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How to Manage Snow on a Slate, Metal or Tile Roofing System

Just a few weeks ago in the upper Midwest, we received over 12 inches of heavy snow in just one storm. It seems an appropriate time to share the important role of snow and ice guards in roofing systems where snowfall is an annual challenge.

Roofing materials such as slate, metal/copper, tile or synthetic materials will not absorb moisture as snow piles up, which leads to the danger of falling ice and snow. Sunlight, gravity and a warm attic will force the heavy snow off your roof in one dangerous event. Decks, sidewalks, landscaping, and other important property and areas of human traffic need protection from these dangers.

One important note: Snow and ice guards should not be installed on asphalt shingle low-slope roofs due to the risk of causing snow dams.

Snow and ice guards work by introducing barriers that impede the avalanche effect, preventing large amounts of snow from falling off the roof. They are installed in a pattern that best suits the roofing system, and will allow the snow to stay in place as it melts and gradually leaves the roof.

In the past, some property owners have complained that snow and ice guards are unappealing, however new materials and installation techniques allow for an unobtrusive and consistent look. Installed by a professional, they will not impact the integrity, appearance, or warranty of your roof. Contact us if you would like more information on whether your roofing system and surroundings will benefit from snow guards. Tis the season!

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