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What is a Snow Guard?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2016
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A snow guard is a device placed on a roof in order to prevent large amounts of frozen matter from sliding off it, causing structural damage or bodily harm. It may consist of a flat panel to which a raised edge is attached, or it could be constructed from pipe. This item is typically placed near the edge of the roof by using screws or an adhesive.

Plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum are some of the more common materials a snow guard might be made of. The type of product chosen can largely depend on the construction of the building and type of roof. It can also depend on the homeowner's preference. Plastic devices are normally translucent, while metal ones can sometimes be painted to match roof shingles if desired.

A tab-type snow guard usually has a small, flat panel on the bottom. This can be around four inches (10.16 cm) long and 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) wide. Some others might also be around three inches (7.62 cm) wide and 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) long. There is also normally a raised tab that is approximately 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) tall on each device.

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A snow guard pipe could resemble a tiny fence. It usually consists of two or three rows of metal bars that are spaced anywhere from .25 to .50 inches (.64 to 1.27 cm) apart. These pipes can allow small amounts of frozen matter to slide off at one time, which can alleviate the need to remove this substance manually.

Most of the time, a snow guard can be attached by using screws. This is true of both tab and pipe styles. In addition, some tab types can be put in place with the use of an adhesive. This is generally done on metal roofs rather than shingled ones. Several of these should be placed on either side of the roof, keeping each one spaced approximately one to two inches (2.54 to 5.08 cm) apart.

People who live in very cold climates may find that a great deal of snow accumulates on the roof of a home during the winter months. This precipitation can accumulate and sometimes slide off in heavy patches, which can break gutters. It might also cause injury or death to anyone standing below it. Snow guards can prevent this from occurring, and are generally inexpensive and easy to install. This can mean that purchasing these items might be a good idea for many homeowners.

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