Snow fence is also universally known under the term snow guard, stopper, or holder. Let’s find out what stands behind this term.
Why keep the snow on the roof?
Winter precipitation results into the formation of a thick layer of snow on the roof. The snow cover occasionally melts and freezes which ends as a solid ice crust. Without the retention systems there is the high risk of snow blocks which break down from the roof at once. That is why the safety issue needs to get proper attention.
To prevent this, the snow is kept on the roof with the help of special designed devices – snow guards. Each device is secured to the surface with the use of special clamp. Then the snow has time to melt, and melted water or small pieces of ice are sliding off the roof.
What are metal roof snow used for?
Roof snow retention system main function is to prevent a sudden avalanche-like snow migration from the metal roofing (standing seam, metal tile or corrugated panels).
In addition, snow guard that trap snow on the roof simplifies its maintenance, protects it from the formation of deflections on the panels, and deformation of the panel surface.
Types of metal roof snow fence
The current market offers a variety of snow retention devices, which differ in specific design, materials used, strength, style, shapes, use, damage factor. Some of the snow guards keep all the accumulated snow on the roof until it completely melts. Such devices are called snow catchers because they enclose and fence the mass. The other devices let the rooftop avalanches slide in small chunks. Such devices are classified as snow cutters. Each of them has its own area of use, limited by the material and construction of the roof, climatic conditions.
Tubular snow guard is the most universal and popular option on the market. Architects and constructors improve of their use, because such specially designed pipe and rail system is trouble-free and fits any style, site and look of the building. They are available in any color, or specific metal type: stainless steel, aluminum, copper/brass). During the installation the pipe system is fixed to the seam (standing seam) or to the panel using special clamps. They are made of two brackets made of durable stainless steel, brass or galvanized metal slips, fixed to the roof surface with the help of special clamps. This product will always protect the roof from different damage that snow migration may cause.
Tubular snow guards, according to their working principle, are referred to as cutting devices. During melting, the snow layer is cut into long sheets, which safely go down the metal roof (standing seam, metal tiles or corrugated metal roofing).
Usually tubular snow guards are installed in one row along the perimeter of the roofs, without gaps. They cannot be installed on the cornices; under the influence of the large mass of snow, the latter can deform. In regions with heavy snowfall, the systems of two rows of snow guards are installed using the special metal aluminum clamps.
The calculation of roof snow guards
The calculation of the number of snow retention devices and clamps depends on many factors and available conditions; it is best to entrust this work to specialists. If you want to make your own preliminary calculation, you need to bare in mind several factors below.
- overhang length;
- pitch (how high);
- length of the slope;
- type of metal roof (metal tile, corrugated or standing seam roof);
- find out which snow region the area belongs to.
It is recommended to install snow guard system during the metal roofs installation. Doing this on the site facilitates the whole process and reduces the likelihood of mistakes. You can also install the snow retention products on the finished roof. The clamp technology depends on the design of the type of roofing.