A-Frame Design for Snow Slide Protection

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
322
Massachusetts
I am entering my first winter with solar panels and I’ll be building some A Frames to protect some of the plants in front of the house. We have a big steep roof, two stories up. Our first snow of about 3 inches came crashing down all at once so I think this will be a regular occurrence.

I’ve seen some designs that probably work well enough to protect against regular snow fall but would probably do nothing for snow slide.

This design probably does nothing.

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This is seems better but I’m not sure whether the openings between the slats would be an issue.

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Also seems a bit narrow on the width so I could see the snow just tipping that over on the plants.

What kind of designs have worked for people? Also what direction do you orient the A? The A facing the street looks best but I could see facing the side being better depending on the angle of the avalanche.

What do you think?
 

John Galt

Member
Oct 22, 2019
64
W Montana
Snow guards on the roof might be an option. I hate the look though. I deal with 26' of standing seam on the barn and will have 38' of roof on the house. The snow comes off hard and fast and would probably crush those things, definitely knock them over. It depends on your roof material .
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,222
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Those sure are pretty looking. I just have a few A-framed get-ups that I cobbled together with spare pieces of plywood, 2 x 4s and trim boards which I use to protect a mangy looking cedar bush that my wife seems to like for some reason and two hose bibs.
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
322
Massachusetts
Yeah - when you google “A-Frames for Snow” you get a lot of pretty looking Pinterest pages that probably won’t work so well. If I build any they will definitely be focused on function and will use a bunch of scrap wood I have around.

I am not too confident in them not getting crushed... I’m going to have 580 sq ft of snow perched on a 38 degree roof pitch 20 feet up. Funny thing is a few years ago I cut down all the overgrown shrubs and put new ones in. I did what they said and planted them not too close to the house and I intentionally put them in front of where the gutters are so they didn’t get ice dripping down on them. Now they are probably in the perfect spot to get destroyed by the panels we put up.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,222
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Yeah - when you google “A-Frames for Snow” you get a lot of pretty looking Pinterest pages that probably won’t work so well. If I build any they will definitely be focused on function and will use a bunch of scrap wood I have around.

I am not too confident in them not getting crushed... I’m going to have 580 sq ft of snow perched on a 38 degree roof pitch 20 feet up. Funny thing is a few years ago I cut down all the overgrown shrubs and put new ones in. I did what they said and planted them not too close to the house and I intentionally put them in front of where the gutters are so they didn’t get ice dripping down on them. Now they are probably in the perfect spot to get destroyed by the panels we put up.
You might be surprised with the weight that they can take. I have a very steep, metal roof so it's pretty normal to have "avalanches" of snow coming down. So far the ugly looking A frame protectors have held up pretty well.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,295
Northern Maine
You might be surprised with the weight that they can take. I have a very steep, metal roof so it's pretty normal to have "avalanches" of snow coming down. So far the ugly looking A frame protectors have held up pretty well.
I'm shocked they take that weight all at once.
I'm going standing seam in 2021. I'm all done with the 2005 IKO crap that should have lasted 35 years. What a joke that warranty was. I've seen 50 yo shingles that look better.
 

MTY

Feeling the Heat
Jan 9, 2019
413
Idaho
I have three 38' sections of snow guard on the roof. They are not too ugly. I have seen snow coming off a roof completely crush a deck, so A-Frames did not impress me much.