All You Need to Know Before Choosing the Best Metal Roof Snow Guard

Days are gone when you had only limited choices to select for a snow-guard system for your residential or commercial building. But today, for your good and bad, you have a lot of options available in the market.

When I said good, I mean to say that you have a lot of alternatives so that you don't have to compromise on your priorities, in the meantime you are going to have a tough time deciding the one for your requirement.

Primarily you should know why it is advisable to opt for a snow retention system. A simple one-word answer is safety! Safety of your people. A snow retention system will hold the snow/ice when it falls and later allows a controlled evacuation, thus helping you protect your much valuable assets.

Considering this, these days architects and builders are already incorporating retention systems in their original design. But those that are built in the past lack it and are desperate for a much-needed fix.

Irrespective of whether you plan on incorporating a new snow retainer system or fix/upgrade the existing one, it is important to prioritize the durability factor on top of everything, else consider yourself regretting.

Let's have a look at the types of snow retainers you can choose from. This article has been divided into three sections:

  1. Based on the method of attachment
  2. Based on the material
  3. Based on design and installation

1. Based on the Method of Attachment

The glossy coated painted metal surface of roofs is smooth & frictionless so it is important to choose the right attachment procedure for the retainer. There are two basic methods of fixing.

  1. Glue Fix
  2. Mechanical Fix
    • Clamping the retainer to the roof
    • Attaching to the purlins of the building structure

i. Glue Fix

As the name suggests, in the glue fix method, the snow retainer is attached to the roof using a installer-applied adhesive or a 3m bonding tape. Glue fix is fast, and it will help you save labor cost but not that you will end up compromising on its holding strength.

Ideally, you should especially use a glue fix if you installing on a floating standing seam metal roof. If you have decided to go ahead with glue down plastic snow guards, we suggest you use the clear style or have a look at the various color options that we have at our store.

There is another alternative to glue fixing called the Peel and stick tape. All that you have to do is to peel off a protective layer and stick the retainer to your roof, helping you save time. You can visit and buy Peel and stick retainers from our website.

ii. Mechanical Fix

  1. Clamping the retainer to the standing seams of the roof

This method uses a seam-clamping attachment to fix the retainer to the roof. Clamping offers a robust holding strength and is the best option for standing seam style metal roof types. The clamps on the retainer are attached to the roof seam using time proven, cup-point set screws offering the best durability and strength. Buyer beware of using polished round head set screw points. They are slippery and may easily come off the roof!

  1. Attaching the purlin or rafters of the building structure

This is something you can do while retrofitting or even during an upgrade. Here the snow guards are attached directly to the building structures for which you need to have holes drilled through the roof sheeting into the rafter or purlins below.

It is essential to have holes that are drilled precisely to ensure secure placement and the long-term service life of the roof.

Check out the different Clear Snow Guards we have at our stores.

2. Based on the Material

There are tree different types of material with which snow guards are made.

  1. Plastic
  2. Stainless Steel 
  3. Aluminum

Plastic snow retainers are lightweight and less expensive and are a great option. If you choose to use stainless steel or extruded aluminum over plastic, make sure you are familiar with the attachment requirements. 

If you have an R-Panel roof or are planning to get R-Panel roofing done, we suggest you have a look at snow retainers for R-Panel roofs.

3. Based on Design and Installation

Now that we have discussed the various available options, the last on the list is which design is efficient, staggered or continuous?

There is a popular conception in the industry that a continuously attached system is much costlier than a staggered plastic snow system. That doesn't hold when you factor in all of the criteria significantly cost of components and installation time.

Irrespective of whether you use a staggered or continuous design, if the snow retainers are attached as per the manufacturer's installation instructions, they both are going to function correctly. Well, you should also consult with your architect on which look would be functional and aesthetically appealing in the non-winter months!

You should be checking whether the architect has considered the slope, designed snow loads, the material of base panel, width and configuration etc. during his design calculations.

Proper Installation – The Key to Longevity!

Proper installation is the key to the longevity of the system. If you are using an adhesive, ensure you are doing it at the optimum temperature of 40F. A minimum curing period of 28 days should be given.

Similarly, ensure that the clamps are tightened to the specific operating torque for installation of clamp sets provided by manufacturers for best results.

For more details and assistance reach us here.

Are Wind Guards Necessary?

As per ASCE 7-98 code to keep your building safe from winds, wind guards are an absolute necessity. It helps keep the metal roof safe from coastal winds, hurricanes, and even tornadoes. The negative wind pressure can pull your roof up and can fly it away.

Wind guards provide an additional grab for the roof to the purlins. It is just color matching to your roof once you make sure the guard is made of good quality stainless steel. Just like snow guards, with wind guards, you need to prioritize durability over other features.

Check out the precision-engineered wind guards we have at our store!


Snow sliding and accumulation on unprotected metal roofs are a common cause of property damage and physical injuries. You should never hesitate to install a properly engineered & well-installed snow guard on your roof!