Do I need to remove excess snow even though I have snow guards?

Heavy snow caused the collapse of this building in Alaska

This is a question we seem to get a lot, especially in especially snowy years (for some parts on the country) like this one! When installed correctly, snow guards and snow fencing provide significant protection from what we here at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards like to refer to as " a catastrophic release". That is, they keep the snow and ice up on your roof protecting people and property below from injury and destruction. While this is one of the most important considerations when installing a new roof in snow country, it is also important to consider the added weight the retained snow will put on your existing structure. While adding snow retention will NOT cause your building to collapse, it is a good idea to be aware. Snow retention products are actually your first line of defense in protection of people, pets and property. Snow removal actions are a maintenance precaution. 

Most structures built in snow country have been engineered to support the snow loads expected for the area.  Some, especially buildings many years ago, may not have been built to today's standards. Additionally, over time structures change.  Fasteners may become loose and some structural elements may become weakened.  So it might be a good idea to have some of the burden removed from your roof in heavy snow years.

It is always important to make sure the snow removal crew is aware that snow guards are installed on the roof and that they are careful not to damage the snow guards when they are removing snow on the roof.  It is always best to hire professional roofers to remove snow and ice from your roof.  These crews will take the care necessary so your snow retention and roof are not damaged by the removal of snow and ice dams.

For any additional information, please feel free to contact us here at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards.

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