probably a good spot to point out that even though some people call snow guards, "guttar guards", a guttar guard is more often something like a metal mesh protector that sits on top of a rain guttar to keep dirt and leaves out of the guttar.

No matter what you call them, we carry them. Jump over to our snow guard shopping cart page and buy your snow guards today.

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