I get asked a lot, “Do snow guards cause ice dams?” The quick answer is no, snow guards do not cause ice dams. A snow guard, also known as ice guards, snow stops, snow cleats, pad style snow guards, and ice cleats hold snow and ice in place and keep it from building up in valleys and roof edges.
One of the main reasons for ice dams is that snow and ice melt during the day and then re-freeze before clearing the roof surface at night. Most often ice dams occur at the eave of the roof. The simple reason is that whatever heat source is melting the snow or ice on the roof is absent at or near the eave where cooler air circulates below causing run off to freeze under cold temperatures.
What snow guards do for an ice dam troubled roof is keep the snow and ice from piling up faster. If installed correctly Sno Shield Snow Guards will hold the snow and ice in place, giving the melted water a chance to escape the roof without the damming of snow chunks and ice. When snow guards are accompanied by a heat trace system, the roof has the best chance to function properly free of ice dams.
If you are asking yourself, “Do snow guards cause ice dams?” and want to be 100% sure you don’t get ice dams, consider this – Heat cable, commonly known as heat tape, alone will not solve your problem. Avalanching or sliding snow can wipe out a heat cable system along with the gutters and whatever surroundings are below the roof.
It is always best to ask a professional if ice damming is an issue and if snow guards, or another form of snow retention, will help protect your house or business. It may be that you only need Sno Shield Snow Guards or Sno Shield Sno Railing to prevent ice dams from occurring. If this is the case, we would be more than happy to offer you one of our quality snow retention systems. No matter what snow guard fits your project best, remember that Sno Shield will help you solve the problem, not just sell you snow guards for your roof. We’re here to help protect you and yours!