Roof Ice and Water Barriers

A roof is one of the major elements in protecting you, your family, and your possessions from damage from the elements.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of areas on the roof that are vulnerable to damage from weather conditions.

One place is the eaves.  During the winter, the snow or ice will begin to melt from the top of the roof, where the heating is, and that melt-off will move to the eaves where it is not warm at all.  There it will refreeze into ice.  As this happens repeatedly the ice will build to the point that it creates ice dams.  As it continues to build, the ice will move past the shingles and into the underlayment where it will begin to damage the decking and the interior of the house.

Synthetic underlayments are a paper-like material that is intended as a barrier between the shingles and home insulation.  If this underlayment has developed holes or tears, it will allow water to leak from under the shingles and into the building.

There are two preventive measures available to the property owner, keeping the gutters clear and free running, and a water barrier.  Water barriers are a protective material that, when used around areas that protrude (chimneys, vents, etc.), along the side walls, and any transitions, will act as another layer of protection from ice barriers from forming and prevent the melt off from seeping under the shingles and into your property.

You can use this barrier:

  • Around chimneys
  • Flashings
  • Roof to wall transitions
  • Dormers
  • Skylights

In addition, they are appropriate for eaves, rake edges, overhangs and valleys.  Low sloping roofs are particularly in danger since large snowdrifts tend to collect and become dangerously heavy.  Higher pitched roofs allow snow and ice an easier path off the roof.

This is water tight and will protect the plywood under the roof and the interior of the home or office building.  Roofs are designed to last about 30 years.  When it comes time for a replacement, it will be less expensive if you won’t need to include the plywood as well.

These products are designed so that a film covering is removed and then the product is applied to the roof deck.  It is laid so that the ends and sides will overlap the edges of the house or building to form a watertight seal.  Then shingles are applied but even the nails used to hold the shingles in place won’t penetrate the membrane to assure a solid covering.  Using this barrier over the entire roof means careful consideration to the ventilation to avoid a vapor barrier.

If you have questions about using ice and water barriers or are wondering if it would be a good idea to include this level of protection for your home, contact us at Vanity Roofing.  One of our specialists will be happy to speak with you or to arrange an appointment for us to inspect your roof and decide if you are vulnerable to damage from ice buildup and water leaks.

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