What Do Ice And Water Shields Do
An ice and water shield is a modified self adhered leak barrier. It comes in a sheet with split back release film similar to a self-stick or peel-and-stick. It seals itself around the nails used in shingling. This rubberized material that helps to prevent leaks due to:
- Water damming in your gutters
- Wind driven rain
- Ice dams
- Vulnerable areas of your roof at the eaves and rake edges
- Chronic problem areas of your roof like skylights, dormers, vent pipes, chimneys, and other areas covered by flashing.
How Much Of Ice And Water Shield Do I Need Put On My Roof
Consider how big a surface you’ll need to cover with the product. One protector is generally 3 feet wide on average.
Next, figure out how much length you’ll need to cover. A good starting point is 3 feet. This, again, will be determined by your region and the roof slope.
In colder areas, a greater ice dam prevention grade is necessary than in warmer places. A reasonable rule of thumb is to anticipate the greatest level of ice dam formation.
Finally, contact your roofing professional or your state’s building code requirements to ensure that everything is in order. Some states have minimum eaves and valley width requirements.
How Far Up A Roof Should It Be Installed To Prevent Ice Dam Leaks
To prevent leaks from ice dams, you may want the product to extend up from the edge of the roof at least 3 feet, but 6 feet is better. I put it over my entire roof because ice dams can form far up a roof.
If the roof has a low slope, you absolutely want to extend the barrier product up the roof quite a distance. I would also apply it in any valleys you may have where two roof planes intersect.
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You’re absolutely correct.
This is a perfect example of a “new” miracle product or technique becoming so widely used without understanding the repercussions that we will keep the renovators and building forensic inspectors busy for a long time to come.
While this practice is less problematic with a vented roof, which can dry into the vent cavity, it still suffocates the wooden roof deck and relies on the principle of the “perfect” seal, which works only as long as it remains perfect. If it fails for any reason, then it becomes a moisture trap.
With an unvented roof, particularly one which cannot dry to the interior such as a spray-foamed cathedral ceiling, it becomes an insidious moisture trap that has a high probability of contributing to roof failure.
Any structure made of wood is most durable when it can breathe in all directions. Wood can tolerate moisture as long as it can dry.
My roof will be a 10/12 pitch. The builder is planning on doing one row of ice and water.
Is there any place this material is useful? First rows of roof? Flashing windows? Front of the house splash zone?
I think you need to take a class on reading comprehension and check out this book –
With that said, Good day – I am done even trying to reason or even talk with you, because I have a sneaky feeling it doesn’t do any good & hopefully Stephen finds a great roofing contractor that not only knows the codes, but knows what does & doesn’t work
Ice And Water Barriers For Your Roof
Roofing systems available in the market today are the product of years of innovation and engineering advancements. A roofing system is an integrated system of roof components that help a roof perform better against the elements.
There are three main layers of a roof system. Roof shingles are the most visible layer, but the other components, such as underlayment, ice and water barriers, ventilation, and insulation, all work together to help your roof do its job. Because they adhere to the roof deck, ice and water underlayment products create a waterproof barrier on your roof and help to keep moisture out.
Read on to learn more about this critical component in a roofing system.
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Ice And Water Shield Checklist
- Not all ice underlayments are the same
- When installed correctly all water STOPS
- WATCH my VIDEOS below!
DEAR TIM: Lately Ive seen roofers install a strange product that looks like traditional felt paper, but its not. It has a peel-away backing paper, and this material sticks to the wood sheathing.
What is it? Why would you use this on a roof? Is it something that can be added to an existing roof in case Im adding another layer of shingles? Connie G. Columbus, OH
DEAR CONNIE: Without being there, Im willing to wager that you saw ice and water shield being installed. Its an amazing roofing product that was introduced in the 1980s and has quickly become the gold standard for creating leak-free roofs in all climates.
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How Often Do You Put Ice And Water Shield Underlayment On The Whole Roof Rather Than Just Along The Eaves
How often do you find customers request this? Do any of you do this as standard procedure regardless or customer request? Seems like great reassurance and protection for your whole job as it will seal very well around every nail.
I dont give the homeowner the option.I do it on everything below 4/12.And on 4/12s that have trees hanging over them.If you have 5/12 or above,I will not give you that option.I only do it because i feel it really needs it.Doing this has major drawbacks and shouldnt be done just for fun.Drawbacks like not being able to remove the shingles in the future.The shingles are permanently stuck.I try to ice and water over existing felt whenever i can so it seals around fasteners and i can still easily remove it all in the future.
When everyone will admit that shingles on iceguard are hell to tear off and start paying for this extra $$Literally have to go extra mile to take off upper portion of each shingle and leave bottom glued to iceguard.And it will be way worse in upcoming years with two rows requirement enforced by degenerates lobbied by iceguard manufacturers
I agree that installing felt paper over ice& water shield is a good idea.I disagree that installing I& W over felt paperIs no better than installing felt paper over felt paper.
Ok Canadians, tell me why Im wrong!
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Can I Install Ice And Water Shield Myself
It depends. Ice and water shield is usually self-adhesive, so messing around with tar and other sealants is not required. However, ice and water shield will look and function best when the material is perfectly flat and straight.
Because the material is self-adhesive, it sticks to itself and virtually everything else. This can cause a litany of problems for the installer unfamiliar with the process or materials. Unlike asphalt shingles, ice and water shield typically bonds directly to the roof decking upon contact.
An errant wrinkle or misalignment can be extremely difficult to correct, so in most cases, the project will require a helper. Needless to say, a do-it-yourselfer unconfident working on or near a roof is strongly discouraged from attempting ice and water shield installation.
Not only is the material tricky to work with, but installation generally requires working near the roofs edge. Inexperienced installers have been known to accidentally step off the roof because in many cases they are facing the other direction during installation. Therefore, installing ice and water shield should only be attempted by those DIYers with the safety gear, experience, and tools to do the job successfully.
How To Stop Water From Reaching The Roof Deck
The design of a roof has many purposes. Your roof offers protection from the elements, such as rain and snow. Rain lands on the surface of the roof and runs down the roofs slope into gutters, which direct the water away from the foundation through downspouts and drains. Rooftop snow eventually melts, following the same path.
Unfortunately, many situations can disrupt the ideal flow of water, and standing water is not a roofs friend. Water that has pooled on the roofs surface can cause various problems, eventually making its way under the shingles and into your home.
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What Goes On First Ice And Water Shield Or Roofing Felt
Most manufacturers of ice and water shield recommend that the material be installed first, directly onto the roof decking. This is due to the self-sealing feature of the material.
For example, if roofing felt or any other non-adhesive underlayment is installed under the ice and water shield, the space between the tar paper and the roof deck is still vulnerable to water infiltration.
Conversely, if the ice and water shield is installed first, moisture penetrating the surface of the tar paper or roofing material will still encounter the ice and water shield. This is one major benefit of the rubberized material ice and water shield is constructed from.
As mentioned previously, ice and water shield tends to grip fasteners such as staples, roofing tacks, and button cap nails. As these fasteners are all very common to a roofing installation, the chances of accidentally creating a leak are greatly reduced when ice and water shield are installed underneath.
Most water damage to a roof can be traced to either faulty drainage or a perforation somewhere along the path the water takes towards the gutters. Even a single loose roofing tack can cause damage over time if the hole is not sealed. Since most of us dont inspect our roofs as often as we should, installing an ice and water shield can be insurance against this eventuality.
Is Ice And Water Shield Necessary For Your Home
In most countries that feature a colder climate, or where monsoons are quite common, builders and engineers have to take into account ice and water shielding to protect homes and buildings from damages incurred by these elements of nature. But first, lets look at why ice and water shielding is paramount in maintaining houses dry and protected from damage.
Before we do delve deeper into this topic, we have to understand the potential uses and the benefits that these shieldings can do to protect our houses. After all, we have to fully understand our materials first before putting them into practice.
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Why Would I Want An Ice And Water Shield
Ice and water shield is technically an underlayment designed to be installed underneath a shingle, tile, or metal roof. Normally, this would be a felt underlayment commonly known as tar paper or roofing felt.
All underlayment products serve the same basic function, which is to prevent damage to the roof decking and extend the life of the roof. Underlayment provides an additional layer of protection should the shingles experience a perforation, such as from falling debris. The surface of underlayment also adheres very well to the adhesive strip found on shingles, ensuring a watertight bond.
Ice and water shield takes the idea of underlayment a step further. Whereas standard underlayment is physically attached to the roof via staples or button cap nails, ice and water shield can be installed with no fasteners.
This greatly adds to the functionality and helps alleviate the possibility of water infiltration through an errant hole. Due to its self-adhesive design, ice and water shield tends to function as a gasket around fasteners as well to reduce leaks. This is especially useful if the roof has a low pitch, which causes ice and water to loiter and accumulate.
Where Can I Use Ice And Water Shield
In theory, the entire roof deck can be protected with ice and water shield. In most situations, it is used to protect the most vulnerable areas of shingle, mechanically attached tiles, and even standing seam metal roofs.
In practice, most professional roofing installers just install it in these vulnerable areas, or because the building code requires it. Ice and water shield is commonly used on low pitch roofs, and anywhere water tends to move slowly off of the roof.
Standing or slowly moving water is the enemy of roof decking, so any roof pitch lower than 3/12 should have ice and water shield installed, at least in the most vulnerable areas.
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What Are Ice And Water Barriers
One practical solution is using an ice and water barrier underlayment below the shingles. Adhering directly to the roof decking, these barriers are impermeable, meaning they seal tightly around nails and keep moisture out.
Ice and water barriers offer added protection to your roof and can be used in the following areas:
- Valleys: Your roof will have various peaks and valleys depending on its architectural design. Rain trickles down the roof, collecting in the valleys before flowing to the gutters. Since valleys have more contact with water, theyre more vulnerable to its effects.
- Eaves: The edges of your roof are exposed. Winds can catch the tips of shingles, lifting them and letting water in. Blocked gutters can cause water backup.
- Roof penetrations: Any time you cut into the roof decking you provide an opening for water infiltration. Placing an ice and water barrier around chimneys, skylights, and vents helps seal off the gaps around these vulnerable areas.
- Entire roof surface: Depending on where you live, it might make the most sense to use a waterproof barrier across the whole surface of your roof beneath the shingles. If you lose shingles during a storm, you can rest easy that your roof deck is secure against the elements until repairs can be made.
Ice and water underlayment products create waterproof barriers that arent just for heavy rain and windstorms. Theres a good reason for the word ice in ice and water barrier.
Is Ice And Water Shield Required By Code
We dont know the regulations in all states, but Minnesota building codes require roofers to install ice & water shield beginning at the edge of the overhang and ending at least 2-feet inside the nearest interior wall. Because most ice & water shield comes in rolls 3 feet wide, one pass typically isnât quite enough to cover the distance between the drip edge and 2 feet past the interior wall on most homes. Thatâs why the vast majority of roofs end up with a 6-foot swath of ice & water shield along their overhangs. But a real overachieving roofer will make a third pass, giving you a total of 9 feet of ice & water coverage.
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Should You Put Ice And Water Shield On The Entire Roof Deck
There are some circumstances where you may put ice and water on the whole deck and some building codes may require it. However, in most circumstances, you should not put ice and water shield on the entire roof deck. Other synthetic underlayment options such as IKOs Stormtite® provide the protection that the rest of the roof deck needs. Other underlayments typically cost less than ice and water protector, so using them on the rest of the roof is more cost-effective for the homeowner. However, you should always refer to your local building codes.
What Is An Ice And Water Shield
Think of it as a big piece of rubber tape. Three foot wide, with an adhesive back, it goes all along the edge of your roof, in any valleys and around any of the penetrations, around anything coming through the roof, and along any wall that hits the roof.
These areas are all vulnerable to water damage when water or ice accumulate on your roof. The ice and water shield acts as a self-healing membrane, protecting your roof from damage.
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Question: Can You Put Ice And Water Shield On Entire Roof
You may apply an ice and water protector on your entire roof, but this can also be costly overall. Instead, install it first on critical areas of your roof before you consider covering the whole roof. Install your ice and water protector covering at least 3 feet from the edge of your roof.
How Does It Protect Your House
An ice shield, sometimes known as an ice shield, is a rubberized membrane that clings to and adheres to your roof deck. An ice and water shield sticks to the roof sheathing, providing waterproofing, and protecting your roof much more effectively due to its self-adhesive feature. Because the rubberized membrane on the ice and water protector has a gasket effect on the nail shaft when your nails go through it.
However, not all ice shields are created equal. Grace Ice and Water Shield is one firm that sells a similar product. When putting ice and water protectors, one thing to bear in mind is the temperature and sunshine.
When the product is exposed to temperatures higher than 60°F with direct sunlight, it becomes extremely sticky. This stickiness is comparable to what you’d find in contact cement, and once it comes into contact with or sticks to a surface, it doesn’t come off.
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Better Safe Than Sorry
Ice and Water Barrier however, is made of a more pliable like fiberglass matt. It will self-seal around any protrusion, forming tight and adhering to every nail that penetrates the underlayment. This forms a watertight nail hole, and will not let any ice or water penetrate.
When no ice and water barrier is used it will cause the plywood to become wet and prematurely damaged.If this is the case with your home, it will cost more money to have the roof replaced thanks to having to replace the bottom course of plywood as well. It will also cause the bottom course of plywood to become wavy and not last as long as the shingles life expectancy.
Ice and Water barrier is also commonly used around chimneys, under all step flashing at dormers and roof to wall transitions, around pipe flashing and should also be used around skylights. Basically all penetrations through the roof should be covered with an additional layer of ice and water barrier. Ice and Water should be applied at least 2 around all penetrations and should be installed running at least five inches up any sidewalls or chimneys.
You can learn more about common roofing components, issues and terms by following these links
Using a quality name brand of ice and water will offer more peace of mind by including a manufacturers warranty. It will also help reduce the risk of costly repairs due to wall and ceiling staining from leaks.