ANDERSON – Not only did the recent snow and ice wreak havoc with roads and schedules, they also placed a strain on the roofs of homeowners.
While their presence likely did not cause damage to the little-considered but oh-so-important feature, it did uncover already-existing issues.
“If there is a weak spot in the roof, the ice will find it and infiltrate it,” said Cory Moore, owner of CMC Construction for 18 years. “A good roof that was properly installed with an ice and water shield shouldn’t have any problems.”
If that ice and water shield is missing, as it is on many homes, then leaks appear after ice dams the gutters.
“Ice builds up at the bottom edge of the roof,” said Moore. “When the snow starts to melt, it can’t make it into the gutter and backs up under the shingles and into the house. One home had ice over one foot taller than the roof. The water couldn’t go anywhere except back into the home.”
The ice and water shield is a protective layer installed underneath the lowest three feet of shingles.
“Most of our calls are due to a lack of an ice and water shield,” said Cory Atkinson, owner of Superior Roofing for 17 years. “After the big hail storm in 2000, Anderson changed the building code to require those shields but a couple of years later they were pulled from the code. So a lot of homeowners took that to mean they don’t need them.”
Atkinson said that he gets calls every year as a result of this oversight and that almost any leak along the exterior wall of the home is an ice dam issue.
“Problems won’t occur during every snow event,” he added. “But if the snow melts during the day and water runs into the gutter and then refreezes during the night due to the lack of heat on the overhang, then an ice dam can form.”