Should You Install An Ice And Water Shield On Your Roof?
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Should You Install An Ice And Water Shield On Your Roof?

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Posted By: Roof Troopers


Deciding on the best roof protection for your home is no trivial task. With the bitter weather causing ice dams and home water damage as regular seasonal visitors, it’s essential to consider all options carefully. One solution that’s gaining popularity among homeowners is the installation of an ice and water shield. But is this added layer of protection truly worth the investment?

Inside this blog:

  • The Benefits of Installing an Ice and Water Shield
  • What Is an Ice and Water Shield?
  • Considerations Before Installation

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore more about ice and water shields, also known as self-adhered roofing underlayment, and why they might be your home’s next essential defense mechanism.

What Is an Ice and Water Shield?

Ice and water shields, typically made of rubberized asphalt, serve as the final line of defense against water penetration on your roof. This strong, waterproof material is designed to adhere to the roof deck and avert damage caused by ice build-up, wind-driven rain, and the natural wear and tear roofs are exposed to over time.

Its installation is typically found where a waterproof barrier is critical, such as at roof edges, in valleys, around skylights, dormers or chimneys, and any other protrusions through the roof deck. When professionally applied, it offers an impenetrable seal against the elements, ensuring your roof’s structural integrity is maintained.

The shield is often installed beneath the standard sloped roof coverings, commonly asphalt shingles, to provide a continuous, watertight seal. Its effectiveness ranges from protecting against the heaviest of snow loads to guarding against the intense UV radiation in areas with extreme heat.

The Benefits of Installing an Ice and Water Shield

You may not know the benefits of an ice and water shield, so here are some of its advantages:

Enhanced Leak Protection

Ice and water shields provide superior protection compared to traditional felt underlayment. The self-adhering nature ensures a seamless barrier that eliminates weak points, such as the nail holes in felt underlayment. Not only does this prevent water intrusion caused by ice dams and heavy rain, but it also secures your home from potential leaks around roof protrusions, where water often finds its way through. Essentially, it’s a form of insurance against the unpredictable elements that threaten the sanctity of your home.

Long-Term Structural Safeguard

Protecting your roof also means protecting your home’s structural integrity. The damage caused by water leaks can be catastrophic, leading to compromised wall framing and the integrity of other critical components that support your house. The ice and water shield acts as a safeguard for your deck that shields your entire home from costly repairs and leaks.

Cost Saving and Energy Efficiency

While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, the installation of an ice and water shield can translate to long-term cost savings. By avoiding the costs of repairing water damage, you’re not only saving money, but also the time and hassle associated with restoration projects.

Furthermore, the shield can contribute to energy savings by preventing the formation of ice dams, which can cause a backup of water and result in additional strain on your HVAC system as you try to keep your home heated. In straightforward economics, it’s a return on investment that holds its value over time.

ice and water shield view

Considerations Before Installation

Before starting installations, here are some things to consider:

1. Assessing Your Regional Needs

The need for an ice and water shield depends largely on your local climate and building regulations. Consider the prevailing weather patterns, the likelihood of ice dams forming, and the potential damage from wind-driven rain or hurricanes. It’s also important to consult with a local roofing professional to understand the legal requirements for your area. In some regions, an ice and water shield may be compulsory all year round, while in others it’s only required in certain critical areas on your roof.

2. Understanding The Installation Process

Roof replacements and installations are labor-intensive tasks, and adding an ice and water shield to the process can sometimes complicate or delay the timeline. It’s best to discuss this with your roofing contractor, who can advise on the additional labor cost and potential schedule adjustments.

Also, make sure the contractor uses high-quality, certified materials and follows best practices for installation to guarantee the shield’s effectiveness.

4. Understanding Warranties

Be sure to understand the warranty implications of an ice and water shield installation. It could affect the warranty provisions of other materials on your roof, such as shingles, if not installed properly. Discuss this with your roofing professional to ensure you’re not voiding any warranties inadvertently.

5. Weighing The Costs

The actual cost of installing an ice and water shield varies greatly depending on the size and complexity of your roof, as well as the type of product used. For a flat-roofed house, with less material and usually an easier installation, this can sometimes mean a little more than a thousand dollars.

However, for a steep-pitched roof with multiple dormers or other complicated structures, the cost can increase substantially. Weigh the benefits of the shield against the financial impact of its installation. Just keep in mind that an ice and water shield is always a good investment.

ice and water shield roof view

Safeguard Your Home Against Ice and Water Damage

Installing an ice and water shield is an additional step toward securing your home’s longevity and your family’s comfort. While the upfront hassle might seem daunting, the long-term benefits speak for themselves. So, if you’re in the market for roofing upgrades, don’t overlook the importance of an ice and water shield. Your future self will thank you.

If you’re considering roof renovations, repairs, or upgrades, we at Roof Troopers offer expert knowledge. Our team offers professional skills to homeowners looking for lasting protection. Contact us for a consultation and rest assured that your home will be protected!


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