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How to waterproof roof penetrations

Your home's roof penetrations are the most vulnerable part of your home. Roof penetrations refer to areas on a roof deck that accommodates electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems. For example, installing vent pipes is easier and faster if they pass through the roof deck than running them underground.

Water leaks can occur anytime if such accessories are left unprotected. Rising water will eventually cause ceilings to collapse, damage drywall, building materials, and result in costly repairs.

Ice & Water Shield or leak barriers act to waterproof roof penetrations such as vent pipes, ducts, skylights, chimneys, and antenna cables by sealing out moisture, protecting against wind-driven rain and hail, and keeping the cold out in winter.

Waterproofing roof penetrations can be complex if a person does not have proper knowledge and waterproofing membrane in place. That is why you need to shop around for the best roofing contractor through referrals and online reviews.

Why Ice & Water Shield or Leak Barrier in Waterproofing Roofs?

Ice & Water Shield is a type of waterproofing membrane that helps protect your roof, especially around critical areas such as vent pipes, skylights, plumbing stacks, chimneys, and wires.

Ice & Water Shield is a shingle underlayment that combines a rubberized asphalt layer with a fiberglass mesh mat. It has an adhesive backing. Ice & Water Shield serves as a secondary roof deck to distribute the roof loads over the roof's surface. The ice and water barrier is an additional line of defense against leakage through cracks or gaps in the primary layer (shingles) by providing a secondary barrier to water penetration.

How to Install Ice & Water Shield on a Roof

The Ice & Water Shield should be installed around critical areas like valleys, eaves (in some cases), and around roofing accessories. It should be installed around accessories as an additional layer of protection between the shingles; by doing this, any water penetrating the shingles will be captured by this membrane and will be directed towards other shingles avoiding damage to the substrate (decking).

You should install Ice & Water shield as per the manufacturer's instructions, so it would be wise to read the instructions before beginning an installation project. I&W Shield has several different types available; they all have similar properties, so it doesn't matter so long as it is appropriate for the application.

Install Ice & Water Shield properly with the upper lip of the membrane folded over and attached to the deck to seal against rain penetration. It's similar to installing other roofing material; overlap seams, lap them over each other and secure them in place.

I&W Shield should be installed covering the decking on roof slopes between 1/12 to 3/12 to prevent water penetration due to the low pitch.

What to watch out for when waterproofing roof penetrations

It is worth noting that water can enter a building through roof penetrations, such as skylights, chimneys, and vent pipes. Don't assume that these roof penetrations are sealed or that water cannot penetrate the roof deck. Water can enter the roof deck through holes in the decking or penetrations through the deck.

When waterproofing roof penetrations, there are three critical components:

  • A membrane system that provides both protection from water and moisture intrusion and a barrier against water vapor.

  • An underlayment to fill the voids beneath the membrane.

  • A surface protection that protects the underlayment from damage.

Waterproofing a roof is a tricky proposition. There's nothing like a good roof that prevents water leakage and provides warmth. A leaky roof causes much damage, including mold, mildew, and rot, which can be very expensive to repair. You will continue experiencing more leaks if you don't waterproof your penetrations.

You can usually stop leaks by caulking the holes, but the best way to do it is from the exterior. Before repairing the roof, you need to waterproof the penetrations. Generally, water can infiltrate or damage a building more easily if it enters via roof penetrations.

Therefore, builders need to take all necessary precautions when installing exterior roof penetrations, including using special flashing systems. It's just one of the many elements builders have to think about when waterproofing a roof.

Wrapping Up

Waterproofing your roof can help you save lots of money on repairs! Contact Top Roofing LLC today for reliable roof penetration sealing and replacements or repair of residential and commercial roofs. So make that call and trust us on all matters roofing.

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