Even though ice and snow are natural phenomenon, homeowners are liable for any injury that happens to people who are hurt by ice and snow that fall from their roof. Over the last few years the demand for snow guards has soared because of the increase in damage from falling snow. Homeowners are more concerned than ever about potential injuries that can occur around walkways and entrances. As a homeowner, you need to take the time to determine if you need a full snow guard system to limit damages to your home and your potential liability.
The first thing that you have to know is how much snow you expect to get from year to year, and how long that snow sticks. If you get a lot of snowfall, and it melts quickly, then snow guards should be a high concern for you; however, if you have high levels of snow and it accumulates over a long period of time, your risk is still something that snow guards will help you eliminate. One of the best ways to find out if you need snow guards is to look at the homes around yours or ask roofers in the area if they have done many snow guard installations recently.
The next thing that you need to look at is what you already have in place to keep the snow away from high traffic areas. In many places gutters are enough to keep walkways and entrances safe from falling snow, so the expense of a snow guard system is not worth it. You may even already have a snow guard system, but that system may need to be updated. Older snow guards were made in an “L” shape, but that shape has been proven less effective than the more modern triangular shape.
If your homeowners’ insurance policy cover accidents or damage covered by falling ice and snow, then getting a snow guard system in place does not have to be the highest priority. Know that if you have to make a claim on your insurance, your rates will go up and you run the risk of having the policy cancelled, whereas if you have a snow guard system installed you might even see a reduction of your monthly insurance payments. Consult with your insurance company before you have a snow guard system installed to see what kind of benefits you can get through the insurance company.
Ice and snow are dangerous, especially if you do not have any kind of safeguards on your roof to limit the speed at which the ice and snow fall. Snow guards can give you some extra protection and keep you from costly lawsuits if someone gets hurt on your property.