Winter weather wreaks havoc on your roof, especially here in West Virginia where ice and snow can stick around for a long while. Some snowy areas of the U.S. have building codes requiring ice and water shield on every roof to prevent leaks. The waterproof ice and water shield does a remarkable job preventing ice damming and other winter weather hazards.

At Maycon Construction Services, we can apply an ice and water shield to your roof in and around Huntington, WV, or in neighboring communities in Ohio and Kentucky. Call us today at 304-208-8978 for expert roofing services!

What Is an Ice and Water Shield?

Ice and Water Shield roof underlayment

An Ice and water shield is an underlayment that protects your roof decking from ice and water damage. The waterproof rubber membrane creates a tight seal under the roof’s shingles and wherever roofing nails or fixtures penetrate the layer above the decking.

The Risks of Ice Damming

risk of ice dam roof

When the snow piles up on your house in winter, the rising heat from indoors causes it to melt. The water flows to the edges of your roof, where the cool air freezes it again. As this cycle continues, an ice dam forms and prevents melted snow from draining properly.

Without shielding underneath for protection, your roof and home can suffer severe water damage. The underlayment keeps the water out and helps it drain off the eaves of your roof, preventing ice dams from forming initially.

Types of Ice and Water Shields

Three types of ice and water shields include:

  • Granular (or sand surface) ice and water shield is the thinnest type, primarily for waterproofing the roof’s valleys.
  • Smooth surface ice and water shield is suitable for low slope roofs.
  • The fibers making up a high heat ice and water shield make it perfect for metal roofing since the cotton-like material won’t stick to the metal.

Where To Install an Ice and Water Shield on Your Roof

The primary purpose of an ice and water shield is to create a watertight barrier on areas vulnerable to leaks and water damage. Ice and water shield works the best on:

Roof Edges or Eaves

Ice dams tend to form around the gutters on the roof’s edge, where the water pools and refreezes after flowing down the roof’s slope. The waterproof layer helps the water drain into the gutter rather than leaking through nail holes and other exposed areas of your roof.

Chimneys, Vents, and Other Roof Fixtures

Any opening on your roof is an opportunity for water to get inside your home, so it’s crucial to install ice and water shields wherever fixtures penetrate your roof. The rubberized shield fits snugly into empty spaces around chimneys, vents, and skylights.


A valley, where two slopes meet, is one of the most sensitive areas of a roof. Valleys can sustain damage from hail, rain, and debris. If large amounts of water from rain or melting snow run down the damaged shingles, water could get underneath the outer layer and damage the roof’s structure.

Low-Slope Roofs

Buildings with steep slopes have an easier time draining water, but low-slope roofs carry the risk of buildup from piling snow and ice dams. An ice and water shield is an important addition to any low-slope roof to prevent water damage.

The Cost of Ice and Water Shields

The amount you pay for your ice and water shield will depend on several factors, including:

  • Where you live
  • The shield’s material
  • The number of rolls
  • The cost of installation

The price could range from $100 to $500 per roll, with the highest-quality materials on the upper end. Granular shielding is the cheapest, while high-heat ice and water shields are the most expensive.

Though the underlayment might add some cost to your roof installation budget, it’s worth it for the protection it provides for your roof.

Professional Roofing Services in the WV-OH-KY Tri-State Area

With over 75 years of combined roofing experience, our team at Maycon Construction Services can provide tried-and-true solutions for all your roofing needs. We believe in serving our communities in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky with unmatched reliability and professionalism, and we always live up to our commitments.

Want to install an ice and water shield to protect your roof? Contact us today at 304-208-8978 for an estimate!