The consequences of snow and ice sliding from the roof can be serious with serious life-threatening injuries, not to mention damage to landscaping structures or to cars parked near buildings. The highest risk is during the thaw period when the snow becomes heavy and icy. Snow can also ruin the integrity of the roofing covering. That is why it is particularly important to install special safety system on the roof and to take care of gutters. Snow guard prevents uncontrolled snow melt and reduce the risk of harm to humans during this period.
What the snow guards basically do is keep ice and snow masses on the roof and if the mass goes down, it will be chunked into small pieces. Snow guards need to be attached along the perimeter or above separate most perilous zones. Guards are equally important for any style of the soft or metal roofs.
A separate point should be made about elements of the roof. It often happens that the avalanching snow mass tears down the gutter structure. To ensure the safety and performance of the drainage system, several rules must be followed.
How do you keep snow from tearing down gutters?
Despite of the type of roof (may it be standing seam metal roofs, metal tile or shingles roof) the gutter is the integral part of any roof. This part is the one of the most vulnerable during harsh weather and snow guard can help to cushion the blow. The use of snow will keep the drainage systems of the home intact for years. Let’s look at the main rules any home owner needs to observe to get the best out of all the elements of the building.
Rule No. 1. The drainage system must be appropriate for the local climate.
When buying gutter system, it is necessary to consider the peculiarities of the local climate. For example, during severe frosts, plastic brakes easily, no wonder that falling lumps of snow causes the breakage of the gutters. For severe winters many people opt for metal gutters, because such devices have a very well designed anti-icing protection and can easily withstand the harshest temperatures.
Rule No. 2. Installation of the new drainage structure must be carried out in strict accordance with the instructions.
- Their must be at least the minimal slope of the drainage structure. If the drainage structure installed without any incline, ice will freeze in the gutter, and it will be impossible to clean it.
- The joints of all elements of the drainage structure must be tight;
Rule No. 3. Each gutter must be cleared of leaves and twigs.
Before the onset of cold weather, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the drains from debris. Fallen leaves, twigs and small debris can be swept out with a brush; the dirt is washed off with a hose with sufficient pressure. Particular attention should be paid to the cleaning of funnels and downspouts.
If this rule is not observed, ice will quickly freeze in uncleaned gutters and pipes, water will overflow and even wet the walls. If the massive ice accumulates within, it is almost definite that this will cause big problems, the gutter arrangement will be destroyed.
Rule No. 4. It is very important to have snow guards for gutters.
The avalanching snow will break the drainage structure in pieces. By the end of winter, the weight of snow on the roof can get up to several tons. An avalanche of such snow mass will surely wreck even the most reliable structure. Roofing snow guards stops snow drifts from coming off. In this case the gutters will only occasionally be filled with melted water.
Bear in mind that the main goals of snow guards are not limited only to protecting the drainage structure from snow loads. The main functions of the safety elements of snow retention are also to prevent the avalanche-like descent of snow masses. Let us summarize the useful points of snow guards application on different roofs.
- Safety of property located beneath the roof: cars, premises, landscaping, buildings, fences, etc.
- The main task is to preserve the health and life of home owners or passers-by. The ice snow “cap” can reach a mass of over a tone.
- Protection of objects on the roof. These include chimney and ventilation pipes, roof windows and hatches. It is also advisable to install snow retention in front of such elements.