Snow holders: functional features, installation on a metal roof

 Snow holders: functional features, installation on a metal roof

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The snowy winter not only brings joy in the form of fun snowball games and sledding, but also fraught with danger, since snow accumulated on the roof of a house can cause injury to people and pets, damage to car bodies and other troubles. Therefore, the installation of a snow retention system will be useful.

Snow holders: what is it

Snow holders are roof elements that serve to prevent the entire mass of snow from melting at the same time. They break the formation into small pieces and hold them. This allows the snow to come off in small layers or linger on the roof and then melt during a thaw.

Snow holders perform several functions at once

Do you need snow guards for a metal roof

Snow protectors are part of the metal roof security system. They are used for several reasons:

  1. Falling snow in a continuous layer can lead to irreparable consequences, and snow stops prevent this.
  2. Snow exerts a significant load on the roof, which cannot always withstand it, as a result of which the integrity of the coating is destroyed and leaks appear. Snow protectors distribute this load evenly over the roof surface.
  3. The metal tile is characterized by a high level of thermal conductivity, therefore, during the thaw period, it heats up very quickly, which means that the snow located on its surface begins to melt very quickly. At night, the roof surface freezes through, which leads to the formation of ice blocks. In this case, an avalanche-like melting of snow and ice can occur at any time. Snow retainers, on the other hand, contribute to the gradual descent of part of the snow and the natural melting of the rest.

Snow stops design

Snow holders for metal tiles can have several designs:

  1. Barrier systems are used in regions with low snow loads. At the same time, snow melt is excluded. A barrier-type snow retention system is more affordable and economical. It is represented by plate or corner elements, which are rigid barriers that prevent the convergence of snow layers. Their disadvantage is that the thickness of the snow, which they are able to hold back, depends on the height of the corner.

    Barrier snow stops have a simpler design, but less durable and reliable

  2. Through-type systems allow to reduce the energy of snow during falling by dividing the common layer into small parts This type of snow holders is more popular regardless of the region where the house is located.

    Through-type snow stop systems are more popular.

Advantages and disadvantages of using

Snow retainers as an additional element of the roof have more advantages than disadvantages. The main ones are:

  • distribution of snow load over the entire roof surface;
  • avalanche warning;
  • improving the appearance of the roof.

There is only one drawback, and it is directly related to the correct installation - leaks. They arise only due to the fact that the fasteners are of insufficient length or are not installed in the crate. If everything is done correctly, and the attachment points are additionally treated with a sealant, then the possibility of a leak will be completely excluded.

Snow guards are usually installed in several rows

Types of snow holders for metal tiles

Snow stops are also different in appearance.


Tubular snow holders are a prefabricated structure consisting of long metal pipes and support-brackets. It is preferable to use pipes made of aluminum or galvanized steel, while it is recommended to choose products with a polymer coating. The diameter of the pipes can be from 20 to 35 mm, the preferred wall thickness is 1.5 mm. The length of such snow holders is usually 3 m. They are installed on the second wave from the cornice.

Tubular snow stops are characterized by increased strength

Their advantage lies in the fact that they do an excellent job of preventing avalanche snow, while the pipe does not break or bend under its weight.

Lattice snow guard for metal tiles

A product of this type is a grille, which is made of a metal profile. This design, as well as the tubular stopper, is fixed on the metal roofing using brackets, between which the gratings are inserted.

A lattice snow guard divides the snow layer into small pieces

Snow holders-logs

Snow retainers-logs in their design resemble tubular ones. The only difference is in the material used to make them. In this case, small diameter solid logs are used, which are located between the supports.

A wooden snow guard can be a great roof decor


Corner snow guards are the most affordable and simple in design. They belong to the system with a barrier stopper. They are long metal strips bent in the form of a triangle. They are characterized by low strength. Their barrier ability is limited by their overall height. They also have another drawback - difficult installation due to the wavy profile. Therefore, for fixing it is necessary to use long screws, since the snow holders must be attached directly to the crate.

Corner snow guard is difficult to install on metal tiles

Snow-retaining yoke

Snow bars are point structures. They cannot fully detain the layer of snow, but only serve to distribute it evenly. Therefore, it is recommended to use them together with a snow grating. There are several types of snow bars:

  1. Metal horseshoes. They are a bent metal plate that repeats the radius of a standard wave of metal tiles. They are attached absolutely to any part of the roof. Their main advantage is their fastening and aesthetic appearance. To increase the reliability of fastening, the joints are recommended to be treated with a polyurethane sealant.

    Snow bars are usually used in conjunction with lattice stoppers

  2. Polycarbonate teeth. This is a completely new type of stopper. They have a special shape that allows them to be attached to the wave of metal tiles, which significantly increases their barrier function.

    Polycarbonate stoppers appeared on the construction market recently

How to choose snow guards for metal roofing

When choosing snow guards for metal roofing, the following factors must be taken into account:

  • power load, including snow;
  • angle of inclination of the roof;
  • future location of snow guards on the roof surface.

Calculation of snow holders for metal tiles

The number of snow guards depends on the geometry of the roof. For example, in those parts where significant snow accumulation is possible in the future, such elements are best placed in two levels.

Their number is also affected by the roof area. The larger it is, the more rows of snow holders there should be.

If the roof is large, then several rows of snow guards can be installed

It is recommended to calculate and select the design of snow holders at the roof design stage. This is due to the fact that in the places of their installation, reinforcement of the crate may be required.

You can calculate the required number of snow stops using SNiP This takes into account the following factors:

  1. Roof slope. If the slope has a slope of more than 15 degrees, this means that a large load will act on the snow guards. Therefore, it is recommended to choose tubular products that are characterized by increased strength.
  2. The type of roofing, in particular the features of the metal tile. Regardless of its type, you can use a universal mount. It is recommended to strengthen the lathing in the places where the snow guards are attached. If you use Monterrey metal tiles, the emphasis will be on the ledge, which means that reinforcement of the lathing is not required.
  3. Roofing material color. His choice depends entirely on the personal preferences of the owner. Most often, snow holders are chosen to match the shade of the roofing, but they can also be specially selected.
  4. Weather conditions of the region. In particular, it is necessary to study the maps of snow and wind loads, since the choice of the type of snow retainers directly depends on this. In regions with increased snow load, it is recommended to use tubular or lattice structures.

    It is recommended to choose the type of snow guards in accordance with the snow load in the region.

You can determine the number of rows of snow guards using special tables, which indicate the snow region, the angle of inclination of the slopes and the distance between the brackets. At the same time, it must be remembered that it is necessary to arrange the snow holders on the roof in such a way that they evenly distribute the load from the snow layer on themselves and on the rafter system.

Table: calculation of rows of snow holders

Roof inclination angle, deg.Snow regionIIIIIIIVVVIViiVIII
distance between brackets, mm80011008001100800110080011008001100800110080011008001100
less than 1537,727,425,218,316,812,212,69,19,46,97,55,56,34,65,43,9

Video: tips for choosing snow guards

Do-it-yourself installation of snow guards on a metal roof

The technology for installing snow guards depends on the type of their design.

Installation of snow barriers

Barrier-type snow guards are installed along the edge of the slope. The height of the elements depends on the area of ​​the snow cover. Installation takes place in the following order:

  1. Installation of the backing corner. Its fastening is carried out with large screws on every second wave to the crate.

    Long and short screws are used to attach the corner snow guard.

  2. Installation of the upper part of the snow guard. It must be positioned in such a way that it runs close to the ledge of the covering. Fixation is carried out with short screws for every second wave of metal tiles.

Video: do-it-yourself installation of snow-planks

Installation of a through-type snow guard system

Installation of through-type snow guards is carried out in several stages:

  1. Determination of the installation site. In the case of metal tiles, installation is carried out in the first or second wave from the cornice. You also need to make sure that the snow stops are located above the load-bearing wall, which will evenly distribute all the loads. They can be placed both along the perimeter of the roof, and only in the most problematic places.
  2. Fastening of supports. For this, hardware is used, 2 pieces for each support. It is necessary to ensure that the fasteners fall into the rafters or into the roof sheathing. If you ignore this rule, the tubular snow holders will not be able to withstand significant loads with a large snow convergence, which will lead to their convergence along with an avalanche.

    Brackets must be attached directly to the battens

  3. Installation of tubes. They are connected to each other to build the desired length. The joints are fixed with self-tapping screws. It is necessary to leave a distance of 15–20 cm from the extreme supports to the ends of the pipe, while the installation step should not be more than 70 cm.

    When attaching pipes, it is imperative to leave a protrusion of 15-20 cm

Video: DIY installation of a tubular snow holder

Possible mistakes

When installing snow guards with your own hands, you can make some mistakes, which can lead to serious consequences. The most common ones are:

  1. Breaking off the brackets. It is possible due to improper installation, for example, due to the fact that the self-tapping screw is screwed only into the cover, and not into the crate, or due to the fact that only one row of snow holders was installed on a long slope.
  2. Leakage. This problem occurs due to the lack of an EPDM spacer. But its service life is less than that of metal, therefore it is recommended to additionally process the attachment points with a sealant.
  3. Departure of fastening. It can occur due to the small removal of the snow-retaining element beyond the support. Because of this, even a slight lateral shift can cause the entire tube or grill to fly out of the mount. Therefore, these elements should protrude beyond the extreme support by at least 15–20 cm.

    Fasteners for snow guards must correspond to the loads

  4. Deformation of the supports. This type of damage occurs due to the absence of pipes or logs, since their design is designed only for loads in the direction of the slope. Also, the reason may be an insufficient number of fasteners or their short length.
  5. The snow retainers have not coped with their function. The main reason is their insufficient number or the installation of these elements according to a too rarefied scheme, due to which a stronger load is exerted on each of the supports. This can result in their deformation.

    Snow holders are deformed due to the fact that they do not withstand the load

It is recommended to install snow guards immediately after installing the roof covering. This will allow not only to increase the service life of the roof, but also to avoid other unpleasant consequences from the snow melting.

How to install snow guards

The roof of a house is a very complex structure. Various fixtures and fittings may be present here. One of the roof structures are snow holders. This is an optional but necessary element. The fact is that during a snowy winter, a lot of snow can accumulate on the roof, and if this mass suddenly disappears, it can cause a lot of trouble. In this article, we will show you how to install snow guards. Let's talk about their varieties and features.

What are they

In order to choose the right snow holders, you need to know what they are and what kind of load they are designed for.

Corner snow guard

Such a snowstop is also called lamellar. This is the cheapest and simplest design. It is a thin steel sheet (plate) bent at an acute angle. It is easy to make it with your own hands. Most likely, it will not withstand a large accumulation of frozen snow cover, but in those places where there is not much precipitation, it will do quite well. It can only be installed on metal tiles or corrugated board!

Corner snow holder. Photo from the site


For safety reasons, the system from the corners is often supplemented yokes - metal devices in the form of a triangle, which pointwise delay the descent of the snow mass and extinguish the speed of its movement. They are suitable not only for metal, but also for bituminous roofs.

Snow stops in the form of a triangle. Photo from the site

Snow cutter tooth

The so-called teeth - small size steel or plastic (polycarbonate) snow cutters. A large number of them are attached along the entire ramp in several rows.

Snow cutter tooth. Photo from the site

Snow guard lattice type

It resembles a decorative fence for lawns and garden plants. Passing through it, the snow mass breaks up into many small, non-hazardous parts and falls down, and what remains on the roof melts and flows into the drain. Due to its height of 10-20 cm and a reliable fastening method, the barrier is able to withstand a significant load and therefore is recommended for installation on slopes of a large area.

Lattice snow barrier. Photo from the site

Tubular snow holder

The efficiency and functionality of the tubular fixture is no worse. It consists of a set of tubes, two rows of which interconnect the bracket system with the mounting shelf. The wider the roof, the more sections need to be installed. The main advantage of the product is its versatility: like a lattice barrier, it can be used on any kind of roofing. The disadvantages include laborious installation, which can take a lot of time and effort.

Tubular snow holder. Photo from the site

What can be snow holders

Today, a number of companies produce different types of snow holders. First of all, they differ in shape and material from which they are made.

One snow guard is better for metal tiles, and the other is better for soft roofs. Therefore, before finally choosing a snow guard, it will be useful to know what they are, and for which cases they are the best choice. Before deciding what to cover the roof of the house, also think about what kind of snow guards you will be installing on it.

Schemes for mounting a snow guard bracket on a roof made of various materials:

a - metal tile, 6 - corrugated board, c - ceramic tile, d - composite tile, e - seam roof.


Calculation of metal roofing must be done very carefully.

  1. To calculate the required amount of material, you must first make a drawing of the roof. Of course, the roof must be measured beforehand.
  2. Then you should take the dimensions of the metal tiles and apply them to the roof surface in the drawing.
  3. When calculating, it is important to remember that the sheets also overlap each other.

Metal tiles are cut if necessary. But this is not a reason to take the first available set of modules.

Do-it-yourself snow holders on the roof: how to make different options - video

Due to limited financial resources, the owner often tries to build snow catchers with his own hands. All that is needed for this is the ability to think and work with your hands. Models are made that are similar in design to the factory ones, while each of them has its own characteristics. One easy way is to build a tubular barrier. For more details on the features of the product, see the video.

Tips from the pros

Advice from professionals will help you to correctly install the snow holders. With their help, snow catchers will perform assigned tasks for a long time and keep snow masses on the roof.

When operating snow barriers, the following guidelines should be observed:

  • If the region has long and snowy winters, then the most efficient snow catchers should be chosen.

If there are practically no avalanches in the climatic zone, then simpler designs can be considered. These include corner snow guards and barriers.

  • For heavy snowfalls, tubular devices should be purchased. Such a system can solve the problems associated with snow and icicles. They are also convenient during the discharge of snow masses to the roof surface.
  • It is necessary to clean from the adhered layer of ice and snow not only from the surface of the roofs, but also from the snow holders - a lot of ice is also deposited on them, which does not allow the snow to go off normally.

  • If installation is carried out on a valley roof, then care should be taken to install other elements in advance. A ridge must be placed before the snow catcher, which is considered the key element of the roof.
  • Care should be taken in advance to install the roof window into the tiles. This element must be mounted in front of the ridge. Illiterate installation or insufficient waterproofing can ruin the whole work.

The installation of roof windows should be carried out by specialists or people with experience in construction work.

  • In Western countries, houses are not allowed to be used if they do not have snow catchers on them. In Russia, the issue of safety is also monitored, so most home owners began to install snow barriers when equipping the roof. Experts recommend doing a one-time installation so as not to redo the roof in the future.

The choice of snow retention devices should be approached thoughtfully and responsibly, because this equipment does not spoil the appearance of the roof and is designed to protect human life and vehicles from falling icicles and snow masses.

You will learn more about how to install the snow holders in the following video.

Watch the video: Sno Shield Clamp on Rail Installation. Roof Things LLC