Most people who live in Wisconsin can appreciate why their home’s roof needs an ice and water leak barrier. Without an ice and water shield installed, ice dams, wind-driven rain, and snow buildup can lead to costly home repairs.

Unfortunately, it takes more than just having leak barrier installed on your home’s roof to prevent weather damage to your home. You need to make sure the ice and water barrier is installed correctly.

What is an ice and water shield?
It’s a rubberized, waterproof underlay. These shields provide a protective barrier to vulnerable areas of your roof, and they prevent leaks due to damaging ice dams and other extreme weather conditions.

Where on the roof does this shield go?
This shield is placed on top of the wood sheathing and under the shingles on your roof. It should be installed behind the gutter and over the top of the fascia board, eliminating the gap between the fascia board and first roof board. When installed correctly, the ice and water shield will extend up the roof from the fascia board to a minimum of 2” past the exterior wall. This kind of placement ensures that the shield protects your roof against leaks and prevent ice dams from forming along the edge of your roof or gutters which are most vulnerable during the winter.

Who needs to have ice and water shields?
In the northern part of the United States where the average temperature in January is 25 degrees or lower, most building codes require protection against ice dams.

Why do you need ice water shields?

When water gets beneath your shingles, you could possibly develop a leak. This is why it’s a good idea to have ice water shields installed on your roof. There are a few ways this can happen:

You get an ice dam: When accumulated snow begins to melt on a sunny day, it begins to flow down your roof towards the edge, however, if the temperatures drop before the snow has melted, the runoff will freeze into ice.  Once temperatures increase, the layer of ice can take longer to melt from the temperatures behind it. So you get a scenario where the ice acts like a dam, keeping away newly melted water and pushing it back up your roof, underneath your shingles. 

There are also sever storms.  During a tornado or other severe weather, harsh winds could lift shingles, thus leaving an unprotected area so rain can seep in, or push the rainwater underneath the shingles, causing a leak. 

In these scenarios, a waterproof barrier that fits the house – which cannot be lifted or moved by ice and/or heavy winds will definitely prevent water from leaking to your house. However, it will transport water downward, into the gutter.

As part of our commitment to quality, A Custom To, LLC installs ice and water shields at all eaves, around chimneys and fireplaces, in all valleys, and all possible problem areas on your roof. Ask about integrating this leak barrier into our roofing repair services.

If you think your home needs ice and water shield installation, if you’re not sure if you have/need one, or you suspect the one you have is installed incorrectly, give us a call at (414) 376-5568 or contact us today to schedule an inspection and receive your free estimate.