Metal snow roof guards are often part of a larger snow retention system, oftentimes for slate roofs in addition to metal roofs. Being called metal roof snow guards, the term “metal” may refer not only to the roofing material but also to the material of the type of snow guard itself, as they are frequently made of metal.

Here’s why it matters; particularly for industrial and commercial buildings. These buildings are large, and often have very large roofs that slope gently down the sides to shed precipitation. Oftentimes commercial or industrial buildings have roofs made of sheet metal or stone; it is the size and nature of these roofs that presents a unique challenge that must be addressed in the event of inclement winter weather, namely being ice or snow.

Why It Matters

These styles of roofing are very economical for the settings in which they are installed and that makes them valuable for the businesses that make use of them. Even with regards to precipitation in the form of rain, they shed it very readily and effectively.

With snow and freezing temperatures, this dynamic shifts slightly. For example, when it snows on a gently sloped, slick metal roof, a unique problem can arise. If the snow sticks, once the temperature rises a little, the snow will often melt in sections or melt partially, without dislodging from the roof.

Once that snow melts partially but does not dislodge from the roof or roof panels, if there are freezing temperatures in the future there could be a very distinct concern. Sometimes the snow melts slowly and trickles off of the roof in the form of meltwater – but not always.

More often, when snow partially melts and refreezes, it will refreeze together in large aggregate sheets of snow and ice. With additional, partial melting and refreezing cycles, those sheets of ice and snow can slide off the roof in large sections, often causing property damage; it even poses a significant threat to people on the ground below.

The danger rises with several factors, including the orientation and construction of the roof, the size of the roof, the height of the roof and also the climate. People in the tropics might not have a need to rectify this concern, but businesses in our area most certainly do. Small amounts of snow pose little concern, but wherever there is a risk of heavy snowfall the concern is there.

Focus on Safety

This hazard is where roof snow guards and snow retention systems come into focus. These systems, which make use of unique fixtures known as snow guards, help to prevent damage to adjacent property as well as preventing injury to passersby.

You may have seen them before. Metal roof snow guards take various forms and often look like spikes or spurs that project upwards at an angle along the roof. Typically they are arranged within a staggered row or several staggered rows a few feet from the bottom of the roof at the eave. You’re most likely to come across them on metal roofs, including those with standing seams, slate roofs and asphalt roofs, although many other rooms may require them given the snow load of the area.

They work by digging into snow like a barb. When the snow is light and fluffy it’s hardly a concern, but when the snow melts and refreezes in the presence of snow guards, it refreezes around them, locking large sheets of ice and snow into place so that they can’t slide off of the roof together.

In the event that there are large aggregate sections of snow and ice higher up the roof that slide downwards, they will be ‘caught’ by the snow roof guards before they can slide off the eave; either this, or they will have been retained by another row of guards higher up on the roof to account for this and prevent the ice from sliding down.

What We Offer

Here at John Stortz & Son, we offer a wide variety of metal roof snow guards to choose from, both in terms of functionality and in terms of aesthetics. For example, we provide a range of metal guards, including standing seam metal roof guards as well as slate roof guards, retro fit roof guards, adhesive guards and guards that can be applied with solder, and even ornamental roof guards. Our ornamental guards make it much easier to match the appearance of your roof or even to provide a color match for the roofing itself.

You can see each of the product categories we offer via the links provided above, but we welcome you to reach out to us if you want to learn more about the fine points of how roof guards work, why and where they are necessary, and how to arrange or install them. Please contact us at 888-847-3456 to learn more.