This is Why We Recommend Specific Snow Guard Layouts

Alpine SnowGuards provides many recommended snow guard layouts daily for projects, big and small, all across North America and beyond. Sign up for our Online Project Calculator to receive recommendations and pricing specific to your projects.

First Row of Snow Guards

Install above Outer Wall or Outermost Roof Support

Our snow guard layouts always start with installing first row of snow guards above outer wall or outermost roof support.

Here’s why:

The construction or design of the overhang may not support a snow load on this unsupported area of the roof.

Roof Snow Load Defined

Roof snow load, defined as the weight of snow on the roof surface, used in design of the building structure. Multiple factors determine roof snow load, including:

  • Ground snow load value
  • Importance, occupancy, and use of the building
  • Wind exposure of roof
  • Roof slope, roof shape and roof protrusions/obstructions
  • Thermal condition of the building

Snow Guard Layouts for Areas Prone to Ice-Damming

Install snow management systems above roof areas on buildings that have problems with ice-damming. The unheated overhang is where ice tends to accumulate. Holding snow and ice on this part of the roof will only compound your ice-damming issues.

Ice dams create several problems. First, they prevent snow from sliding off the roof. Snow and ice accumulation at the eave create an undesirable and unbalanced snow loading condition. A second, and potentially larger, problem that may arise from ice dams is water infiltration into the building interior.

Plan to consult with an architect or engineer if you choose to place snow management systems above your overhang.

Install snow guards 12 to 14 inches up from the eave edge when there is no overhang present.

Recommended Snow Guard Layouts for Isolated Areas

It’s important to note that as a practice, Alpine SnowGuards will provide a recommended layout for isolated areas. However, we will not warranty these areas without written approval from your structural engineer.

We do not recommend installing snow guards just above doorways or on portions of an eave. Snow builds up behind an obstruction at an approximately 45-degree (or greater) angle, out from the obstruction. That additional weight on the snow guard (or other roof protrusions, like vent pipes) will often overload the system. Take into account additional weight of accumulated snow during initial layout of the snow guard system.

Generally speaking, the additional weight on a protrusion or obstruction is double the normal snow load. Account for even more weight if the section is near a valley, a drifting condition or is subject to ice accumulation.

We hope this overview helps determine what you need for your next snow guard project. And don’t forget – our Online Project Calculator has gone through two exciting phases of upgrades.  Check it out, enter your project-specific info, and enjoy an immediate layout and project pricing.

Questions? Ask away – that’s what we’re here for!


We keep snow in its place 


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Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do.