July 20, 2023 | Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The weather is turning to the monsoon season and it’s important to prepare your roof for the storm that’s coming. Sure, there are many things you can do to prepare for a storm, but what about the roof? When it rains, the water droplets will likely seep through any cracks in your shingles, find their way to the edge of your roof, and drip down onto the wood below.

Ice and water barriers for your roof in Edmonton

In order to prevent roof damage, you should consider installing an ice and water barrier on your roof. In some cases, a new roof installation may be necessary which is costly. The ice and water barrier is the best way you can protect your home from damages caused by ice dams and leaks from the shingles. This is a more cost-effective investment that will protect your home.

There are three main layers of a roof system. Roof shingles are the top visible layer. There are other components such as underlayment, ice and water barriers, ventilation, and insulation. They work together to help your home from water, snow, dust, and a lot more.

How to Stop Water from Reaching the Roof Deck

Many people are unaware of the dangers of standing water on their roofs. If not properly drained, water can leak into the space between the roof deck and the plywood sheathing, trapping moisture in this space. This can lead to rapid deterioration of your roof deck, high leakage rates, mold growth, and ice dams when it freezes.

The design of a roof has many purposes. The roof of your property offers protection from the elements, such as rain, snow, dust, and many other things. Rain lands on the surface of the roof aka shingles and runs down towards the roof’s slope into gutters. This directs the water towards downspouts and drains from the foundation. Rooftop snow follows the same process when it melts.

There are many situations that can disrupt the ideal flow of water. The result of this standing water on a rooftop leads to leakage.

Roof Leaks

Roof leaks can cause a great deal of stress and headache for homeowners, but there are simple DIY solutions that can help you identify the problem and fix it. For a small leak, you may need to seal the area around the pipes in your attic with a rubberized material. For a large leak, it is best to call a professional roofer who will be able to fix the leak more quickly.

Causes of roof leaks

There are many many causes of roof leakages. Lets discuss them

Improper maintenance

Maintenance plays a crucial role in the prevention of roof leakage. The roof is a crucial component of any home. The walls may stop rain from sneaking through the cracks, but for those water droplets running down the roof and onto your furniture or carpet, there’s nothing to stop them from doing their worst. Proper maintenance is key to keeping water out of your house and preserving your home’s value.

Improper installation

Always prefer experienced and expert for roof installation work. For any homeowner who is looking to ensure the longevity of their roof, it is important to take the necessary precautions. One way to do this is by installing an ice and water barrier on the roof. This will help protect against shingle damage, reduce air-conditioning costs, and provide insulation.

Poor construction

Rests on one of the most fundamental aspects of property maintenance, ice and water barriers for your roof are an integral part of property owners’ efforts to maintain their homes so they may preserve the property value. Roofs are especially vulnerable to water damage due to their location on top of a building. It is important to undertake roof repair before problems become too severe for repair after which it can cost more in time and money.

Fallen tree branches

Do you have a tree in your backyard? If so, you need to be prepared for fallen branches. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your roof from getting damaged by trees. One simple solution is the ice and water barrier. This is a tube made of two-ply polyethylene that can be filled with water or ice and then used as an insulation barrier to keep the heat out. So fallen tree branches also plays role in roof leakage.

Clogged gutters

Clogged gutters are the main reason which causes the rood leakage. One of the causes of clogged gutters is leaves, dirt, and other debris that have accumulated over time. Clogged gutters can also be caused by improperly draining rainwater off of roofs. Water that accumulates on a roof can leak into the gutter and accumulate there, causing it to overflow. A simple solution to this problem is using ice or water barriers on the roof.

Rainwater runoff

Many homeowners think that the only way to deal with rainwater runoff is to allow it to flow off their roofs and into storm sewers or catch basins. While this practice is better than allowing rainwater to flow into your basement, it can still cause problems. The first problem is that water runoff from a roof picks up debris and other pollutants as it flows towards the ground.

What are Ice and Water Barriers?

Your roof is the first line of defense against inclement weather, but it’s also susceptible to damage from falling ice and water. Buying a commercial waterproofing product for your roof won’t do you much good if the coating never gets applied. Fortunately, there are other options to consider. One option is using commercial ice and water barriers on your roof for temporary protection. These barriers are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply.

Ice and water barrier

An ice barrier is not a barrier to ice forming. It is a leak barrier that blocks water that backs up behind an ice dam from leaking inside the house. Ice and water barrier is a self-adhering rubberized membrane that protects your roof from leaking due to excessive water conditions. These conditions occur during wind-driven rain and even more so during water back from ice dams.

It is a barrier underlayment below the shingles. It is directly adhering to the roof decking, these barriers are impermeable, meaning they seal tightly around the nails and keep moisture out.

Ice and water barriers are added protection to your roof and they can be used in:

Valleys of the roof:

There are lots of peaks and valleys of the roof, depending on the house’s architectural design. Rainwater trickles down from the roof and collects into the valley. After it reaches the gutters. So valley is the junction point of rain and snow water, we should use water barriers there to protect the most vulnerable part of the roof.


The eaves are the edges of the roof which overhang the face of a wall and, normally, project beyond the side of a building. The edges of your roof are directly exposed. Winds power lifts the shingles, which makes water letting interiors of the roof. Also blocked gutters can cause water backup, so it is a good idea to use ice and water barriers in and near eaves.

Roof penetrations:

Roof penetration refers to any hole that is made through your roof that is made to install a piece of equipment. Common sources of roof penetration include air, combustion or plumbing vents, skylights, chimneys, and AC units. Your roof must have ice and water barriers around roof penetrations.

Entire roof surface:

This is a little costly but it prevents roof leakage. Since our Edmonton and surrounding areas’ weather is stormy during winter, there is a high probability to lose a few shingles during the high winds. You will be in peace of mind if your entire roof surface has ice and a water barrier.

Ice Dams

Ice Dam

What is Ice Dams?

An ice dam is an ice build-up on the eaves of sloped roofs of heated buildings that results from melting snow under a snowpack reaching the eave and freezing there.

  • Ice dams are large chunks of ice that form on rooftops due to melting snow and freezing again.
  • They are difficult to remove, can damage your roof, and can lead to water leaks inside your home.
  • They can become a serious issue if they reach the edge of the roof.

How does an ice dam form?

When you combine rooftop snow, heat loss from the attic, and below-freezing temperatures, you have the exact recipe for an ice dam. The more snow and colder the temperature, the worse the outcome.

Process of ice dam formation happens on the roof
  1. Snowfall and collect on the roof
  2. Snow melts due to heat transfer from the attic, due to poor insulation.
  3. The melted water flows down the roof’s surface.
  4. Once the water reaches the eaves, it freezes once again due to the cold temperature outside of the house.
  5. At the eave, it creates a solid wall.
  6. This process continues and the solid wall at the eave may increase.

Prevention Strategies for Ice Dams

You can not stop falling snow on your roof, there is only one way to overcome this prevents ice dams. By making sure your attic is adequately insulated and ventilated, you can help prevent ice dams from forming in the first place.

Attic Ventilation

The primary reason for the rooftop snowmelt is improper attic ventilation. We should plan the attic temperature to be the same as the exterior temperature, so snow will not melt and an ice dam should not happen.

What causes elevated attic temperatures? Both air leakage through the ceiling and insufficient insulation can contribute to the elevated attic temperature. Properly located ventilation with sufficient net-free area can help direct the warmed air away from the attic minimizing snowmelt.

What is a sufficient net-free area? Attics should have intake and exhaust vents positioned to provide balanced airflow. Vent sizes are expressed in net free vent areas which accounts for any grilles or filters to give you the actual open area for airflow for each vent.

Why is insufficient or lack of attic ventilation a problem?

Insufficient ventilation that allows the attic to get warm can cause snow to melt and equally as important, a lack of ventilation can allow condensation to form on the interior side of the roof deck leading to wood rot and potential for mold growth.

How can I make sure my attic is properly ventilated?

You can maintain the attic properly ventilated in many ways. A balanced soffit and ridge vent system is recommended. There are other options that can provide proper ventilation also. A roofing contractor will calculate the ventilation need.

Attic Insulation

Make sure your ceiling is properly insulated. Also, make sure that air sealing of your ceiling.

Need help to fight against the ice dam?

If you live in an Edmonton region, it is known for frequent heavy snowfalls and frigid winter temperatures, ice dams are a seasonal risk for us. Ice and water barriers are the best defense for preventing water leaks caused by ice dams. Ice and water barriers are

  1. Self-sealing: it prevents water infiltration around nails.
  2. Waterproofing: It gives added protection to the valley and roof opening.
  3. Self-Adhesive: It secures that no space provides for the water for migration.

Best Top Roofing is a roofing company based in Edmonton, Alberta’s capital region, specializing in the new roof, reroof, and roof repair, and roof maintenance. Since 2010, Best Top Roofing has served the communities of Edmonton, Beaumont, Leduc, Calmar, Devon, Lamont, Wetaskiwin, Sherwood Park, Ft. Saskatchewan, Bruderheim, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Edson Plamondon, Morinville, Gibbons, Red Water, Two Hills, Tofield, and Calgary. Call us at 780-710-9990 for any emergency roofing service.

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