DIY Metal Roof Snow Guards: How to Guide for Safe Winter Roofing

As a homeowner in an area with frequent snowfall, you know the importance of protecting your roof from heavy snow and ice damage.

One of the best ways to achieve this is by installing snow guards on your metal roof.

Bolted snow guards in a metal roofing

If you're a DIY enthusiast, this guide is perfect as we walk you through the ins and outs of installing metal roof snow guards.

Snow guards work to prevent the formation of large snow and ice masses that can slide off your roof and cause injury or property damage.

With the right equipment and DIY skills, you can easily attach these practical devices to your metal roof.

Get ready to grab your tools and follow this step-by-step guide, and you'll soon be on your way to a well-protected home during the snowy season!

Does Your Metal Roof Need Snow Guards?

First, let's understand what snow guards are and their purpose.

Snow guards, also known as snow retention systems, help prevent snow from sliding off your roof in large chunks.

Metal snow guards installed in a roof

These sliding chunks can cause damage to your property, landscaping, and gutters and even pose a risk to people below.

Now, do you need snow guards for your metal roof?

Well, it depends on a few factors, such as the climate in your area and your roof's pitch.

If you live in a region with large amounts of snowfall, like the Northeast, it's a good idea to consider snow guards.

They are most effective on metal roofs with a steep pitch, typically 6/12 and above.

Hold on – what if your area doesn't usually experience heavy snowfall?

In that case, snow guards might not be necessary.

However, it only takes one unusually harsh winter to cause damage, so it's better to be safe than sorry.

Investing in snow guards for your metal roof is a smart choice considering the potential consequences.

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What Are the Three Main Types of Metal Roof Snow Guards?

When it comes to protecting your metal roof from snow and ice, you can choose from three main types of snow guards.

Metal bolted roof on a roof

Let's take a closer look at these options and how each one can benefit your roof.

Glue-On Snow Guards

Glue-on snow guards offer a simple yet effective solution for preventing snow from sliding off your metal roof.

These guards are designed to adhere directly to the roof's surface using a strong adhesive, making installation easy and quick.

You'll appreciate that glue-on snow guards don't require any drilling or additional tools, making them a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts.

Just note that they might not be as durable as other options, and the adhesive might degrade over time.

Clamp-On Snow Guards

Clamp-on snow guards are a great option for standing seam metal roofs, as they attach directly to the raised portion of the metal panels.

To install these guards, you'll need to use brackets or clamps that grip the seams without puncturing the metal.

Clamp-on snow guards provide a strong grip and are built to withstand harsh winter conditions, making them popular among homeowners.

Screw-On Snow Guards

Screw-on snow guards offer another secure method of snow retention for metal roofs.

As the name suggests, these guards are attached to the roof with screws, providing a strong and lasting connection.

Screw-on snow guards require more time and effort than other options but are more durable, making them ideal for areas with heavy snow.

Just be sure to take necessary precautions while drilling holes and using screws to avoid causing any damage to your metal roof!

Looking for a reliable snow guard? We recommend this one!

See this snow guard on Amazon.

How to Make Diy Metal Roof Snow Guards [In 8 Easy Steps]

Now, let's get right to business! Here are the steps to follow when you install your DIY metal roof snow guard.

Ensure Proper Equipment And Work Safely

Before starting your DIY snow guard project, be sure to gather all the necessary tools and materials.

Metal roofing of a huge house with snow guards

Safety is paramount—wear gloves, use a stable ladder, and never work alone to reduce the risk of accidents.

Determine The Roof Type

Once you've secured your safety, you can start by ascending your ladder and measuring the width of your roof panels.

Standard roof panel widths are typically 16 or 24 inches.

For 16-inch wide panels, installing the snow guard at the center of each panel is recommended.

On the other hand, 24-inch wide panels require two snow guards on each panel, spaced 12 inches apart.

Be Sure to Read: What is the Best Roof Coating for a Metal Roof?

Find The Roof Pitch

To ensure proper protection, it's essential to calculate the number of snow guards needed for your metal roof.

The calculation is based on the pitch of your roof, which is the angle of the roof's slope.

Double gable with dark stone veneer siding, with triangle shape peaks, on a pitched roof attic

Different metal roof profiles require different installation patterns, so it's crucial to determine the pitch of your roof before proceeding.

To calculate the pitch of your roof, follow these steps:

  1. Find the vertical distance of your roof by measuring from the highest peak of your roof to its lowest edge.
  2. Next, look for the horizontal distance of your roof by measuring along the side of your house from the roof edge until the centerline.
  3. Calculate the pitch. The pitch represents the number of inches per every 12 inches of horizontal distance.

Plan the Snow Guard Installation

Design a layout for the snow guards' placement based on your roof's pitch and type.

Space out snow guards evenly across the roof, ensuring there's enough support to prevent snow and ice from sliding off.

You can use online calculators to determine the required number of snow guards.

Stagger the Snow Guards

In the layout, stagger your snow guards into a randomized pattern instead of simply placing them in neat rows.

With this approach, you'll better distribute the snow load and help prevent large snowpacks from sliding off your roof simultaneously.

Roofer installing metal roof snow guards

Start by marking the position of the first guard 1 foot from the roof's edge, moving from left to right.

The second guard should be placed 2 feet from the roof's edge, continuing for the third and fourth batches.

To ensure even better control over the snow, mirror this pattern in subsequent rows of snow guards.

It's important to note that the rows of snow guards should be placed at the midpoint of the roof slope, not higher.

Set the Installation Area

Once you have staggered the locations for your snow guards, the next step is to set up the installation by ensuring the area is clean and no dirt is left.

An uneven surface will prevent forming a good seal, especially with glue-on snow guards.

Start Installing the Snow Guards

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific snow guard type—some require adhesive, while others involve clamping.

Worker installing roof snow guards

Some metal roof snow guards use a peel-and-stick adhesive that doesn't require drilling or penetrating the metal panels.

Wait for the Curing Time

The process usually takes several days if you're using a glue-on snow guard. So, it's best to do the installation during hot seasons.

If you're opting for a screw-on or clamp-on, these are usually good to go, regardless of the temperature.

Tips on Installing Snow Guards on Metal Roof

In this section, we'll share a few handy tips to help you during installation.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Type of Snow Guard

Consider the various styles and materials available and choose the one that suits your roof best.

As mentioned earlier, some snow guards require no adhesive and can be clamped onto the raised seam of your metal roof without puncturing it.

Tip #2: Plan the Layout of the Snow Guards on Your Roof

Proper spacing and placement can improve their effectiveness and ensure the snow load is evenly distributed.

Start installing snow guards at the eave's edge and work your way up the roof, making sure they're evenly spaced.

Tip #3: Consider Weather Conditions

Ideal conditions for installation should be during mild temperatures and dry weather.

By considering weather conditions, you can make the process more manageable and help ensure a successful installation.

Tip #4: Consult a Professional

Consult a professional if you're unsure about any part of the installation process.

Experts in metal roof installation can provide guidance and assistance, ensuring that your snow guards are installed correctly and will perform as intended.

Also Read: How To Stop Metal Roof Screws From Backing Out?

Wrapping Up

By now, you've gained valuable insight into DIY metal roof snow guards and how to install them.

With this knowledge, you can confidently embark on your next home improvement project, tackling those pesky snow and ice issues on your metal roof.

Remember, proper research and preparation are key.

Take time to tailor your installation to your needs and ensure you have the right type of snow guard suitable for your roof. 

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