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The Importance of Snow Stops on Metal Roofs

Date: February 29, 2024

Metal roofs are known for their durability, making them popular in modern construction. However, when winter arrives and blankets your home in the snow, it's time to think about potential issues related to snow accumulation on your metal roof. The concern arises from the risk of ice blocks dislodging and falling, posing safety hazards for you and your property. Fortunately, there's an exact solution in the form of snow stops on metal roofs.

Recognizing the significance of installing snow stops on metal roofs is important for experiencing a winter season free from concerns. Here are some crucial details worth learning about these beneficial devices.

snow stops

What Are Snow Stops and Their Functions?

Snow stops, or snow guards, are safety devices that are installed on the roof to prevent large and unexpected snow slides. They are designed to regulate the release of accumulated snow, reducing the risk of injury and property damage caused by falling snow. Snow stops are typically installed on metal roofs to ensure that the snow does not slide off all at once. Here are some of the important functions of snow stops:

  • Enhance Safety: Preventing the abrupt release of accumulated snow reduces the risk of injury to people below and minimizes property damage caused by falling snow.
  • Protect Landscaping: Snow stops on metal roofs can safeguard landscaping, pathways, and structures around the building by preventing the impact of heavy snow loads.
  • Preserve Gutters: By controlling the descent of snow, snow stops prevent the potential damage to gutters, ensuring they remain intact and functional.
  • Prevent Ice Formation: Snow stops on metal roofs can aid in the controlled melting of snow, reducing the formation of ice dams on the roof, which can lead to water damage.
  • Extend Roof Lifespan: By minimizing the stress from sudden snow slides, snow stops contribute to the longevity of the roof, preventing structural damage and preserving its overall integrity.

Why Install Snow Stops on Metal Roofs?

Snow stops, or snow guards, are typically installed on metal roofs rather than asphalt roofs due to the difference in their friction characteristics. Being smooth and having minimal friction, metal roofs allow snow to slide off more easily. This can result in large chunks of snow falling from the roof all at once, posing a safety risk to people below and potentially causing damage.

snow stops

Do We Install Snow Stops on Asphalt Shingle Roofs?

The installation of snow stops on asphalt shingle roofs is generally less common. This is because asphalt shingle roofs naturally possess a textured and rough surface that increases friction. This texture aids in retaining snow, preventing it from sliding off abruptly. The inherent grip provided by the textured surface reduces the risk of sudden and heavy snow slides on asphalt shingle roofs.

How Much Does Snow Stop Cost?

The cost of snow stops can vary greatly depending on the material used. It's essential to balance your budget with the specific requirements of your roof and the climate in your area.

Plastic Snow Stops:

Typically, plastic options are more affordable and can be priced between $5 and $15. Although these budget-friendly choices are commonly used and can be appropriate for basic purposes, it's essential to keep in mind that the quality and durability of these cheaper alternatives may not be as high as the more expensive ones.

plastic snow stops on metal roofs

Metal Snow Stops:

Snow stops that are made from durable materials such as metal or specialized polymers are usually priced higher, often ranging from $20 to $50 or more. These premium snow stops often come with added features such as increased strength, better resistance to harsh weather conditions, and a longer lifespan.

What Are the Different Types and Styles of Snow Stops?

These are the common types and styles of snow stops that cater to various roof configurations and materials, providing effective solutions to manage snow and prevent potential hazards associated with uncontrolled snow slides. 

1. Pad-Style Snow Stops: These are square or rectangular pads installed in a staggered pattern on the roof surface to disrupt the flow of snow.

2. Pipe-Style Snow Stops: These are tubular or pipe-shaped devices attached parallel to the roof slope, providing barriers that impede snow movement.

3. Bar-Style Snow Stops: These are horizontal bars or rails mounted across the roof to break up snow accumulation and prevent large slides.

4. Fence-Style Snow Stops: These are small fence-like structures installed along the roof's edge to create a barrier against sliding snow.

5. Bracket-Mounted Snow Stops:  These are brackets attached to the roof to provide a mounting point for various types of snow stops. This style is versatile and compatible with different roofing materials.

6. Clamp-To-Seam Snow Stops: These clamps attach directly to metal roof seams, providing a secure mounting point for snow stops.

7. Adhesive-Mounted Snow Stops: These use adhesives for attachment, eliminating the need for screws or penetration of the roofing material.


The installation of snow stops on metal roofs is crucial for addressing safety concerns during winter. These devices not only prevent sudden snow slides, enhancing safety for people and property, but also protect landscaping, preserve gutters, prevent ice formation, and contribute to the roof's longevity. 

With various types and styles available, tailored to different roof configurations and budgets, choosing the right snow stops is an investment in the resilience and safety of your metal roof. Embracing these measures ensures a worry-free winter experience, mitigating risks and securing your property against potential hazards.

Furthermore, it's equally important to consult with roofing experts as these professionals can guide you in choosing the right type for your roofing needs and ensure proper installation, enhancing the effectiveness of these devices in safeguarding your property.

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