What is a snow retention system?
A snow retention system is synonymous with a snow guard and snow stop. Its purpose is to hold ice and snow until it can melt and safely fall off the roof, preventing injuries to people. There are different styles of snow retention systems, such as clamps on snow guards, fences, and snow brackets.
The benefits of installing snow guards on a shingle roof
Having residential snow guards installed for shingle roofs is beneficial for many reasons. One of them is with snow guards installed instead of the snow coming off in large sheets of ice, which allows the snow to melt gradually. When ice sheets slide off roofs, it can be dangerous if people or animals are underneath. It can cause serious injuries, and residential snow guards can help prevent these dangerous situations from happening.
Large sheets of ice sliding from a roof can not only be dangerous for people but can be harmful to your roof as well. When these sheets of ice come sliding down, it can cause cracks and damage your roof. This can lead to more complicated problems, such as leaking. These damages are harmful to the structure and integrity of the building and can cost a lot of money to repair.
Not protecting your roof by using snow guards can lead to other serious problems concerning your residence, such as damage to your gutters. It can cause your gutters to bend, separating them from your home. It can also damage your HVAC system and flood your landscaping.
How to choose the right snow guard
A few key factors go into deciding the right snow guard to install on your roof.
Different residential snow guards may be more or less suitable for certain roofing materials. For example, shingle-over snow guards may not work as well on metal roofs, while paddle snow guards may not be as effective on asphalt shingle roofs.
It’s important to choose snow guards capable of handling the snowfall you typically receive in your area. For example, if you live in an area with heavy snowfall, you’ll need more robust snow guards than in a region with lighter snowfall.
The pitch of your roof affects the most suitable snow guards. For example, snow fence guards or snow retention systems may be more effective on steep roofs, while pipe or shingle-over residential snow guards may be more appropriate for low-sloped roofs.
Consider how the snow guards will look on your roof. Some types of snow guards, such as pipe guards or shingle-over guards, may be more visible than others. Choose a style that complements the appearance of your home.
Snow guards can range in price from a few dollars per guard to several hundred dollars for a comprehensive snow retention system. Consider your budget and choose snow guards that are within your price range.
Ease of installation
Some residential snow guards are relatively easy to install, while others may require more specialized tools and equipment. Consider the installation process when choosing snow guards to ensure you have the necessary skills and resources to install them properly.
Process of installing snow guards to your roof
Measure and mark the locations for the snow guards
Determine the optimal placement for the snow guards based on the size, pitch, and type of your roof, and mark the locations with chalk or tape.
Install any necessary mounting hardware
Depending on the type of snow guards you use, you may need to install brackets, clips, or other hardware onto the roof to support the guards.
Attach the snow guards to the mounting hardware
As needed, position them onto the mounting hardware and secure them using screws, bolts, adhesives, or other fasteners.
Test the stability of the snow guards
Once the snow guards are installed, test their stability by gently shaking them to ensure they are securely attached to the roof.
Clean up and dispose of any debris
Remove any excess mounting hardware, packaging, or other debris from the roof and dispose of it properly.
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use proper safety equipment, such as a harness and hard hat when installing snow guards. If you need help installing snow guards or the safety of the process, consider hiring a professional to install them for you.
Tips for maintenance and upkeep of snow guards
To ensure that snow guards continue to function properly and provide maximum protection for your shingle roof, it’s important to perform regular maintenance and upkeep. Steps you can take to maintain your snow guards include:
Inspect the guards regularly.
Check the snow guards for visible signs of damage or wear, such as cracks, chips, or rust; if you notice any issues, repair or replace the affected guards as needed.
Keep the guards clean
Remove any debris, dirt, or ice accumulating on the guards to ensure they are clear and unobstructed. Then, use a soft cloth or broom to wipe the guards gently.
Check the fasteners
Ensure all screws, bolts, or other fasteners used to secure the guards to the roof are tightened and in good condition. Replace any damaged or missing fasteners as needed.
Check the mounting hardware
Inspect the brackets, clips, or other mounting hardware used to support the snow guards to ensure they are in good condition and properly secured to the roof. Replace any damaged or worn hardware as needed.
Monitor the guards’ performance
Pay attention to how the snow guards function during snowstorms. If you notice any issues, such as snow or ice sliding off the roof in unexpected places, adjust the placement or orientation of the guards as needed to improve their performance.
There are additional tips more specific to the care of snow guards on shingle roofs, such as using caution when cleaning your roof. Make sure to use harsh chemicals or cleaning products on your shingle roof. For a shingle roof, you’ll want to use either a soft cloth or a broom to gently remove dirt and debris from the roof and snow guards. Avoid walking on the shingles when inspecting or performing maintenance because it can cause them to crack or break. A ladder can help distribute your weight and is easier on your roof. Replacing or repairing any damaged or missing shingles on your roof will help prevent leaks and other issues caused by damaged snow guards from damaged or missing shingles.
By following these maintenance and upkeep steps, you can ensure that your snow guards continue to provide effective protection for your roof and the integrity of your residential home.
Snow guard regulations and building codes in Utah
According to the Roofing Design Requirements by the State of Utah, roofs with a history of snow falling off the roof must have an appropriate snow retention system installed that protects the people around residential or commercial spaces. In Utah, the integrity of buildings and homes needs to withstand large amounts of snow, and as a result of the winter weather in Utah, copious amounts of snow on a roof can be a hazard to the people in and around the building. It can also cost a lot of money to fix these problems if you still need to install a snow guard.