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Solar panels are an excellent investment, but snow buildup can be a real bummer. Not only does it reduce the efficiency of your system, but too much snow on your panels can also cause dangerous snow slides because the glass is slippery.
That’s why you need to install solar panel snow guards – they’ll prevent heavy, wet snow from sliding off your roof and hurting someone or damaging your property.
Guards also hold the snow in place so it can gradually melt off, allowing you to get the most out of your solar energy system without worrying about large chunks of snow suddenly sliding down and causing trouble. Investing in snow guards is a small price for safety.
Snow melts faster on solar panels than on regular roofing due to heating from the sun. Snow guards are needed to keep the snow in place and prevent large chunks of wet, heavy snow from sliding off your panels unexpectedly. Wet snow weighs over 9 pounds per square foot. You can imagine how quickly this adds up and the damage it can cause.
You may need multiple snow guards depending on the size of your roof and the amount of snowfall in your area. For example, a clamp-on guard is an easy way to prevent small amounts of snow from sliding off, while a more extensive fence system works for more severe conditions.
If your guards are too small, snow and ice can slide right over them and cause damage, so be sure to get an adequate size for your roof.
In addition to injuring people, falling snow can damage cars, break windows, destroy gutters, block doors, break fences, damage trees, or cover drains. This avalanche can be a costly problem, and it’s better to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Solar panel snow guards are an easy solution – they hold the snow in place until it melts, allowing you to get maximum use out of your solar panels without risking dangerous or expensive property damage.
What Are the Different Types of Snow Guards?
You can purchase two general types of snow guards: snow fences and clamp-on guards. While both types of guards are great for preventing snow slides, you should consider the slope angle and type of roofing material when deciding which one is best for your home. You can also contact a professional to help you choose the right product.
Snow fences are separate from the panel and are usually metal. They’re mounted to the roof and block snow buildup from sliding down, creating a safe barrier that allows the snow to melt off slowly in smaller chunks. Snow fences need room for snow to collect, so you must provide at least a foot of space between the bottom of the panels and the fence.
Examples of Snow Fences
The Snow Fence from Rocky Mountain Snow Guards is the best-selling snow fence on the market. It’s made of durable, powder-coated aluminum and has a sleek design that blends in with any style of roofing material. The Snow Fence is UV resistant and works with metal, composite, asphalt shingle, cedar shake, or slate roofs.
Clamp-on guards are usually attached at the edges of solar panels or in between panels. These guards keep snow on the panels to melt and allow small amounts of snow to melt off the roof slowly.
Guards that let the snow melt on the panels will impact the ability of the panels to harness energy. These units are for panels on steep inclines, but they may need to be stronger to withstand snow slides if a significant amount of snow accumulates.
Examples of Clamp-On Guards
- Solar SnowMax from Alpine guards blend in with the panels and can support 50 pounds of snow per square foot.
- Solar SnowPad from Alpine is a small guard that sits between panels, allowing snow to melt off the glass slowly.
- SnoBlox SnowBreaker is a guard that makes snow and ice break up into small chunks before melting off the roof, reducing the risk of damage from snow slides.
- ColorGuard from S-5! comes in colors that match your roof fixtures to prevent the guards from being an eyesore.
What Do I Need To Know About Snow Guards?
When installing snow guards, it’s essential to consider the type of roofing material used. For instance, metal roofs are typically more challenging to install than asphalt shingles. It’s also crucial to ensure that your chosen snow guard can handle the weight and force your roof can bear in the event of a heavy snowfall or ice storm.
It’s also crucial to position the snow guards correctly when installing them on your roof. You should ensure that the snow guards are placed near enough to the edge of your roof to be effective but far enough away from it that they won’t interfere with regular maintenance or repair procedures.
Additionally, ensure that the snow guards are appropriately secured so that they don’t come loose and cause further damage to your roof.
Finally, it’s a good idea to clean your snow guards regularly to keep them functioning optimally by using mild detergent and warm water. Rinse the snow guards thoroughly afterward so that you can clear away any dirt or debris. This cleaning will help them maintain their effectiveness in keeping your roof and its solar panels safe from harm.
Snow guards reduce rooftop water runoff by protecting your solar panels from snow and ice accumulation because they create an obstacle for the snow and slow its melting process. This feature can help protect your roof from water damage and leakage.
Snow guards can also help reduce the amount of debris that accumulates on rooftop surfaces, which can be beneficial for keeping your solar panel system clean and efficient.
It is important to remember that snow guards are not a replacement for regular maintenance and repairs. To keep your solar panels working at their best, you must ensure that they are regularly inspected and cleaned.
It is vital to make sure that all of the components of your snow guard system are secure and functioning correctly. With the correct maintenance and upkeep, snow guards can help protect your solar panels from unwanted damage caused by snow or ice accumulation.
What Are Some Problems With Snow Guards?
One concern when using snow guards is that they will cast shadows on solar panels and reduce the system’s efficiency.
To avoid this, choosing snow guards explicitly designed for solar panels is crucial. Solar-specific snow guards should be as unobtrusive and unnoticeable as possible while providing the necessary protection from dangerous snow slides. The minor shading caused by snow guards is worth it for the added safety.
If you have snow on your solar panels but not enough to cause a dangerous slide, the melting snow will clean the panels as it slides off, so moderate snowfall can benefit your solar system. Otherwise, consult a professional and choose the proper snow guards for your panels.
You generally don’t need to worry about snow coverage reducing the amount of electricity generated by your solar panels. In summer, extra electricity goes back to the grid, and a well-designed system will account for this during the winter when there is less sun and more snow on the panels.
Solar panels perform better in cold weather because electronic devices are less efficient when overheating. Cold weather helps solar panels generate more electricity. So, don’t worry too much about snow coverage reducing your electricity output – snow guards will help to protect your system without sacrificing efficiency.
Snow guards for solar panels typically cost around $2 per foot, depending on the type and brand. It’s always better to be safe, so invest in a few snow guards to protect your home from potential disaster.
While it’s important to keep solar panels free of snow buildup, you don’t need to be overly concerned if snow is a light dusting. Investing in snow guards is a great way to be safe and still get the most out of your solar energy investment. You can keep your solar panels working efficiently and safely with careful planning.
Do you need snow guards for solar panels? Absolutely! Investing in quality solar panel snow guards is an easy way to ensure that your system can run effectively and safely all winter. You won’t have to worry about dangerous snow slides causing expensive property damage or injuring someone.
Snow guards for solar panels are a small but essential investment that can save you from costly damage or injury. When you install them, you’ll know that your panels are safe and efficient, no matter how much snow falls.
Doing this can help ensure that your investment in solar energy pays off. Snow guards are an inexpensive and easy way to maximize the potential of your system and protect your property from damage. Get them installed today.