Our roofs take a lot of punishment. That’s why it’s important that your roof is in great shape and prepared for all that mother nature has to give. Depending on where you live, you can experience all four seasons in one day.
Roof repairs are expensive, and roof replacement is even more so. A great deal of damage that happens to your roof is from moisture. Protecting your roof from rain, hail, and ice can save you a lot of money and headaches.
What is Ice and Water Shield?
Ice and water shield is a waterproof material used to protect your roof from the moisture that comes from ice and water damage. It’s designed to protect whatever type of roofing material you have from water getting in underneath.
It looks similar to the felt paper that is often used as roofing underlay, but it’s not the same. It looks like a long sheet of black plastic and sticks directly to the roof and to your roofing material, so it adheres to both sides.
Because your roof has dips and valleys, water can pool there and start to cause a lot of damage. Melting snow, ice, rain, it all can pool and seep into the roofing materials. Ice and water shields go under to prevent leaks.
There are different ice and water shields for different roof types, smooth, granular, and for those who experience high heat. Ice and water shield goes around the edges and eaves of your roof, as well.
Ice and water shield contain asphalt cement, a special stretchable membrane, and a co-polymer called styrene butadiene styrene (SBS). This is what makes it stick and adhere to the roof.
The ice and water shield roofing material is made with a rubberized asphalt mixture to stop leaking and damage to your roof. The sticky backing not only adheres well to the wood roofing sheathing, but it also sticks well to the layer below when you overlap the pieces.
Installing Ice and Water Shield
It has been around for about forty years and will keep your roof from leaking for many years after it is installed. When installed correctly, the rubberized membrane sticks to itself and the wood roof sheathing. It creates a waterproof barrier to any water that may be sitting and pooling on your roof.
It is self-adhesive and can be installed rather easily. The cost will vary, depending on where you live and the type you get, but it’s a smart investment for your roof and your home.
Other types of roof protectors are often made of felt paper, which doesn’t adhere to the roof and doesn’t offer up much protection after a while and the overlapping edges will not protect from water flow moving backward, like in a wind storm.
The direct sunlight and heat can cause problems when installing ice and water shield. Because it is so sticky, once it adheres to something, it is almost impossible to remove it again. You want to have it professionally installed.
Once installed, the rubber will adhere and form a seal around any nails and nail holes to prevent even the slightest bit of water or moisture from seeping in. Make sure you ask about this feature when purchasing, as not all ice and water shields offer it.
You want a good roofer, as they will almost always put ice and water shields in the valleys of your roof, and in many cases along the eaves as well. Ideally, they will install ice and water shields around skylights, chimneys, plumbing, heat vents, and ventilation caps.
You want anything that penetrates the roof deck to be sealed and covered. They will put the material on everything that needs to be sealed and then cut away the excess at the corners or curves to create a leak-proof barrier.
Ice and Water Shield
It’s important to know that installing ice and water shields won’t prevent ice dams or some small leaks, but you are reducing the possibility by a lot. Depending on where you are, it may seem rather expensive, but when you factor in the cost of roof damage and repair, it’s a wise investment.