One attribute of metal roofing is that, in most cases, it sheds ice and snow very quickly (see Technical Bulletin #12). In cases where the snow is shed in front of doorways or on top of plantings, property owners may wish to make sure that the snow comes down slowly and in chunks rather than in “one fell swoop”.
Several styles of snowguards are available, most of which can be utilized with many metal roofing panels. For a proper recommendation, contact the manufacturer of your roofing and see which styles of snowguards they suggest. There are snowguards produced from steel, aluminum, copper, and plastic. When using metal snowguards, they should match the metal of the roofing panels. Some styles of snowguards allow for the use of pipes or rails between them to provide additional support for the snow on the roof. With many styles of snowguards, it is best to install them along with the roofing. However, there are other styles, especially many of the plastic versions, which can be or must be installed after the roofing is completed. Manufacturers of snowguards do provide recommendations for spacing and placement. In most cases, those recommendations seem to promote the maximum sale of snowguards. It has been our experience that, for most areas, placing the snowguards from 12” to 18” apart is adequate. More frequent spacing can be used in extreme snow areas and also with steeper roofs. Generally, it is suggested that snowguards be kept away from the valleys where snow tends to collect rather than slide anyway. For the plastic snowguards, there are special adhesives which can be used to glue them to the roofing without the need for fasteners.