Should You Be Using Snow Guards For Metal Roofs?
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Should You Be Using Snow Guards For Metal Roofs?

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Posted By: Roof Troopers


Winter brings its own set of challenges for homeowners, especially when it comes to maintaining the integrity of your roof under the weight of heavy snowfall. If you have a metal roof, you might be wondering: should I be using snow guards? Let’s dive into this snowy topic and explore whether snow guards are a necessity for your metal roofing system. 

Inside this blog:

  • A brief overview of snow guards and how they work
  • Key factors to consider before making the move to install snow guards
  • 4 scenarios where a snow guard can be helpful

Keep reading to become an expert on snow guards for your metal roof and see how your home could benefit from one!

❄️ Understanding Snow Guards: What Are They and How Do They Work?


Snow guards, also known as snow rails or snow stops, are devices installed on the roof to prevent snow and ice from sliding off abruptly. Instead of allowing snow to accumulate and then suddenly release in large sheets, snow guards help distribute the snow load evenly, reducing the risk of damage to your property and potential safety hazards. Here’s how they work:

Mechanical Barrier

Snow guards act as a mechanical barrier, holding back snow and allowing it to gradually melt or slide off in smaller, manageable amounts. This gradual release helps prevent sudden avalanches of snow, which can pose a risk to people and property below.

Even Distribution

By dispersing the weight of the snow across the roof surface, snow guards help prevent excessive stress on specific areas, such as eaves or valleys. This even distribution of weight reduces the likelihood of structural damage and prolongs the lifespan of your roof.

Protection for Gutters and Downspouts

Snow guards also help protect gutters and downspouts from damage caused by falling snow and ice, reducing the likelihood of clogs and ice dams. By preventing snow and ice from sliding off the roof in large chunks, snow guards help maintain the integrity of your gutter system and ensure proper drainage during winter months.

🛠️ Factors to Consider Before Installing Snow Guards

Before you rush to install snow guards on your metal roof, it’s essential to consider a few key factors to determine whether they’re necessary for your specific situation. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Roof Pitch


The pitch or slope of your roof plays a significant role in how snow accumulates and behaves. Steeper roofs are less prone to snow buildup and may not require snow guards, while flatter roofs are more likely to experience snow sliding issues.

However, even on steep roofs, certain sections with lower slopes may still benefit from the installation of snow guards to prevent potential hazards.

Climate and Snow Load

Consider your local climate and typical snowfall patterns. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall or frequent winter storms, snow guards may be more beneficial in preventing snow-related damage. Additionally, factors such as wind patterns and temperature fluctuations can affect snow accumulation and the need for snow guards.

Roof Design and Features

Take into account the design and features of your roof, such as dormers, valleys, and skylights. These architectural elements can impact snow accumulation and the effectiveness of snow guards. Areas with complex roof designs or obstruction may require customized placement of snow guards to ensure comprehensive protection.

Budget and Aesthetics

Installing snow guards involves both material and installation costs, so consider your budget and priorities. Additionally, think about how snow guards will affect the appearance of your roof and whether they align with your aesthetic preferences.

While snow guards can provide valuable protection, it’s essential to balance functionality with aesthetic considerations to achieve a cohesive and visually appealing roof design.

⚠️ When Are Snow Guards Recommended for Metal Roofs?

While snow guards are not always necessary for every metal roof, there are certain situations where they are recommended to mitigate potential risks and protect your property. Here are 4 scenarios where snow guards may be advisable:

1. Low-Pitch Roofs

Metal roofs with low pitches are more susceptible to snow sliding issues due to the flatter angle. Installing snow guards can help prevent snow buildup and minimize the risk of snow-related damage. Additionally, snow guards can provide peace of mind for homeowners in areas prone to sudden temperature fluctuations, where snowmelt and refreezing can lead to hazardous ice formations.

2. Valleys and Eaves

Areas of the roof where snow tends to accumulate, such as valleys and eaves, may benefit from snow guards to prevent ice dams, gutter damage, and potential roof leaks. By strategically placing snow guards along these critical areas, homeowners can safeguard their roofing system and prolong its lifespan, reducing the need for costly repairs in the future.

3. High-Traffic Areas

If you have walkways, entryways, or areas where people and vehicles frequently pass beneath the roof, installing snow guards can help prevent snow and ice from falling unexpectedly, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. This is especially important for commercial properties, where liability concerns may arise from snow-related incidents.

4. Historic or Architecturally Significant Properties

For historic or architecturally significant properties with unique roof designs or features, snow guards can help preserve the integrity of the roof and prevent damage to the building’s structure. By protecting delicate features and preventing snow-related deterioration, snow guards contribute to the long-term preservation of these cherished landmarks for future generations to enjoy.

Protect Your Home With Snow Guards 🏠

Ultimately, the decision to install snow guards for your metal roof depends on various factors, including roof pitch, climate, budget, and aesthetic preferences. While snow guards can provide added protection against snow-related damage and safety hazards, they may not be necessary for every situation. Consider consulting with a roofing professional to assess your roof’s specific needs and determine whether snow guards are the right choice for you. With careful consideration and proper installation, snow guards can help keep your metal roof safe and sound throughout the winter season. 

Contact our roofing pros today at Roof Troopers for top-notch craftsmanship and competitive 5-Star service. We’re excited to get to work on your next project!


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