Today's post is a little more on the serious note for those out there who truly have questions about the styles and attachment methods of snow guards.

Roof snow guards are a roofing specialty item that help keep snow and ice from sliding off of metal roofs. Currently there are two basic types of metal roof snow guards on the market, clamp on snow guards that attach to the seam of a standing seam metal roof and valley or panel snow guards which are attached to the roof in between seams or ribs. Some people would mention a third category being mini snow guards, but minis are really just a small version of the valley or panel style. The idea is to stop snow so that it cannot slide down and off of the roof. Using the guards as literal snow blocks can save you money and pain by keeping the snow from causing damage to anything that may unfortunately be found under the eave when snow is sliding off a metal roof.

The standing seam guards that clamp on are always mechanically attached. The benefits of this style include:

  • They are attached to the roof without putting holes in the roof. This helps homeowners to not worry about leaks and does not violate warranties.
  • They can be attached in any weather conditions.
  • Attaching is much cleaner as no glue or adhesive sealants are required.
  • Allow for movement in the roof from heat expansion and cold contraction.

The biggest downside to the clamp on style is that they can only be attached to a limited number of roof styles. Some roof and panel designs are not suitable for the clamp on style. When this is the case, a panel or valley guard is a better option.

Panel and valley snow guards are attached one of two ways; with adhesives or mechanically. The advantages of using adhesive include:

  • Once again, they are attached to the roof without putting holes in the roof. This helps homeowners to not worry about leaks and does not violate warranties.
  • This method also allows for the natural expansion and contraction of the roof.
  • Very fast method for installing.
  • No power tools are required.
  • They will break away under extreme cases of very heavy snow fall and snow load conditions. Mechanically attached guards will not break away and require manual snow removal.

The biggest drawback to adhesive attached style is the mess. They require the weather to cooperate for an amount of time. For example, when using SureBond SB-190 as an adhesive to attach with, you need 28 days at or above 50°F to ensure a good cure.

The final method of attaching the snow stoppers is to mechanically attach a panel or valley guard using screws directly to the roof. The benefits of this method are:

  • Can be attached in any weather conditions.
  • It is not going anywhere so you won't have to reattach it, but you will have to remove extreme snow loads.

Mechanically attaching valley guards can void manufacturers warranties, so be sure to check before you begin your project. This method also requires you to make sure you use a sealant to prevent any leaking and roof damage.

Whether you choose a clamp on snow guard, panel valley snow guard or mini snow guard, these are a great investment to keep yourself, property and others protected from heavy sliding snow loads.


Brad Wasley

Date 11/11/2015

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