Snow can slide off any sloped composite roofs due to some of its characteristics whether it is tile, slate or metal roof. Most of composite roofing products have smooth surfaces and repel water. That means snow and ice have no grip as it might be with some other roofing coating products. When snow on the roof begins to melt from a warm attic underneath, the snow blanket on top may slide off the roof all at once. Sometimes this is an “avalanche” effect, which can be dangerous to people standing underneath and to valued landscaping.
Installing a pattern of snow guards or attaching snow fences near the eave can reduce or eliminate snow slides. Guards work by adding friction to the roof. Snow fences on the other hand, create a barrier to prevent snow movement. Snow guards are the preferred product for most areas while snow fences are used in very high snow areas like ski resorts.
Snow guards should be considered where accumulating snowfalls occur. Many roofs or parts of roofs may not need any snow guards at all. In fact, some structures are designed so that snow will slide off of the roof, reducing the stress on the structure. It all depends on what the snow may fall on as it slides off of the roof. If you’re installing composite roofing in a geographic area where there is regular snowfall, then snow guards should be strongly recommended to the homeowners. The placement of snow guards should be considered on roof areas where sliding snow might land on people or property. Decks, doorways, walkways and driveways are obvious examples of such areas.
There are many different types of snow guards. Look for guard with an attachment strap and be manufactured of long lasting and non-corrosive metals. The best types to use with composite roofing products are manufactured of copper, stainless steel or coated aluminum. Plastic snow guards, typically used on metal roofs, are not recommended for composite roofs. make sure that snow guards should be installed over the high traffic areas, such as over driveways, walks, dog runs, decks and other key ‘traffic’ locations.