Ice gaurds are installed close to the lower edge of your roof, just above the gutters, and are designed to hold snow and ice on your roof, to keep it from sliding off. The reason you want it to stay on there is so that it can melt, and slowly and safely, pour off of your roof. It does cost extra, but it IS worth having. There are a few different versions of ice gaurds, of which below you will see a picture of one.
I highly recomend them for the following reasons...
- For safety. When you have a lot of snow, or even worse, ice, built up on your roof, it can slide off of your roof in large chunks, at unexpected times. This means, even when you may be standing underneath it. And a lot of snow, or worse, a lot of ice, can be very dangerous, simply because of the weight it contains, and falling at a high rate of speed, and hitting your body. There have been people hurt badly. Ice can also have a cutting effect, if it hits you at just the right angle. This also should be a concern for children, or the elderly, who are apt to be outside in the snow during these times.
- For prevententive maintenance. I just recently priced installing some ice gaurds, because the customer received damage due to not having anything holding it on the roof. On her home, the ice and snow didn't shed off very quickly. What happened, is that it all slid down slowly as one big unit. So as a result, anything that it surrounded, was forced to go with it. In her case, she had three vent pipes on this side of her home. Two of them snapped and broke off, even with the plywood under her metal. See below for a picture of one of them broken. She also recieved damage to her plants, due to the huge chunks of snow and ice falling off. There are other things that can be damaged...such as gutters, which could be torn off, or a vehicle parked underneath the edge of the roof.
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