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Unit #1, 582 Rivermede Rd., Vaughan, ON L4K 2H4

Polycarbonate / plastic snow guards

In this article we will dwell upon polycarbonate snow guards known also as plastic snow guards. A lot of people consider them as a quick and small budget solution.

True, the price for plastic snow holders is much lower than that for traditional metal ones. They are lightweight and transparent and in appearance and quality resemble Plexiglas: they are promised to have the same frost and scratch resistance. The best thing about them however is that they can be glued onto the roof surface without making holes. Easy!

Polycarbonate / plastic snow guards


  • Cheap and easy to install

That is where the benefits of the plastic snow guards end. According to our customers, the polycarbonate devices cannot withstand even the low snow load, they can be drawn away, rip off part of the roofing material or begin to decay under the sun.


  • Unreliable

These inexpensive holders are comparatively new on the construction market. The polycarbonate devices are indeed cheap and easy to install. The stoppers are made from transparent plastic and can be attached to the roof with special glue to the roof top.

However little effort does not always mean a high payoff. The problem with polycarbonate snow guards is that they creep down because the rooftop was hot, cold, dirty or wet during installation process. In addition one should bear in mind that typically the adhesive sealant requires 4 weeks to cure completely or sometimes longer if temperatures are lower than 10 °C (50 °F). So this is a good idea to install such snow retainers ahead of the cold season. Otherwise the snow will simply break down the mechanism and slide down in avalanche.

Also remember that some adhesive products contain toxic VOCs and other chemicals including Heptane and Toluene. Make sure you have read the manufacturer’s use layout.

Another downside is that because of their small size the polycarbonate stoppers are unable to hold even minimal amount of snow. Customers have complained on previously installed plastic mechanisms and asked us to install regular tubular holders. The latter do not require any specific weather conditions or drilling holes in your roof. Our stoppers are secured to the roof with the brackets that allow the insertion of a hot zinc coated steel tubular element with 25 mm diameter. The system is completed with the central ice-breaking element fixed in the center of each tubular element.

Below you can see pictures where tubular snow guard were installed OVER the polycarbonate and plastic snow stoppers. It is a regular case, because customers become disappointed with the plastic snow stoppers failing to hold snow load and thus putting the property and pedestrians at peril.

Tubular and plastic snow guards
Tubular and plastic snow guards

The steel snow barriers are extremely durable; they fit any kind of steel roofing as well as asphalt shingle, wood shake and synthetic slate roofs. Good news for all the aesthetes out there: our snow brackets come in authentically designed variants to complement any type of roof.

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