Self Adhering underlayment is a relatively new product to the roofing industry. It’s been around for less than twenty years, but oh thank goodness for the ingenuity of shingle manufacturers to produce this product. This self adhering modified bitumen product comes in rolls of one and two squares and creates a moisture barrier by sealing to the deck and around nails for the best protection that any underlayment can provide. This is the final layer of defense for ice dams that minimizes water penetration or totally prevents water penetration. Many of the modern roofers Colorado Springs has seen recently have adopted the self adhering underlayment as a fabulous tool for their arsenal of roofing products.

One of the unique features of this product is that it comes with or without granules. At Integrity Roofing and Painting we are currently applying the granulated product, we appreciate the added bonus of skid resistance for safety and ease of application. This is a superior product to one of the old school methods of applying plastic cement between two rolls of felt. This old method was used several decades past in areas of ice damming. The self adhering underlayment better known as ice and water shield is tear resistant whereas two cemented rolls of felt were not. Most modern installers are using ice and water shield for one or more roof applications.

Some of the Benefits of Self Adhering Underlayment

  • Tear resistant
  • Seals tight around nails to prevent water penetration
  • Mitigates against water damage
  • Last line of defense
  • Self adhering
  • This product does not expand and contract
  • Enhanced grip for installers
  • Flexible SBS modified asphalt
  • Reinforced strong fiberglass
  • High temperature resistance
  • This product can be left exposed to the elements for up to 90 days
  • Meets ASTM D 19970
  • Approved by local roofing code

Local installs know that while roofing Colorado Springs homes that are above 7000 feet, self adhering underlayment is required on the eaves. This is a little tricky and many times I have observed home builders installing only one row of ice and water shield on the eaves where code may require two rows. There are no mid-roof inspections for asphalt shingles and some roofers and builders take advantage of the inspection system. My home that I purchased in Monument doesn’t have any ice and water shield on the eaves and for the life of me I don’t know how the builder got away with it. El Paso County building code requires the ice and water shield to extend to a minimum of 24″ onto the interior of the home on all eaves of every home that is above 7000 feet elevation in El Paso County. If the self adhering underlayment is installed correctly it will help to minimize water intrusion from ice damming.

Another application for self adhering underlayment is in the roof valley. The valleys on the roof are located where two roofs come together and form a water trough on the roof. Historically most every roofer Colorado Springs saw in the 1990s and earlier would install valley metal and in some cases roll roofing would be installed. However, some roofers would cut corners and only install felt paper in the valleys. This was a practice used by some builders to save money.

Several brands of Self Adhering Underlayment

  • Certainteed WinterGuard
  • Tamko Moisture Guard
  • Owens Corning Weather Lock
  • GAF Weather Watch
  • GAF Weather Guard
  • Atlas Weather Master
  • IKO Armor Guard
  • Grace Ice and Water Shield

If allowed by local building codes one of the ways to provide superior protection to low pitched 2/12 to 4/12 roofs is to install self adhering underlayment. Traditional method is to install two layers of 15# felt according to code and shingle manufacturers installation instructions. On lower pitched roofs there is a possibility of capillary action where water travels uphill. Yelp, water can travel uphill. Additionally, when you mix snow and ice dams into the equation your best line of defense may be to cover the entire low sloped roof in ice and water shield.

Another area that is vulnerable on a roof to water penetration is where the sloped roof meets a vertical wall, ice and water shield is a perfect product for this area. We recommend the installation of ice and water shield prior to install L-flashing or step flashing. If working on a roof replacement project it’s easier to install 18″ x 10′ pieces of water shield. If you try to slide a 36″ x 20′ piece of water shield underneath of L-flashing it’s unlikely that you’ll succeed, unless it’s being installed in cold weather. That brings up another point of discussion.

Cold weather installation of self adhering underlayment is a little different than in warmer weather. There are some benefits to cold weather installs and some disadvantages. Regardless of the time of the year ice and water shield can be installed unless it’s too cold.

Benefits of Cold Weather application of Ice and Water Shield

  • The self adhering glue does not activate immediately in cold weather which will allow more time to position the product on the roof.
  • This is advantageous for installing full sheets of ice and water shield underneath of L-flashing.
  • Easy for one person to install ice and water shield in valleys
  • Easy for one person to roll out long distances of ice and water shield

Disadvantages of Cold Weather application of Ice and Water Shield

  • The self adhering underlayment will need to be fastened with nails
  • Water intrusion may occur before the product seals
  • If debris is driven between the ice and water shield and the deck surface this product may never seal

Use ice and water shield around chimneys, valleys, skylights, walls, pipe penetrations and low slope. This product is idea for roof repairs in Colorado Springs, new roofs or roof replacements. You can’t go wrong with this product especially designed for leak prone areas. This is a new comer to the roofing industry and it’s here to stay. This product should be used by all roofers everywhere.

If you’re looking one of the most trusted roofers that Colorado Springs and Denver has to offer than contact Integrity Roofing and Painting, LLC.