Basics of Snow Guard Layouts

By Brion P. McMullen, Bio

Ever since the invention of metal roof panels, the industry has struggled to develop ways to control the damage and liability from sliding snow and ice.  The paint finishes on today’s metal roof panels are slicker than ever.  This makes metal panels awesome at shedding dirt, but makes them even more susceptible to avalanche after snow accumulation.  After 25 years of designing professional layouts, we finally released our calculations to the public when we launched

Without a proper snow guard layout, the strongest snow guard in the world is worthless.  With, anyone can input their roof dimensions, pitch, and ground snow load.  The system will offer the option of 3 attachment types including adhesive, screws, or a seam clamp mounted bar system.  After all the options are selected, the best layout is calculated and a line drawing is created that shows the optimal row spacing and product totals required to complete the project.

Spacing Layout

Go to for Snow Guard Spacing

The layouts may seem unusual at first, but here are some basic guidelines that we use for our calculations.

1. The overall strategy of snow guard placement is to start with American made, high quality snow guards that have a forward mounted face.

2. We want to hold the snow and ice in place, (where it originally landed), not just try to “catch” it before it avalanches over the eave.  Nearly all failed snow guard layouts have just one or two rows and they are all down at the eave.  This typical amateur snow guard layout has a high failure rate because it attempts to “catch” sliding snow and ice, instead of holding it where it landed.  By the time things start to slide, it’s game over.

3. Our final layout is determined by several factors including holding strength and dimensions of the snow guard selected, roof pitch, panel style and width, ground snow load, and roof dimensions.  If any of these factors change, the layout can change considerably.

4. Rows are to be installed in a staggered pattern, never in straight lines with the exception of our SnowBreaker product which are designed to only break up the snow and ice.  Snow guards installed in staggered rows have a significantly less chance of failure, the staggered pattern helps the snow and ice field coagulate to prevent the movement of snow and ice.

5. Our snow guard products are designed to evenly distribute the load across the roof structure with multiple staggered rows.  Roofs are designed to hold the snow load, but are not designed to withstand uneven loads concentrated at the eaves.

Snow Guard Layout

Sample Snow Guard Spacing Layout

6. If you follow our layout, our snow guards will last the life of the roof or we will replace them for free!

*Never buy a product that hasn’t been professional and independently tested.  Don’t buy from companies that don’t warranty their products for the life of your roof.  Don’t support China’s economy, buy products Made in the USA.

Visit and get your free layout.  Call us with any questions at 717.697.1900.

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5 thoughts on “Basics of Snow Guard Layouts

  1. Dustin Dalgety

    You’re an excessively skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to learning more about your snow guard products.
    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  2. Tiara Rignall

    After reading this, I wonder how many people in my neighborhood don’t have their snow guards installed correctly.

  3. Emerson Murch

    Most of the houses around me only use 1 row of snow guards. I guess that explains why they keep ending up in their yards. I’m going to check out your spacing tool. Hopefully that will help me out.

  4. Fatima Dalgleish

    I’m glad that I did some research early about snow guards. I didn’t know that they should be installed in the summer. I need to order soon.


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