what does an ice and water shield do

Is an Ice and Water Shield Necessary?

The roof of a home is meant to protect the inside from nature’s elements. That’s why it’s important to ensure your roof does its job properly, and that ice and water are directed towards the proper gutter and drainage systems. However, extreme and unexpected weather might cause water to pass through the gaps between your shingles. 

Installing an ice and water shield to your roofing system is essential in keeping your home dry and protected from damage. This extra layer of protection is important if you live in areas that receive significant amounts of precipitation and snow coverage, like Colorado. However, it’s also beneficial for homes in areas that don’t typically see instances of extreme weather. 

So you might be wondering, what can an ice and water shield do for me and my home? Is ice and water shield necessary? We’ve outlined everything you need to know below.

is ice and water shield necessary

What is an Ice and Water Shield?

An ice and water shield is a waterproof self-adhering membrane made from rubberized asphalt. It is installed underneath the shingles of your roof and is designed to protect your roof deck from ice and water damage. This includes damage from ice dams, melting snow, and rainwater.

The peel-and-stick backing bonds to the roof deck, sealing around laps and nail punctures to keep water out. These protectors contain a film made of modified bitumen that attaches to the roof deck forming a watertight seal, so water can’t seep through cracks and crevices.

The slip-resistant top surface also creates better traction, making your home more resistant to strong winds and horizontally-propelled precipitation. 

Is Ice and Water Shield Necessary?

Ice and water shielding is necessary for your roof, especially for homeowners in Colorado. This is because much of the state sits above 7000 feet in elevation. However, ice and water shields aren’t only limited to homes and buildings in high-altitude areas. Defending any structure from any type of weather-induced damage starts with the roofing system.

If your home is in an area that typically doesn’t see extreme weather, you might think you don’t require this extra layer of protection. However, if left untreated, all the small damages on your roof can eventually add up, leading to more serious damage.

Being prepared with an ice and water shield installed can reduce the need for constant repairs and extend the lifespan of your roof. 

Nature vs. Your Roof

No matter where you live, natural elements can cause damage to your roof. These types of damage include:

  • Curled shingles
  • Cracked shingles
  • Interior water damage
  • Insulation damage

…and more!

Strong winds and extreme weather can cause horizontally propelled rain, hail, and snow. Shingles are designed for precipitation that falls vertically, but extreme weather can cause shingles to curl and push rainwater underneath into your roof’s foundation. 

In places with low temperatures and snow, the accumulated weight of snow on your roof can also crack shingles. This may create more entryways for water to flow inside your home. Additionally, homes in colder climates are more susceptible to ice dams and frozen gutters. Installing an ice and water shield will prevent the chance of leaks from winter-roof damages. 

Many home insurance companies don’t cover damages from wind-driven rain or ice-packed roofs. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to prepare and protect your home from any risk of weather-induced damage.

what is an ice and water shield

The Dangers of Ice and Water Damage

We know that water and ice can damage your roof. What you might not know is that the resulting water damage can extend to the interior of your home. Water that does not drain properly can work its way under your shingles, into your attic, and further through your insulation, ceilings, walls, and other areas.

If your exterior or masonry is made from natural stone and concrete, too much water exposure will cause these materials to erode. This can cause water to further pass through the cracks on your roof, walls, and possibly the basement of your home.

In colder climates, the formation of ice dams and heavy snow loads can cause severe damage to your roof. It can break off your gutters, loosen shingles and cause water to leak into your home. When water enters the home, it can cause paint to peel off the walls while ceilings and floors can start to warp and stain, becoming very unsightly.

Water entering the home can not only cause several types of structural damage, but it can also lead to mold and mildew to grow on eaves, slidings, and walls. Mold and mildew can result in health problems such as asthma, sudden allergies, and an increase in sinus infections.

Spend to Save

Spending the money on ice and water shielding will help you save money in the long run. Skipping out on the ice and water shield for your roofing system can save you money in the short term, but it will most likely lead to problems that can cost thousands of dollars to repair later on. Roof damage will also impact the insulation of your home, causing you to rely more on your heating and cooling system, increasing your household’s utility bills. 

With an ice and water shield, homeowners can save on the cost of constantly getting their roofs inspected for repairs or damages. Roof maintenance can be costly. It can become a dreaded task on your chore list. Opting for an ice and water shield is a more permanent solution if installed correctly. It will greatly reduce maintenance efforts on your end.

do i need an ice and water shield

There’s no better way to protect your home (wherever you are in the world) from leaks and water damage than installing an ice and water shield in your roofing system. The shields are durable and effective in keeping your home dry and well-maintained. Because it can be a costly home improvement project, it is in your best interest to consult a professional roofer. Experienced professionals can determine the best ways to keep your roof and your home in tip-top shape. So, if you’re still asking, “Is ice and water shield necessary,” you’ll find that the answer, most likely, is yes!

B&M Roofing: Colorado’s Top Roofing Experts

Since 1947, B&M Roofing has been Colorado’s most trusted group of roofing experts. Our reliable, and well-seasoned team of roof experts are skilled with various roof types and will ensure your roof does its job as a safeguard for your home.

We can assess the current state of your roof, identify repairs and provide you with a reasonable budget. Request a free estimate on our website or give us a call today!