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Is An Ice And Water Shield Required In Mississippi?

Posted on April 26, 2024

Is An Ice And Water Shield Required In Mississippi?

As a skilled roofer with years of experience, I often get asked by homeowners whether ice and water shields are required when installing a new roof in Mississippi. This is an important question, as using the right roofing materials can protect your home from water damage and ensure your roof lasts for decades.

In this blog post, I will explain what ice and water shields are, why they are important, and whether they are mandatory in Mississippi. I will also provide tips on how to properly install them.

What Are Ice And Water Shields?

If you are in the process of replacing your roof, then by now you may already be aware of the crucial role underlayment plays in a roofing system. Ice and water shields are also a type of roof underlayment, or protective membrane that is installed directly onto the roof deck before the shingles are installed. 

They act as an extra layer of defense against water intrusion that may be caused by wind-driven rain or other weather conditions.

These shields are made of rubberized asphalt or other waterproof materials that create a tight seal around nails, preventing leaks. They are designed to be both waterproof and vapor permeable, allowing moisture to escape from inside while blocking water from outside.

Ice and Water Shields vs. Roof Underlayment

Ice and Water Shields vs. Roof Underlayment

Many homeowners are still confused as to whether ice and water shields and roof underlayment are the same thing or have differences. 

While both the ice and water shield and the underlayment go beneath your roofing shingles and have the same purpose, they have different characteristics.

  • Though the underlayment is water resistant, an ice and water shield offers you better protection against heavy rains. 
  • While underlayment is typically installed over the entire surface of the roof, an ice and water shield is only required to be installed along more vulnerable areas, such as roof valleys. 
  • Ice and water shields are self-adhering materials, whereas most types of underlayment have to be stapled into place. 

It is important to make sure both the underlayment and ice and water shield are installed correctly to ensure maximum protection for your roof.

Are Ice and Water Shields Required In Mississippi?

The short answer is no, ice and water shields are not legally mandated for roofs in Mississippi. Most roofing codes simply require roofs to have an underlayment barrier installed, but don’t specify ice and water shields as a requirement.

However, it’s important to note that some specific cities or counties within Mississippi may have amended building codes that do require the use of ice and water shields, especially in areas prone to severe weather like hail or hurricanes.

Why Are They Important?

As we covered, an ice and water shield is generally not required in Mississippi as there are not as many instances where they would be required for your roof, unlike homes that receive frequent snow and ice dam coverage. However, we still recommend installing it on your roof for added protection.  

Here are some key benefits of installing ice and water shields: 

Shedding Water: 

Even in areas without extreme winter weather, ice and water shields act as a waterproof barrier against heavy rainfall events. When shingles blow off or get cracked by debris, the underlayment and ice and water shield work to protect the deck underneath until repairs can be made.

Deck Protection:

Roof decks are prone to rotting, warping, and becoming weak when exposed to sustained moisture intrusion. Ice and water shields protect the roof deck from moisture damage, extending its lifespan. 

Increased Energy Efficiency:

A lesser-known benefit of installing an ice and water shield is that they can contribute to the energy efficiency of your home. Not only do they prevent moisture, but these roofing shields also block air infiltration, which ultimately improves the home’s energy efficiency. They seal any gaps or cracks in the roof deck, preventing cooler air from escaping the home and outdoor air from entering through the attic. This reduces heating/cooling losses and lowers utility bills.

How Do You Install Ice And Water Shields?

For ice and water shields to work effectively, you need to make sure that they are installed properly. Here is a brief overview on how they’re installed: 

Clean The Roof Deck: 

Before installing this waterproof membrane or any roofing component, it is important to clean your roof deck. Ice and water shields tend to come in peel-and-stick form so if there is dust or debris on the deck, it will stick to the membrane, potentially causing air bubbles. 

Cut The Material To Size: 

After cleaning the deck, it is time to measure the surface area on which you will install the ice and water shield. This type of underlayment is typically installed in vulnerable areas such as the eaves and valleys, rather than throughout the roof. So you need to measure these areas correctly in order to ensure there is enough overlap to cover tricky spots. 

Installing The Ice and Water Shield  

Now that you know where you want to install the shield, and have prepped the roof deck for installation, it’s time to adhere the ice and water shield in place. Many brands manufacture an easy-to-use peel and stick underlayment, but some might require that you use a heat gun or torch to properly activate the adhesive.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to install the ice and water shield in manageable sections, usually 6 to 10 feet at a time to avoid wrinkles and bubbles. 

Trust Our Experts For A Roof Replacement

While we’ve addressed how an ice and water shield is not necessary to have on your roof in Mississippi, it’s still a good idea to install one in order to enhance the durability of your roof and make it fare better against heavy rain or storms. 
If you’re looking to install an ice and water shield on your roof then it’s time to call the professional roofers at Renova Roofing & Construction. We are a dedicated roofing company serving Mississippi and other areas across the Gulf Coast. Contact us today at (601) 647-3433 for the best roof replacement services.