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Rockland County Roofing: Article About Ice Barriers

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In places like New York that receive harsh winter weather with plenty of snow and freezing rain, roofing systems experience a considerable burden in handling the precipitation. The weight of one quarter of an inch of ice or 12 inches of snow can add over 4,000 pounds of weight on the surface of a 1,000-square-foot roof. A slight daytime warmup allows some of that frozen material to melt. As nighttime approaches and the temperature drops, a refreeze takes place. Repeated cycles of this lead to ice dams, which can cause major damage to a house. Experienced Rockland County roofing contractors use durable and long-lasting ice barriers to help protect against leaks that result from ice dams and melting snow packs.

Ice barriers are designed to reduce the transfer of moisture through the portion of a roof that extends past the structure's exterior walls. Most ice barriers are created by manufacturers to be self-adhesive and self-healing. The roofers remove a paper backing and press the adhesive side to the roof's wooden decking. Local and state building code requirements maintain that this barrier should extend 24 inches up from the exterior wall.

Precision Roofing, Rockland County roofing experts can answer questions regarding shingle replacement or TPO roofing.

Due to the potential for heavy snowfall, most contractors install several layers of the ice barrier.

In addition to installing ice barriers around the roof's edges, contractors may also choose to install them around roof protrusions. The barriers can be helpful around openings for chimneys, furnace flues, plumbing openings and exhaust vents. They can also be used around skylights. Their presence can help to lessen the risk of a water leak in these risky areas.

Many roofers will also install ice barriers along a roof's rakes and valleys. As snow slides down a roof, it will build up in the low spots such as the valley of a cross-hipped roof. The added weight puts these places at an especially high risk of back-flowing water and excessive pressure on the shingles.

Other types of waterproofing membranes cannot be used instead of an ice barrier. This is because the film thickness and thermal resistance values of such materials are inadequate for the level of protection that houses at risk of ice dams require. Application of the correct amount of ice barrier does not add much to the overall cost of installing a roof and is considerably less expensive than repairing or replacing a roof, drywall and ceiling that have been damaged as a result of a leak.

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