Why Ice and Water Shield is So Important

ice and water shield

When most homeowners think about a roof, they think about the shingles they see from the street. However, a roof is much more than that. Your roof is a combination of different materials and components coming together to form a complete roof system. One of these crucial roofing components is an ice and water shield. 

What is an ice and water shield?

An ice and water shield is a waterproofing membrane used to protect your roof from ice and water damage. Its main purpose is to protect your decking if water gets underneath your roofing material. It’s crucial to have it installed on certain areas of your roof, like roof valleys, around penetrations, and on roofs that have a 4/12 and below pitch.

There’s also a code if you live in an area above the snow line in the US. This code requires the shield along the edges (eaves) of your roof to prevent leaks from ice damming after a heavy snow or ice storm. 

3 things to know about ice and water shield

Now you know what it is and why it’s important to your roof. However, there’s still more you need to learn about it. Let’s get to the three things you need to know.

There are 3 types of ice and water shield: granular/sand surface, smooth, and high heat. 

  1. Granular surface ice and water shield are used in roof valleys and is the thinnest of the 3 types. Even though it’s not as thick, it serves the same purpose and does the job. 
  2. Smooth surface ice and water shield are used on low slope roofs. This type fits the situation I mentioned in the first section when a roof has a 4/12 and below pitch. 
  3. High heat ice and water shield are made of cotton-like fibers that are used primarily on metal roofs. Because of the material, it’s made of, it won’t stick to the metal as it expands and contracts. This prevents the metal panels from destroying the integrity of the material. While high heat shields are used on metal, it’s also used with premium roof systems (slate and cedar shake) to add extra protection.

Upgrading Your Roof

Remember, you’ll most likely have the code I mentioned earlier if you live in an area that sees heavy snow. However, adding ice and water shield around the edges of the roof is also an upgrade you can add to your replacement.

When we get heavy snow in the Atlanta area, we can count on phone calls about water getting into homes. The main culprit is always the same, ice damming. The truth is, there’s nothing you can do to stop the leak except wait for the snow and ice to melt off your roof.

However, you can prevent leaks by adding one of those 3 types of shields at the edges (rakes and eaves) of your roof that goes two feet past the interior walls of your home. If you’re experiencing ice damming now or have experienced it before, add this upgrade to prevent it in the future.

The Cost Breakdown

The price of roofing materials fluctuates constantly and can be different depending on the area you live in. Because of this, it’s impossible to give you an exact cost number for the ice and water shield. However, I can give you a general idea of the cost depending on the type you’re using. A granular shield start at $100.00 per row of material, 3 feet by 50 feet. A smooth shield costs around $150.00 per square (100 square feet of roof area) to go under a low slope roof. A high heat shield will be a little more expensive and cost around $200.00 per square. While these prices aren’t exact, they do give you an idea of what to expect from a price point for adding ice and water shield to your roof. 

Contact Us

    By Big Time Roof Team | Jun Wed, 2022| Roofing Advice