Does My Illinois Roof Need Snow Guards?

Does My Illinois Roof Need Snow Guard

If your home has a steep-pitched roof, especially a metal roof, your property may be in danger of snow avalanches during our Central Illinois winters. A sudden snowslide may cause structural damage to your fascia or gutters—or worse, hurt anyone who passes under the roof edge.

Roof snow guards can solve the problem of snowslides and avalanches. At Sundown Exteriors, we install snow guards on roofs in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, and surrounding areas of Central Illinois. Call us at (309) 275-6801 today to get your roof ready for winter.

Who Needs Roof Snow Guards in Illinois?

Snow on roofs causes two main problems: snow accumulation, which may result in significant structural damage and leaks, and snow-slides, which may lead to property damage and endanger people and pets.

A snow retention system like a roof snow guard addresses the second issue by holding the snow in place and allowing it to melt and slide off gradually, rather than in a massive avalanche.

Your Central Illinois home may benefit from roof snow guards if:

  • You have a metal roof. Heavy snow on corrugated or standing seam metal roofs will almost certainly lead to an avalanche if there is nothing to prevent the snowslide. Our contractors will install snow guards on a metal roof to prevent major damage to your gutter system and any objects below the roof’s edge. A metal roof snow guard system also protects people or animals that pass where snow and ice may fall.
  • You have a very high-pitched shingle roof. While shingle roofs are less susceptible to snow avalanches, you may still experience a snow cascade if you live in an area that is prone to heavy snowfall and have a very steep-pitched shingle roof (usually above 6/12, or 26.57 degrees).
  • You’ve had problems with snow avalanches in the past. If you have already experienced snow cascades off your roof in previous winters, don’t wait—install roof snow guards as soon as possible.

Potential Problems With Roof Snow Guards

Potential Problems With Roof Snow Guards Ice Dam

With all the advantages of snow guards, they may cause problems on asphalt shingle roofs that tend to develop snow dams. Roof snow guards may contribute to snow dam buildup, which can cause major roof damage. If your roof is prone to snow or ice dams, get this issue resolved before installing snow guards.

Types of Snow Guard Systems

Most snow guard systems belong to either the snow bird or snow rail type.

  • Snow birds are individual metal devices that resemble a mushroom or seashell in shape. Typically between 2 and 3 inches tall, and spaced 6-12 inches apart, they face the roof’s peak with their wide side and catch portions of the snow as it slides down.
  • Snow rails act somewhat like snow fences by catching heavy snow drifts. Roof snow guards of this type run continuously across the roof’s surface.

Should You Install Snow Birds or Snow Rails?

Both snow birds and snow rails can help mitigate snow-slides, prevent gutter damage, and keep your property safe. Whether snow birds or snow rails are the optimal choice for you depends on several factors, including:

  • Roof size. On larger-sized roofs, especially commercial metal roofs, installing a continuous rail-type system usually makes more sense.
  • Performance. With strong clamps, snow rails may withstand heavier snow loads and retain more snow compared to snow birds. However, the staggered pattern of snow bird systems may be more effective in breaking up snow. Furthermore, if trees shadow your roof, falling branches and leaves may catch behind snow rails and require extra maintenance, while snow birds won’t usually accumulate debris.
  • Appearance. This is a purely subjective consideration—you may prefer the look of dispersed snow birds or of clean-lined, even snow rails.
  • Cost. For smaller residential roofs, snow birds are typically the most cost-effective choice, whereas snow rails may be easier and more affordable to install on larger roofs.

Roofing Professionals in Central Illinois

Is your roof ready to face any extreme weather, including heavy snow? Prepare for winter by scheduling a timely roof inspection by Sundown Exteriors and installing roof snow guards. Our roof experts serve Bloomington, Lincoln, Normal, Pontiac, and the surrounding areas.

Call us at (309) 275-6801 or contact us online for a no-obligation quote.