What are those things on that roof and why are they there?

Those little spikes are there to break up sheets of ice and snow that will be falling off the roof this season. If the ice comes down in one, solid sheet, it is heavy and can damage property and hurt people.

It is less destructive if it gets broken up on the way down. The spikes break up the snow-ice sheet as it falls past them.

I found a website http://www.roofthings.com/snow-guard-alternate-names.html that explains all the different names that these spikes have acquired over the years.

  • Snow Cleats
  • Snow Stops
  • Snow Breaks
  • Snow Blocks
  • Snow Catchers
  • Guttar Guards

Without those spikes, roof snow can slide off in large, heavy, wet sheets and cause lots of damage. There are lots of videos of snow falling off roof surfaces with people scrambling and cars getting damaged.



While I am on the topic of snow coming off the roof, here’s another joy of urban living.

Roof surfaces are mostly asphalt. But, in this area, we still see a lot of slate roof surfaces. If your neighbor has a slate roof and your houses are close together, you may hear a scary sound. When the snow falls off, it rubs against the slate shingles and it sounds like a mountain avalanche.