New call-to-action
Metal Roofing Contractors Blog

Helpful information for contractors, distributors, architects, and building professionals using metal products

Blog Home

Posted by McElroy Metal ● Feb 17, 2022 1:00 PM

The 3 Biggest Problems Contractors Need to Solve When It Comes to Snow Guards on Metal Roofing

When it comes to snow guard installation, every contractor wants to get the system right the first time to avoid callbacks. Contractors need simple-to-install snow guard systems that provide the necessary holding strength when harsh weather strikes and snow collects on the roof.  

So we talked to the experts at S-5! about the three key things a contractor should look for when considering a metal roof snow guard system.

Kids_Castle Medallion-Lok S-5 ColorGard

#1 Design: Snow guard placement

A common question is with regard to placement. Should snow guards go at the eave or at the bearing wall? 

The idea that snow guards must be placed above the bearing wall is a mistaken assumption. Overhangs of roof structures are designed to hold the design roof snow loads. 

Placing snow guards near the eave is perfectly acceptable. In fact, close to the eave is the best place to install snow guards. 

Otherwise – if they are located over the bearing wall – any snow buildup along the length of your customer’s roof below the snow guard could release all at once.

Snow compacts from its own weight and resulting downslope forces build the greatest compressive strength near the eave. This dynamic makes the optimal location to install your snow guards in that area—about six inches from the eave. 

Watch this video to see how the forces of snow compress toward the eave. 

If you need professional assistance in the design of your snow guard system, S-5! offers an online snow guard calculator. S-5!’s snow guard calculator will even give you a bill of materials (BOM).  

#2 Liability   

The last thing any contractor wants is a customer threatening legal action because the system failed.

Source your attachments from a company that offers practical warranties for their snow guard systems and makes that information clear and easy to find. 

When you use S-5! ColorGard and X-Gard, the company offers a warranty option with an on-site inspection at the time of installation to prove it was correctly installed, which limits the contractor’s liability.

S-5! is McElroy Metal’s preferred partner for snow retention products because we know the products are engineered and tested to perform as specified. In addition, on standing seam roof panels, S-5! clamps are attached to standing seams, which means the snow guards are attached without penetrating the roof systems. Also, the snow retention attachment is not reliant on problematic glues that often fail and can damage roof panels. The image below demonstrates a failure of glue-on snow retention devices.


#3 Ease of Installation

Looking for the easiest and fastest installation on a tested and trusted product? 

S-5! ColorGard is simple to install and perfectly suited to hold back snow loads on residential and commercial metal roofing applications. 

And if your customers want their snow guard system to seamlessly blend into their metal roofs, they can make ColorGard match the roof’s exact color. 

See how easy it is to install this system on a residential roof through this video, or watch an on-demand webinar.

About S-5!®

S-5! zero-penetration clamps attach ancillary items to standing seam metal roofs without violating the integrity of the roof or the roof’s warranties. The clamps mount snow-retention and wind-performance systems, solar arrays, signs/banners, light fixtures, gas piping, stack/flue bracing, walkways, HVAC, lightning protection, equipment screens, conduit, condensate lines, and more. Click here to learn more.

Share your project photos and videos. Get Started.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Metal Roofing, Accessories

Comments on this article:

Scroll down to the bottom to submit a comment and join the conversation. Need help or have a question? Please contact us.

Download Post Frame Buildings: What's Better, a National or Regional Metal Panel Manufacturer
Recognize a McElroy Metal Employee We love our VIPs! GET STARTED