Snow Guards FAQ

Snow Guards Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Why do I need snow guards or snow fences?

    • Snow guards and snow fences 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. Snow guards or snow fences are critical above areas of pedestrian traffic, above expensive landscaping projects, decks, driveways, hot tubs, and any other place significant damage to people or property may occur if snow slides off of the roof in an avalanche.

  • 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 pattern is designed to create enough friction between the roof surface and the snow/ice sheet to keep the accumulated snow and ice on the roof. Snow guards are suitable for application on virtually any roofing material. A snow fence on the other hand, is a physical barrier designed to hold snow at or near the eave of the roof. Snow fences are attached to the roof with bolts that attach to the roof structure below, or the brackets are attached via a clamping mechanism to the seam of a standing seam roof. In some locations and in places of high concern, a combination of snow fencing and snow guards may be necessary.
  • How can I customize my system so it matches my roof?

    • We stock various colors of snow guards. If you have a specific color you would like to match, we offer long lasting powder coating in hundreds of colors. All snow fence products are mill finish aluminum and stainless steel. These systems can be powder coated or painted to the owner’s preference. Many of our customers do not apply any coatings to our snow fence products since they will not rust in a normal rooftop environment.
  • How do I know what snow guard or snow fence I need?

    • Snow guard and snow fence systems are designed on a job-by-job basis. It is difficult to determine exactly what will work 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.
  • I’ve seen taller snow guards. Why aren’t Rocky Mountain Snow Guards taller?

    • On most roof pitches, snow slides at the surface of the roof. That’s why the the SnowTrapper snow guard design has been so successful here in Colorado. The SnowTrapper snow guard has a wide base – low profile design that maximizes the hold at the roof surface. Think of it this way: Would a #2 pencil hold the snow on a roof better if it were attached horizontally across the roof, or would it hold more snow back if it was attached standing straight up vertically? Of course the pencil laying across the roof would hold back more snow. When a pattern of our Snow Trapper Snow Guards is installed to hold the snow slab in place, it won’t slide. The thin strap also minimizes the lift of the roofing material above the snow guard and maintains the aesthetic value of your roof.
  • 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 here: and is caused by cooling at the eave of the roof that forms that ice block. Ice dams are not caused by nor alleviated by snow guards or snow fences. Ice dams can be reduced through the use of heat tape, or by adding insulation to the attic area.
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