Many homeowners operate under the mistaken assumption that the shingles are the only roofing component standing between them and a leaky roof. This view leads many to overlook equally important, if lesser known, roofing components—often to their detriment. If you would like to boost your understanding of roofing strategies and materials, keep reading. This article will discuss two additional components located beneath your shingles.
A drip edge consists of a piece of sheet metal shaped like the letter T. It is installed along the outer edges of a roof, held fast to the decking by means of standard roofing nails. The purpose of the drip edge is three-fold. For one thing, it protects against the phenomenon of blow-under leaks—in other words, rainwater that is pushed back up beneath the shingles at the edge of a roof by powerful winds.
The second purpose of the drip edge is to provide a measure of structural stability for the terminal row of shingles. Because these shingles hang out over open air, they have a tendency to snap off, especially when bent beneath the weight of accumulated ice and snow in winter.
The final purpose of the drip edge is to corral rainwater into the gutter. Otherwise, a certain proportion of such water would, by simple physics, curl around to the underside of the roof, causing rot and other problems. The drip edge presents a physical barrier against this phenomenon.
The easiest way to think of an ice shield is as a gigantic, waterproof bandaid for your roof. Here that bandaid is around three feet wide, and a couple feet high. Its underside consists of an incredibly strong adhesive, allowing it to be affixed to the edge of the roof without nails or other penetrating fasteners. The ice shield is generally installed so as to overlap with the top edge of the drip edge.
Ice shields are primarily used in areas that face large amounts of snow and ice accumulation in the winter. They are specifically intended as guards against problems stemming from ice dams. Once spring thaws set in, such ice dams result in the formation of ponds along the edges of even relatively steep roofs. Without an ice shield to protect the roof, this standing water eventually will find a way to penetrate beneath your shingles.
Ice shields are so effective at their job that, in many areas, they are required by municipal building codes. Be sure that you know the regulations that prevail in your area. A failure to comply may invalidate your insurance should you end up dealing with a problem stemming from ice dams.
For more information, contact local professionals like HomeTowne Roofing.