Ice and Water Shield: What you Need to Know

Installing ice and water shield

It’s that time of year again, Winter is here But we here at American Home Tech want to prevent it from coming to your home! In the colder months, when temperatures are plummeting, the sun is setting earlier, and snow might even start to fall, your old roof, while it may be a veteran of decades worth of storms, is likely at an enhanced state of vulnerability. “Why is this?”, you may ask. Have you heard about Ice and water shield and now you’re wondering “What is ice and water shield”? Well, in the spirit of giving, we would be more than happy to fill you in on these roofing questions you may have.


When it gets colder outside, and there are some icicles starting to form on your gutters that may appear so aesthetically pleasing with a fresh coat of ice or snow above it, those, in reality, are a harbinger of some pretty detrimental fates not only for your roof but eventually even for the interior of your home as well. What you’re looking at is what’s known as “Ice Dams”, which are the piling up of all that nefarious ice and snow on your gutter, likely even moving higher up the slope of your roof, depending on how vengeful mother nature might have been feeling on that particular day. These ice dams can cause significant damage to your Cincinnati area home and cost you thousands of dollars. Luckily, we have the answer on how to protect your home from these pesky intruders!


What is Ice and Water Shield?

Ice & water barrier, sometimes also referred to as ice & water shield, is a protective layer that would be applied on top of the deck of your roof. Ice and water shield has an adhesive on one side that seals to your roof deck around the nails driven through. This waterproof seal works to protect your home in your most vulnerable areas. As discussed, it is standard to put this on your eaves, but it is common to have it be in other particularly susceptible areas of your roof as well, such as in the valleys, or perhaps surrounding any vents, chimneys, or other existing facets of your roof. The goal of putting this miracle-working underlayment on your lovely home is simple: preventing all of those nasty ice dams and leaks.


How this works is that once that pesky excess water reveals itself, and would normally penetrate the shingle and have a shot at making it to your attic virtually unscathed, the ice & water shield acts as a line of defense, preventing this moisture from leaking through, and safely escorting it down to the gutters and off of your roof. One important aspect of this whole system that is not to be overlooked is that to operate at its highest level of efficiency, the ice and water shield must be placed at least 24 inches inside the nearest heated wall of your home, ensuring that this defensive layer of underlayment has enough space to work its magic.

Why is Ice and water barrier Important?

The reason why this is an issue is because of what happens as a result. The portion of the roof that your gutters are attached to is what’s known as the “eave”. As those dams form, all of that ice, and the subsequent moisture that it carries along with it, can be forced underneath the shingles on your roof, bleeding down past your decking, and eventually making a very unwelcome appearance on the interior of your home, most comparable to your in-laws on Thanksgiving (kidding, of course). 


Well, the more curious of minds might now ask, “what can I do to prevent that?”. The simplest answer is honestly to move to the Sahara or something, but something tells me that they’re gonna look at you funny over there if you start putting chili on your spaghetti. So if you want to avoid that, then your best move is to make sure that you’re equipping your roof with Ice & Water Barrier.


In addition to this unprecedentedly breathtaking level of functionality, ( I think you’ll really enjoy this part), ice & water shield being present on your home can save you countless of your hard-earned dollars in the long run, or, whenever that next storm might get conjured up in the clouds above your neighborhood. If your home were to sustain storm damage and you were to discover some new leaks on that ceiling right above that living room you work so hard to clean, over the kitchen you just redid with all new appliances, or even signs of damage right above your bed, staring you in the face and seemingly mocking you as you sleep at night, that is something that you’ll surely want to be taken care of, and who wants to be the one paying to fix all related potential damages there? I can very well guarantee you that I wouldn’t! This is just one of another reasons why ice & water barrier is a vital addition to your home, so you can prevent those things from taking place.


Now here’s the part where you’re really lucky. We may be at the end, but there’s no quiz for you to take, you won’t be forced to share this on Facebook, and you’re sure not going to find a link to donate to some local travel soccer team at the end of this. No, there’s only one goal of this whole passage anyway, and that is to help you be able to do what’s best for your home. After all, your home is likely where you feel most comfortable, spend most of your time, and not to mention, is probably your largest investment, and making sure that you have ice & water shield on your next roof replacement estimate will go further than you know in making sure it’s at its best for a long time! Worried about your roof and the damages that come along with not having ice and water shield? Learn more about us and then contact us at American Home Tech today for a free roofing system inspection for your Greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio area home!

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