As winter approaches, the beauty of snow-covered roofs can quickly turn into a hazard without the proper precautions. Metal roofs, in particular, require special attention due to their smooth surfaces that facilitate the sudden release of snow and ice. This comprehensive guide explores the critical role of snow guards in safeguarding your property and provides insights into selecting and installing the right system for your metal roof.

Introduction to Snow Guards

Snow guards are devices designed to prevent the avalanche-like release of snow and ice from metal roofs. By retaining the snow on the roof, these guards allow it to melt gradually and drain off in a controlled manner, mitigating the risk of damage to property and injury to individuals below.

The Necessity of Snow Guards

In regions experiencing significant snowfall, the accumulation of snow on metal roofs poses a dual threat: the potential for structural damage due to the weight and the danger of sudden snow slides. Snow guards distribute the weight of the snow evenly across the roof and prevent large masses of snow from sliding off, protecting gutters, landscaping, and pedestrian areas around the building.

Selecting the Right Snow Guards

Choosing the appropriate snow guard system for your metal roof involves considering several factors, including roof type, snow load, and aesthetic preferences. There are three primary types of snow guards:

Pad Style Snow Guards

Pad style snow guards are small, individual units spaced evenly across the roof. They are an economical choice for residential properties and are particularly effective on roofs with moderate snow loads.

Bar Style Snow Guards

Bar style snow guards consist of long bars mounted across the roof. This type offers enhanced protection for areas with heavy snowfall, distributing the load more effectively across a larger surface area.

Fence Style Snow Guards

Fence style snow guards provide the highest level of protection, creating a continuous barrier that prevents any movement of snow on the roof. This system is ideal for commercial buildings or regions with extreme snowfall.

Installation Considerations

While some homeowners may opt for a DIY approach to installing snow guards, professional installation by a reputable contractor like Planet Roof, located in McMurray, PA, ensures optimal performance and compliance with warranty requirements. Professionals can assess your specific needs, recommend the best system, and install it correctly, providing peace of mind throughout the winter months.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

DIY Installation: Suitable for handy homeowners comfortable with roof work. It requires careful adherence to manufacturer instructions to avoid damaging the roof or compromising the system’s effectiveness.

Professional Installation: Recommended for ensuring the snow guards are installed correctly and safely. Professionals have the experience and tools necessary to install the system efficiently, often providing a warranty for their work.

Maintenance and Care

Regular maintenance of your snow guard system is essential to ensure its longevity and effectiveness. Annual inspections, particularly before the winter season, can identify any issues that need addressing, such as loose components or damage from the previous season. Keeping the roof and snow guards clear of debris also helps maintain optimal performance.


Snow guards are an indispensable component of metal roofing systems in snowy climates, offering protection against the hazards of snow accumulation and release. By understanding the different types of snow guards available and the importance of proper installation and maintenance, homeowners can make informed decisions to protect their property and ensure a safe environment around their homes. For those in the McMurray, Pa area, Planet Roof stands ready to provide expert advice and installation services, ensuring your home is prepared for the winter season.