Once you have made the decision to make your home a safer place by installing snow guards to keep large sheets of snow and ice from falling to the ground, you have to make a decision about how you want the guards installed. Paying someone else to do the work frees you up to do other things, but it can be very costly, and most of the guards can be installed with tools that you may already have around your home. If you do decide to do the work yourself, you will need to do some calculations to determine how many guards you need.
General Roof Information
First you need to know some general information about your roof. These are numbers that you might be able to find in your mortgage paperwork or any other papers you have laying around from other work that you have had done on the roof. You need to know the length of the roof, in feet, as well as the width of the roof from eave to apex. In addition, you need to know the pitch of the roof, as that has a significant impact on the weight that the guards are expected to hold and the total number of guards that you will need.
Metal roofs do require an extra measurement, that of the spacing between the ribs all along the width of the roof. The wider the spacing is, the more guards you will need, as there will be fewer natural breaks along the roof to slow the slide of the ice and snow from the roof to the ground. Make sure that you get accurate measurements, especially if you have to order the guards, because if you do not have enough guards, your roof’s protection will be suspect.
Finally, you will need to do some research into the snow load for the area where you live. This number will be expressed in PSF (pounds per square foot), and there are several different places that you can find this information. The best thing to do is check with your city’s planning and zoning office to find out what the local requirements are, but there are online resources that can help you find your snow load as well. The greater the load, the more snow guards you will need, so, again, accuracy is key.
The installation of snow guards will help to protect your family and your property from harm when snow starts to fall, but you need to do some work to make sure that you have enough guards. Simple calculations and the right numbers are all that you need to get started.