Snow Retention FAQ

Big snow retention at sunset

Why do I need snow retention?

Snow retention is a system designed to create friction or a barrier between a roof surface and snow/ice in the winter. Snow and ice will build up during the winter (or all at once in some areas of the country) and with the thaw and freeze cycles most areas see, the snow and ice will release, sometimes catastrophically (also known as an avalanche), onto the ground areas below. A snow retention system is critical above areas of pedestrian traffic, above expensive landscaping projects, decks, driveways, hot tubs, and any other place significant damage to people or property is apparent.

What is the difference between a snow guard and a snow fence?A snow guard is a pad-like profile made out of various materials depending on cost and roof type (plastic, aluminum, copper, etc.). The snow guard is designed to create friction between the roof surface and the snow/ice sheet. Snow guards are a suitable application on virtually and roofing material. A snow fence on the other hand, is an actual aluminum fence that comes in various heights and have a varying number of bars depending on the project/owners preferences. The snow fence is designed to be a strong barrier for the snow to hold against. In some locations and in places of high concern, a combination of snow fencing and snow guards are necessary.

How can I customize my system so it matches my roof?

We stock various colors of high demand in snow guards. If you have a specific color you would like to match, we have powder coaters that will create a custom and lasting product for you. Snow fences all come in mill aluminum and all parts are stainless or aluminum so they can either be powder coated for a lasting effect, or painted to the owner’s preference.

How do I know what system I need?

Snow retention is designed on a job-by-job basis. It is difficult to determine exactly what is necessary just by standing in the yard looking up. The best way to ensure you have an effective system that is engineered based on your roof type, location, and various other factors is to get in touch with us here at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards and let our professionals design the system for you free of charge and at no obligation to buy. Click on the request a quote link at the bottom of the page and answer the questions and we can get started with your estimate today.

Why are your snow guards so low profile?

The Snowtrapper Snow Guard that we specialize in has a wide-low profile that is a patented design and has been proven to not only provide exceptional hold but is also very attractive on the roof compared to some other snow guard options out there. The thin strap also ensures that the installed guard does not lift the roofing material above and maintains the aesthetic value of your roof.

What happens if my system fails?

If your system is engineered by a professional at Rocky Mountain Snow Guards and all information provided by the customer is correct and verified, the chance of a system failure is virtually none. In the event of a failure on an approved system we designed, we cover that with a 50 year warranty that you can read below. We cannot however warrant against a contractor or home owner engineered system that we only sold the product on. This is why it is important to allow us to design the system for your particular building.

What about that big chunk of ice I get at the edge of my roof every year?

That ice build up is actually called an "ice dam" (read more about Ice Dams on Wikipedia) and is caused by cooling at the eave of the roof that forms that ice block. This is a whole other area of concern and can be mitigated through the use of heat tape, installed by an electrician, and a snow retention system engineered by Rocky Mountain Snow Guards. Contact us for more information.

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