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Snow Guards

by James Threadgill
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Snow Guard

Classic Copper Works Snow Guards are required to reduce the potential for snow and ice damage to gutters, foundation plantings, parked vehicles, adjacent roofs and equipment, and injury to pedestrians. Snow Guards prevent large sheets of ice and snow from sliding off the roofing surface. This issue is especially important with metal roofing.

Variants of snow guards have been employed for over 300 years by people all around the world where seasonal snowfall is common. Europeans from the Alps and the Scandinavian people would place stones and logs on top of their roofs to increase friction and retention so that the snow could be used as insulation in the cold winter months. Other larger natural or man-made objects and structures have also been used as snow guards (or snow fence) on steep sloping hills to lessen the effects of avalanches in valley regions.

Snow Guards Installation

Modern snow guards are made of polycarbonate and/or metal materials depending on the type, size, and specific function of snow guards. Although primarily installed for pragmatic purposes, panel guards and snow railing are sometimes used to highlight a roof’s aesthetic appeal and design. Some manufacturers have designed metal powder-coated color armor shields to match the colors of varying roof types, and snow rails are commonly colored to complement the roofs they protect.

Snow Guards placement will vary from region to region and will be influenced by roof pitch, as well as the length of runs and seam spacing. Snow Guards installation recommendations can be found in Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractor’s National Association Architectural Sheet Metal Manual and other industry standards. Best practice with any Snow Guards installation is to develop a layout aimed at retaining the snow in place rather than trying to stop it at the eaves after it has begun to slide. This principal is twice as important where adhesive mounted Snow Guards devices are to be relied upon.

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Snow Guards Installation Specifics

Snow Guards Placement Recommendations

Snow Guards Safety Guidelines