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The Importance of Ice and Water Shield for Your Roof

It's no mystery that when it comes to protecting your home, shingles provide a primary layer of protection. That being said, there are other components that are just as important in ensuring the longevity and performance of your roofing system. One of these components is ice and water shield.


What is Ice and Water Shield?

Ice and water shield is a self-adhesive roofing underlayment material designed to prevent water damage from ice dams and wind-driven rain. It is typically made of rubberized asphalt and is designed to melt and adhere to the roof deck, creating a barrier against water infiltration. Ice and water shield can be easily rolled out and applied to the roof deck, providing an added layer of protection against water damage.


Why is Ice and Water Shield Important?

  1. Prevents Ice Dams: In cold climates, snow can accumulate on the roof, causing ice dams to form. Ice dams can cause water to back up behind the shingles, leading to water damage and leaks. Ice and water shield prevents ice dams by creating a barrier against water infiltration, reducing the risk of water damage.

  2. Protects Against Wind-Driven Rain: Wind-driven rain can cause water to seep through gaps in the shingles, leading to water damage and leaks. Ice and water shield protects against wind-driven rain by creating a barrier against water infiltration, ensuring that your roof remains watertight even during heavy rain.

  3. Increases Longevity: Ice and water shield extends the lifespan of the roofing system by providing an additional layer of protection against water damage. The material is designed to melt and adhere to the roof deck, creating a long-lasting barrier against water infiltration.


Where Should Ice and Water Shield be Installed?

Ice and water shield should be installed in all areas where water is likely to back up behind the shingles, such as in areas prone to heavy snowfall or where there are large overhangs. We recommend installing ice and water shield around any roof penetration like skylights, and pipe vents, as well as valleys. Installing ice and water shield 24" past the interior wall helps to ensure water does not have an entry point when ice dams up the roof during colder months. The material should be applied to the entire roof deck in these areas, not just the edges. It is also recommended to install ice and water shield in areas where wind-driven rain is a concern, such as in regions with high wind speeds.



Overall, ice and water shield is an essential component of a roofing system and should not be overlooked. It prevents ice dams, protects against wind-driven rain, and increases the longevity of the roofing system. When installing a new roof, be sure to include the installation of ice and water shield to ensure a high-performing roofing system that protects your home from water damage.


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