Reasons for Snow Guards on Metal Roofs

For homeowners in regions prone to heavy snowfalls, the architectural decisions they make can directly impact the safety and energy efficiency of their homes. One of the crucial considerations in snowy locales like Coastal Maine is the choice of roofing material and added safety features.

One type that offers many advantages but also poses unique challenges in winter months is a metal roof, and adding snow breaks on it can be just the solution you’re looking for. In the text below, we’ll explore the details of adding snow guards to your metal roof for an added layer of protection.

Do I need snow guards on my roof?

Winter in Maine can bring about rapid successions of snowstorms, and the constantly fluctuating temperatures lead to snow melting and refreezing in cycles. All of this can cause build-ups of snow and ice which, upon melting, can cause problems as they slide off your metal roof. Avalanches of snow and ice sliding off can be anything from disruptive to downright dangerous, but there is a solution. Let’s explore it below.

Advantages of metal roofs

Metal roofs not only shed snow more efficiently than asphalt ones but also boast a range of other benefits. These advantages include durability, low maintenance requirements, and fire resistance. Additionally, they are an environmentally friendly option, as they demand less frequent replacements and are made of recyclable materials. Still, the mentioned phenomenon of snow and ice sliding from it is a common problem with such solutions in areas with prominent winters.

The snow guard solution

Snow guards, whether metal or plastic, are fixtures that protrude from the metal roof’s surface. Their primary function is to hold most of the snow and ice in place after it forms. As they melt, the water efficiently drains down the surface and into the home’s gutters while the un-melted portions remain securely on top. This not only mitigates injury risks but also contributes to the home’s energy efficiency. Several inches of snow can provide insulation between the home’s attic space and the chilly external air.

The importance of the feature

If you have a metal roof, ice stops are strongly recommended, particularly if you’re located in an area where avalanching could pose risks to underlying structures or individuals. If you’re opting for new roofing, adding this feature is a vital safety feature, but is also cost-effective. Some of the main reasons for using roof snow guards and metal roof snow breaks are:


OK, this one is a bit obvious, but individuals who own buildings with metal roofs and live in an area prone to heavy snowfall should definitely be the first ones to consider installing any a snow guard system for their property. Snow retention systems, meaning guards for metal roofs, will ensure your property doesn’t become a liability to passers-by, which is what brings us to our next point.


First of all, safety is paramount, especially if you own any type of commercial property locate on a public street or road. With smooth metal roof surfaces, ice and snow can easily slide or fall down from your roof, which can spell injury for individuals passing underneath it at the moment.

Now, as low as the possibility of this actually happening is, it’s best to be prepared for any eventuality, including snowfall from your roof. Plus, you’re saving yourself from any potential liability.


Metal roof snow guards are also a vital component of your roof because they serve to protect it in case of heavy snowfalls. How? As heavy snow gathers on your roof over a period of time, the possibility of a snow avalanche increases.

If this occurs, it can cause a wide range of different types of damage to your property, including:

  • Shattering your windows
  • Ripping off the gutters of your roof
  • Tearing away the siding off your property
  • Demolishing any existing vents
  • Flattening the seams of your metal roof
  • Infiltrating the roof membrane while allowing the water to penetrate the panes, thus exposing different components to corrosion
  • Causing dents and breaks in your metal roofing

This is why it’s a good idea to install snow guards for metal roofs and ensure all the segments of your property are fully protected from snow, especially if you live in an area with the potential for heavy snowfalls, such as Coastal Maine.

Maintenance costs

Finally, but not least importantly, a snow retention system, be it pad style snow guards, fence style snow guards, or another type of roof snow guard, reduces the overall maintenance costs for your roof’s metal panels.

By reducing the general wear and tear stemming from different types of snow retention on your standing seam metal roof, installing snow guards of any variety, including bar style snow guards, you’ll experience significantly lower costs for maintenance.

Snow avalanches will no longer be a dreaded occurrence, since you’ll experience reduced snow movement and lowered potential for a roof avalanche that could cause damage to your property’s structural integrity. All this means lower repair costs, as well as significantly necessity of roof replacement.

DIY vs. professional installation

For seasoned professionals, the installation of these barriers is a straightforward process, often completed within a day. While some homeowners might think about a DIY approach, it may not be the best choice. Homeowners rarely possess the proper safety equipment for such tasks, not to mention experience and expertise. Proper installation technique is essential to ensure these guards remain in place and do not cause leaks.

Who in the area is known to professionally install snow breakers for metal roofs?

For over 20 years, Horch Roofing has been Maine’s reliable expert for roofing or gutter replacement and repairs. We proudly serve communities throughout Maine from our offices in Warren and South Portland. Whether you’re located in southern, central, or northern Maine, we’re your local roofing solution. Whether you have a minor repair for our Dispatch Crew, experience a roof failure in the middle of winter, or want to install seamless gutters on your metal roof, we’re the experts here to help.

However, that’s not all. We’re here to provide a selection of different style snow guard systems, including a bar style snow guard, split rail fence, and many others suitable for different metal roof profiles. Our best snow guards for metal roofs maximize snow retention and ensure your roof surface is safe from unwanted wear and tear.

What’s more, Horch Roofing specializes in repairing and installing various roofing types, including metal, asphalt shingle, and EPDM rubber roofing, as well as seamless gutters for both residential and commercial projects. To receive a free estimate for your roof replacement, you can fill out our online form or call our experts at 207-273-1111.