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What is Ice and Water Shield?

Sometimes simply called 'Ice Shield', this layer is a final defense for your home's roof decking. Why does it deserve closer attention?

As the name might imply, Ice and Water Shield is a sturdy modern product that is used to protect roof decking instead of older organic felt style material. Most municipalities in the northern parts of North America now require Ice and Water Shield as part of a roofing project. (They may even require an inspection during installation).

What is Ice Shield made of?

Ice and Water Shield is comprised of a layer of synthetic polyethylene material on top (facing the sky), and an adhesive layer underneath that allows direct application to roof decking.

Why is it important?

This material forms a final defense against water leaking through shingles in warmer climate, and ice dams forming in colder climate. It is installed in places where water will 'flow' through, such as valleys, eaves, near roof edges and gutters.

Ice and Water Shield protects concrete and plywood decking from moisture damage, potentially preventing expensive issues for property owners!

There are several different types of shielding, determined by price and quality:

  • Builder grade - The cheapest I/W shielding made. It is used by home builders due to the efficiency of installation. Not the most durable.

  • Premium grade - The standard used by most roofing companies. A thicker poly-layer allows for more resistance to water. May also be easier to walk on.

  • Super premium grade - The finest material used for residential roofing. Extremely resistant to moisture. Easiest to walk on by roofers. Often double or triple the price of builder grade.

  • High Temperature (Commercial) grade - Used in commercial properties receiving intense exposure to the elements. The highest quality made, and also the most expensive.

When contracting a job, it is recommended that property owners always verify the material being installed by builders/contractors is of the desired quality. When insurance is involved, always insured the material being used is of 'like quality'.

Ensuring this small aspect can help your roof last for much longer, while also abiding by the material warranties of your shingle manufacturer.

DGB Construction, Inc

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