Some of the more unique and decorative industrial accessories that we sell here at John Stortz & Son are our metal roofing snow guards – but these interesting fixtures of industrial roofs are nothing but simply decorative. In this article, we’ll plumb their necessity while shedding some light on a few of the different types that we sell.

What Are They and How Do They Work?

Metal roofing snow guards are fixtures that are designed to retain snow on metal roofs. Therefore, any guard that is intended to retain snow on a metal roof can be called a metal roofing snow guard. Usually, they look like spikes, spokes or little metal figurines that are staggered along a metal rooftop, often fairly close to the eaves of the roof.

Metal roof guards are installed in groups like this to form a system that is known as a snow retention system. When it snows, snow accumulates on a rooftop in what is known as a snow load. When snow is light and powdery, or occurs only in very small amounts, it is rarely a concern. It is when snow begins to melt and refreeze, forming large, aggregate sheets that threaten to slide off of a roof that it becomes a serious concern – and a threat to property, life and limb.

When snow melts and refreezes on a roof surface in the presence of the snow guards of a snow retention system, the snow guards “grip” the snow and ice, often in large sheets, and prevent them from sliding off the roof in large, heavy sections that can damage property or injure bystanders.

Why Do You Need Them?

Any building that has a pitched roof and is built in an area where there is the threat of seasonal snowfall needs a snow guard system in order to prevent damage to property and to prevent injury to passersby below. Because the snow guards hold onto the snow and ice and only release it a little bit at a time – or as runoff – they are significant fixtures of public safety.

Metal Roofing Snow Guards

Generally speaking, metal roofing snow guards are snow guards that are inherently designed to be compatible with sheet metal roofing. Sheet metal roofing presents a few unique traits that make snow roof guards even more necessary than might be considered elsewhere.

For one thing, many industrial buildings are found with sheet metal roofs. This means that, generally, many sheet metal roofs are also quite large. The larger the roof, the larger the snow load. Additionally, many metal roofs, despite their seams, are fairly smooth, which would make it easier for snow to dislodge and slide down the grade.

That means that snow retention systems are a critical component of metal roofs effectively anywhere there is a risk of snowfall. Among the types of metal roof guards that we offer here at John Stortz & Son are some of the following.

  • Roof Snow Guards for Standing Seam Metal Roofs: These types of metal roof guards have a recess designed to accommodate standing seam construction on metal roofs, and particularly mechanical lock and snap lock roof systems. These can be bolted, clamped or screwed onto the standing seams themselves, which gives a great deal of flexibility with arrangement and installation.
  • Adhesive or Soldering Snow Roof Guards: Adhesive or soldering snow roof guards must be installed with a type of adhesive or with solder. However, because they are attached with adhesive, you also have a lot of flexibility with installation and arrangement – significantly more than with standing seam roof guards – along with a much more affordable price point

Other Types of Snow Guards

In addition to the types of metal roofing snow guards described above, here at John Stortz & Son we also sell a few other types of snow guards that are useful in snow retention systems on other types of roofs, including the following:

  • Slate and Shingle Roof Snow Guards (Including Retrofit Guards): Our slate and shingle roof snow guards are ideal for new installation, but they can also be retrofitted to roofs, meaning they can be installed to existing roofs without removing any shingles. These guards have slots on both sides of a shaft that can be slid under the shingles to engage the nails holding them in place. They’re easy and efficient. In addition to retrofits, we also sell snow guards that must be installed at the time the roof is being repaired or restored.
  • Ornamental Snow Guards: Ornamental snow guards are intended for slate / shingle roofs but are more significantly categorized by the fact that they are designed with a visually pleasing aesthetic like the Fleur-de-lis for example.

Questions? Call Us

Do you want to learn more about snow retention systems, or about the fine points of differentiation between the types of snow guards that we sell? Give us a call and we’d be glad to field your questions – you can reach us at 888-847-3456!