Preventing ice falling from metal roof without screws or adhesive


Hi all!

I live in southern quebec and have a lovely metal roof over my head. Unfortunately, each spring the ice and snow slides off my roof in sheets and can sometimes slam down hard enough on my porch to break off the railing!!

I can keep it under control usually be using a roof rake and shovelling off the bulk of the snow and ice but this year i will be moving to a new home (closer to town) and this current one will be only used in spring and summer.

So because i wont be around in the winter to keep up with roof snow removal i have to come up with a way to keep the ice from sliding off in huge slabs.

I have seen those ice retention systems that you screw down in to your roof but the thought of putting holes in the roof makes me nervous. I was wondering if anyone had tried making some kind of roof “saddle” out of knotted up rope? Basically taking like 10-15 lengths of rope and putting knots in it say every 2 feet then evenly draping it over the roof so that it hangs down to within 6 inches of the eaves.

My theory is that the ice and snow would freeze around to the knots in the rope and lock it in, keeping it from sliding off all at once come spring since its no longer totally sitting on the surface of the metal roof. The knots would act like those little snow cleats in a way.

My main concern would be the weight of the snow pulling on both ends of the rope would put creases on my ridge where each rope passes over it. I dont know the pitch of my roof but it isnt very steep. Im guessing 1 foot height for 2 feet width and covering about 1000sqft.

Am i right to be concerned about putting too much stress on the ridge with this set up? I was also thinking of instead of knots, to tie in pieces of 2x4 or something to act as a bit of a cleat as well to have the ice lock on to them.

Your opinions would be appreciated. Thanks! :blush:


Post some pics so we can see what type of metal roof you have. There are some snow rail systems (for certain types of roofs) that don’t create any holes in the roof.


Hi i will get a pic up as soon as tinypic decides to work if this picture doesnt work with the forum upload lol

It is a classic metal roof. So it is not those raised standing seam types. They are very small humps and the seam has a screw down on each ridge. I am assuming the glue on snow stoppers would work but that will be a lot of money to do both sides of my roof.


With that type of roof you’re really best off just using the snow guards that screw into your roof. If it was a standing seam or metal shingle roof I would agree that you don’t want screws and holes exposed on your roof but with that type you already have 1000! The glue ones don’t last from my experience.


True enough! I just am on a tight budget because of the 2nd mortgage im trying to get through the winter to sell in the spring. I guess having those installed could be a selling feature i can recoup the money from.

Would the long metal bar type work better than those staggered cup type systems?


As far as I know they don’t make the “metal bar type” for your style of metal roof.