A question we see from time to time here at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards involves customers that have had snow guards installed and are still having issues with the snow coming off of their roof. A pesky issue for sure. There are a few things you need to consider if this is a problem you are experiencing.
The first question to ask- Was your snow retention system designed by an engineer or snow retention design professional? A lot of times we see a few snow guards scattered at the eave that were installed by the contractor at the time of the roofing installation. Unfortunately, this was a way for the contractor to give the appearance that the situation had been addressed. Other times, the homeowner themselves was interested in a “less obtrusive” look. If this is the case, chances are very good that your system was under-engineered and it is wise to contact one of our design professionals to give you a full layout on your project. We guarantee our designs so that if there is any issue it will be addressed and resolved immediately.
Another reason your system may not be functioning as intended is the type of snow/type of snow guard you have installed. It is well known (in our circle at least) that certain engineered configurations of snow guards alone on many of the more slippery products (synthetics, metals, etc.) do not adequately hold 1-2” of heavy, wet snow, like that seen in the fall or late spring. The snow just slides around them and comes off in “dribs and drabs” so to say. Snow guards work best when an actual snow pack can be established and can settle over the snow guards. The good news is that while this can be a nuisance, it will probably not cause any damage to the people or property below (Really, really small dogs and guinea pigs excluded). If this is an issue, there is a solution with the installation of a snow fence with ice screens over these areas of concern or installing taller snow guards (like our RG series) in soldier rows that act like mini snow fences.
It is also a good idea to verify that your snow guards were installed correctly on the roof using either a construction grade adhesive (in very low snow load and low roof pitch areas) or mechanically fastened using screws (99% of installations require mechanically fastening the guards). If your snow guards are laying around on the ground after a storm, there is a good chance they were not installed using the correct method or were simply placed on your roof (this happened once….).
At any time during your process, and if it seems as if your system was designed professionally and the conditions warranted the guards working properly, please do not hesitate to contact us with photos and information about your project. We would be happy to decipher the cause of your system issue and offer a viable solution.
Below: 10” of wet snow, May 2017, 12/12 pitch. Soldier rows work like a dream! Nothing came off the roof.