Why Snow Retention?

By retaining snow on the roof of a building and allowing even snow melt-off, injuries to residents/guests and property below the roof of a building can be avoided, saving money and limiting the possibility of personal loss.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Why use snow retention?

Snow Retention systems are widely implemented in Europe as a means of preventing roof damage due to the sliding of snow and ice masses that accumulate on roofs during winter months in alpine regions. As snow accumulates and is retained on a roof, it serves as an insulating blanket to promote energy efficiency. Furthermore, by retaining snow on the roof of a building and allowing even snow melt-off, injuries to residents/guests and property below the roof of a building can be avoided, saving money and limiting the possibility of personal loss.

Danger to Residents – Sliding snow and ice on a roof is a constant threat to the safety of residents and guests as well as the home itself.
Limited Access – Entrance to buildings can be blocked by snow and ice that falls from a roof.
Roof Damage – When snow and ice masses slide off a roof, costly damage occurs.
Damage/Injury – People and property can be struck by snow and ice falling from the roof. Property damage and injuries, even deaths can occur when snow is not properly retained on a roof.

snow and ice avalanche off roofsnow avalanche off roofsnow falling on cars

snow damage to roof

What is snow retention?

Roof snow retention is a system of devices, commonly called snow guards, snow clips, snow rails or snow fences that are mounted on your rooftop which prevent snow from avalanching off in large masses damaging people and property below. With a roof snow retention system, snow and ice drop off in small, harmless quantities or melt completely before falling to the ground. Originally used with slate roofs, our snow retention devices are a practical, cost-effective addition to any sloped roof in areas that receive snow. Snow rails, snow fences, and snow brackets can be installed on all roof types to protect against snow and ice damage.

What are the different snow retention devices?

There are different types of snow retention devices.

    • Snow Brackets lay directly on the roof’s surface
    • Standing Seam Clamp-on Snow Fences clamp onto a metal panel’s seam to avoid penetration into the roofs surface
    • Deck Mount Snow Fences attach to the rafter or truss.

What are the different snow retention devices - Snow BracketsWhat are the different snow retention devices - Standing Seam Clamp On Snow FencesWhat are the different snow retention devices - Deck Mount Snow Fences

Where should you install snow retention systems?

It is especially important to install them above:

  • entryways
  • walkways
  • gathering spots
  • parking lots
  • drive-through areas
  • expensive landscaping
  • ground mounted mechanical
  • roof protrusions such as plumbing vents.

Why use TRA Snow and Sun snow retention products?

Testing: Each one of our products has been tested from the sheathing up. We know at what point each component fails from the bracket down through the fastener into the roofing material and sheathing and engineer our layout based upon those factors.

Engineering: At TRA Snow and Sun we engineer and lay out each project free of charge using many factors specific to your roof. We then provide you with the snow retention plan, layout and product detail.

Is roof snow retention a good investment?

TRA Snow and Sun’s product line saves property owners money and limits the possibility of personal loss because by installing snow retention you can:

Prevent danger to residents and guests.
Prevent costly roof and property damage.
Maintain safe access, keeping entrances/walkways free of snow and ice.
Promote energy efficiency by retaining snow which is a good insulation blanket. Trust in the best with the highest quality snow retention devices.

I want Snow Brackets™ on my roof. What’s the first step?

  1. Contact a member of our team by e-mail or phone (866)-963-6511 between 7 AM and 6 PM MST and we’ll get your design started. Our engineering and design service is FREE to all customers.
  2. Submit a Snow Retention Checklist and we’ll get you a FREE QUOTE!

What are TRA Snow and Sun snow retention devices made of?

We have a variety of material and finishes.


  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Cor-Ten®
  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum


  • Electro-galvanized (Paintlock*) steel
  • Hot-dipped galvanized steel
  • Mill finish Copper
  • Mill finish Aluminum
  • Powder coating available in RAL Colors

*We can provide Paintlock brackets unpainted BUT they must be painted before installing or rusting will occur.

Will keeping snow on my roof damage my building?

During the 1970-80’s most states adopted building codes that required structures to support the weight of the building materials (dead load) and the weight of the snow, ice, water, people, etc. (live load). By the year 2000, international building codes were universally adopted with similar standards. So, if the structure was built post 1975, you most likely will not have any weight problems. In some cases, structural engineers can take deductions assuming snow shedding off a structure, particularly with large sloped metal roofs. Large sports arenas, hospitals, schools and other structures with high occupancy and liability should be reviewed by a licensed structural engineer. For more information on this topic please call us at (866)-963-6511.

How many Snow Brackets™ come in a box?

Snow Brackets™ are typically packaged 100 per box. However, you can order smaller quantities.

How can I find an approved installer?

At TRA Snow and Sun we do not have a certified installer program. Our products are relatively simple to install. Any licensed Roofing/General Contractor is capable of installing our products. It is critical however that the correct number of snow brackets, and the correct positioning of snow fences be installed. We offer free engineering and design to ensure that contractors understand our requirements; these drawings and details make installing relatively simple. The average homeowner can understand our snow retention plans, and we encourage homeowners, architects, general contractors, etc. to look at the plan and ensure that the Roofing Contractor is installing the devices correctly. We will provide a copy of our snow retention layout to anyone involved in the project that would like one. One thing to note, in cases of retro-fit it is wise to contact your original roofing contractor in cases where warrantees are still in place, some roofing contractors do not allow other contractors to work on the roof while a warranty is existing.

How many Snow Brackets™ do I really need?

Great Question! Since what you are trying to prevent is damage and injury caused by sliding snow and ice, installing the correct number of Snow Brackets™ is extremely important. Installing too few will result in snow and ice avalanches – exactly what you’re trying to prevent. Installing too many is cost you don’t need.The two main factors determining the correct number of Snow Brackets™ are the amount of snow at the project location (ground snow load), and the slope or pitch of the roof. Other factors that play a large role are the type of roof, the roof sheathing type and thickness, the strength of the Snow Bracket™, the type of fasteners used, the snow drifting conditions, ice damming, etc. With all of the variables you can see why determining the number of Snow Brackets™ is complicatedAt TRA Snow and Sun we have worked hard testing our products in various conditions to determine correct strengths under numerous installed conditions. Using the data specific to your roof and our engineering will determine the appropriate number of Snow Brackets™ needed for your roof.
  • Our sales staff can provide you with exactly how many Snow Brackets™ you need using this information. Just e-mail us your info or give us a call
  • Submit our Snow Retention Checklist TRA Snow and Sun offers design and engineering as a free service because our main goal is to provide high quality systems that will work correctly for many, many years.

Is there a building code for snow retention?

The short answer is no. There may be some codes that exist on a local level. But as far as we are aware there are no national or state codes for snow retention. This makes it very important for owners, architects, engineers, and contractors, to take extra care when designing a snow retention system. At TRA Snow and Sun we seek to offer high quality snow retention devices engineered for the unique snow & ice and building conditions relative to each specific project.

Can I install my own Snow Brackets™?

TRA Snow and Sun recommends, for a number of reasons, that a licensed roofing contractor install snow retention devices. Working on the roof is hazardous and roofing contractors should be equipped with the proper safety devices to adequately work on the roof. Installing snow retention devices without permission from the original roofing contractor may void warranties that may be existing. Licensed roofing contractors have experience keeping a roof watertight, and our most suited to install snow retention devices. We understand that even with these warnings some homeowners would like to install their own snow retention devices. Installing snow retention devices in most cases is not difficult, homeowners are usually capable of performing the installation. It is critically however that snow retention devices are placed in locations approved by TRA Snow and Sun. Please call or e-mail and ask for a FREE design for your snow retention project. We are willing to work with homeowners who wish to perform their own installation.

What is involved in snow retention maintenance?

All snow retention devices should be checked as part of a yearly roof inspection by an experienced roofer or snow guard installer. Any defects in materials and workmanship should be reported to the manufacturer immediately.

­­­The maintenance on the Standing Seam Snow Fence is as follows:

  1. Once a year provide a visual inspection, making sure all end caps, ice flags, collars, etc., are in proper repair. Make sure nothing is loose, has moved, or is missing. Replace any damaged or missing product. Report any damages to TRA for replacement covered parts.
  2. Once every two years, check the torque of the Snow Fence carriage bolts and locking nuts, making sure they are still at 30-foot pounds of torque.

TRA Snow & Sun, Inc. is not responsible for any snow guard system that has not been properly maintained. TRA Snow and Sun, Inc. reserves the right to test brackets and inspect the roof before bracket replacement.

It is incumbent upon the owner of the snow retention system to perform said maintenance to remain eligible for TRA Snow & Sun’s PRODUCT WARRANTY. TRA SNOW & SUN WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR PROJECTS WHERE PROPER MAINTENANCE HAS NOT BEEN PERFORMED.