Metal Roof and Snow: Are Metal Roofs Better for Snow and Winter?

In Montana, it’s common to experience snowfall at nearly any point of the year. Frequent winter weather can often mean heavy snowfall, ice, and strong winds, so it pays to choose the right type of roof to handle the rough conditions.

Customers often ask whether a metal roof and snow go together, whether a metal roof is a good choice in a winter weather state. We’re here to tell you that a metal roof and snow do go together extremely well, and metal roofs can be a smart choice for homes in winter climates. Metal roofs are often a better choice than regular shingle roofs because of their durability, design, and efficiency. Let’s dig into the details of metal roofs and snow.

Benefits of Metal Roofs in Winter Weather

Snow Resistance

When snow falls on asphalt shingle roofs, it can quickly accumulate and needs to be shoveled off to avoid roof damage. Unlike shingle roofs, metal roofs’ naturally slick structures allow snow to slide off easily. This means metal roofs are less likely to experience large amounts of snow to build up on the roof, which can cause a roof to collapse. This natural “slickness” can help you avoid shoveling snow off by hand, but you’ll need to install snow breaks to help melt snow off the roof safely.

A snow break (sometimes called a snow stop or a snow guard) is a device installed on a roof to help ice and snow melt off slowly and in an organized way. Metal roof snow guards help prevent snow avalanches, which is where heavy snowfall suddenly and forcefully slides off of the roof. Snow avalanches can cause serious damage to property and can injure people, so installing snow breaks can help evacuate snow off the roof in a gradual, predictable manner.

Energy Efficiency

Temperatures can drop way below freezing in the winter, so keeping in the heat of your home or building is important for your comfort and for your monthly energy bill. Depending on the design you choose, having a metal roof in winter weather can provide extra insulation to keep warm air from escaping your building. This can help keep you warm and toasty inside and lower your monthly energy bill by taking the load off of your heating system.


Metal roofs are sturdy. There’s no doubt about that! Their durability means they can withstand the harsh conditions that often come with winter weather. Unlike other roofing materials, metal roofing doesn’t become brittle in the cold. It doesn’t deteriorate easily, so it stays looking brand new for years on end. Additionally, shingle roof homeowners often worry about accumulated snow on the roof causing damage. Metal roof homeowners have less worry about this. With metal roofs and snow, heavy snow simply slides off of metal roofs, so the structural integrity of the roof is not threatened or weighed down by excess snow.

Maintaining Your Metal Roof in Winter

Proper maintenance in the winter can help keep your metal roof efficient during even the coldest winters. We’ve got three tips for maintaining your metal roof in the winter:

  • Clean Gutters

    • Most of the leaves have fallen by the time winter hits, so it’s the perfect time to clean out your gutters. The buildup of leaves and dirt in gutter systems can damage a metal roof, so removing debris can help promote your roof’s longevity.
  • Brush Away Excess Snow

    • While metal roofs do a great job of guiding snow off of the roof, depending on the shape of your roof snow and debris can gather in trickier corners or ridges. Simply use a brush to gently sweep away snow or any debris. A metal roofing professional can help with this process to ensure it is done efficiently and safely.
  • Trim Trees and Branches

    • The constant rubbing of a branch or limb on a metal roof can damage the finish. Trim your trees to keep loose branches away from your roof’s surface. This will also help keep the gutters clean!

Metal roofs are incredibly snow and winter-friendly in many aspects. They can help protect your home or building throughout the roughest winters, and proper maintenance can keep your metal roof lasting for many years to come. If you’re needing a new roof, a metal roof is a safe and solid choice for your next roofing project. At Great Northern Metal Company, our metal roofing experts can help you select the best roofing material and design to keep you and your building’s occupants safe and warm. If you have a question about metal roofs and snow or want to install a metal roof on your next roofing project, drop us a line or call us at (406) 624-0435.

Additional Resources

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