Seam Mounted Snow Guard Pitfalls

By Brion P. McMullen, Bio

We are often asked about seam-mounted snow guards and our opinion on their effectiveness.  These are individual pad style guards that mechanically fasten to standing seams with set screws.  They can be made of polycarbonate, aluminum, steel, or cheaper die cast versions as well. While they initially seem like a great option due to simplicity and ease of installation, they have some serious drawbacks.

We have tested and observed these types of devices for decades and will never sell or recommend them.  We have been called upon to replace countless snow guard systems, many of which have been the seam mounted style.  Field testing has proven that these guards are very ineffective at preventing snow and ice from sliding down roofs and can possibly damage the seams if impacted hard enough.

Pic of Seam Mounted Snow Guard Damage

Seams Damaged by Sliding Ice and Snow

Snow and ice settles to the lowest part of the panel called the pan.  The most effective method of holding the snow and ice in place is to mount the snow guards in the center of the pan.  If mounted on the seams, the snow and ice is free to simply slide under the face of the guards and off the roof.  Another common problem occurs when a load is placed on one side or the other of a seam mounted guard.  This forces the base to twist and transfer this load to the actual seam.  This has resulted in bent seams, dislodged guards, and uncontrolled snow slides.

Pic of Gutter Damage With Seam Mounted Snow Guards

Gutter Damage With Seam Mounted Snow Guards

If you are looking for a professionally designed snow retention system…then you should call us at 800.SNOJAX.1.  We will create a free custom layout, drawing, and parts list for your project at www.SpacingTool.com.  All of our products are proudly designed, tested, and Made in the USA.

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