Can I install snow guards just over my doors?

Snow guards installed only over doorway on DaVinci Slate

This homeowner opted to install snow guards over the doorway on this roof. The layout on this particular job isn't enough to hold the snow on a product as slippery as DaVinci slate.  However, on many homes, snow guards can be placed just over critical areas.

A lot of building owners want snow held on the roof over entry doors and garage doors but they aren't concerned about the rest of the eave.  And why not?  the area over doors are the critical areas where snow that falls off the roof causes the biggest problems and covering the entire eave may cost quite a lot. For many homes, it may be fine to protect portions of eaves while not protecting the entire eave.

To be clear, in areas where snow accumulates over the course of the winter and where ice dams are a common occurrence, protecting just a portion of an eave is a bad idea.  The reason is simple.  In these areas, the load on the snow guard is greater and the snow guards placed at each end of a pattern will bear a much greater load than those in the middle of a pattern.  When the snow and ice let loose on the unprotected areas, the snow guards on the end can be damaged or torn off the roof.  In addition, on steeper slopes - 6/12 or greater, the snow movement from areas not stabilized by snow guards can trigger snow to cascade over the areas protected by snow guards.

Assuming a slope lower than 6/12 and if your home is in an area where snow falls on occasion but not regularly and doesn't accumulate from snow storm to snow storm, installing snow guards over critical areas alone will probably work fine.

This holds true for all types of roofs.  Natural slate, shake, metal and synthetic roofs.

If you are unsure about your particular situation, please contact us at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards.  We are experts in snow retention and we can recommend the best, most cost-effective pattern of snow guards or snow fence layout to solve your particular snow slide issues.

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