Ice and water shield is an important component of your roofing system. Ice and water shield is installed on your roof valleys, around chimneys, around penetrations, and on roofs that have a low slope. For example, a 2/12, 3/12, or 4/12 pitch. Because of its importance, every roof needs to have it. There’s also a code if you live in an area above the snow line in the US.
Ohio state code requires ice and water to be two feet inside a heated wall. This is required in Ohio due to the potential of ice damns that can occur during the winter months. Ice dams form when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the snow on the roof and causes the water to flow down towards your gutters. When the water flows down past the warmer attic area of your house, it can freeze again if it’s cold enough outside. Once it freezes again, and ice dam starts to form by the gutters. This can push ice, and moisture up underneath the shingles along the eaves and cause a leak. The ice and water shield is placed along the eaves to prevent any leaks from these ice dams.
Another area that you’ll need ice and water shield is in the valleys of your roof. A valley is where two roof slopes meet. When it rains, the valleys take on a high volume of water and are more vulnerable to leaks. The ice and water shield is placed in the valleys as extra protection and will help the water flowing towards the gutter if water happens to get under the shingles in the area.
Any penetrations, such as chimneys, and exhaust pipes on your roof are also vulnerable to leaks. Ice and water shield is placed around these penetrations as extra protection against water that may happen to get in these areas. The ice and water shield will keep the water above the roof deck and shed the water on top of the synthetic felt paper and eventually shed the water back down to the shingles.
Ice and water shield is a vital part of your roofing system. As a homeowner, you should make sure that your roofing contractor is using ice and water shield on all of these areas discussed above or you could experience leaks with your roof.