Which self-adhering ice and water shield for my new roof

brendogJuly 14, 2010

Hello roofing pros (and everyone else). I'm about to get my house re-roofed. Being the research-geek that I am, I feel like everyone thinks the Grace Ice and Water shield is the best you can get. I plan to probably go with Certainteed Landmark shingles and Certainteed roofers select for an underlayment. So far, every roofer has included Certainteed Winterguard for an ice and water shield in their proposal. I know that the Certainteed Winterguard is about half the cost of the grace product, so I'm guessing that's why the roofers included the Certainteed product in their proposal. Also, my understanding is that the Grace Ice and Water shield is not very user friendly (super sticky, sticks to itself, etc.)

Now, my question is: should I insist on my roofer upgrading to the Grace Ice and water shield instead of the certainteed ice and water shield, or should I stick with the proposal? I want it done right, and I don't mind spending an extra $200 in material cost to upgrade from Certainteed winterguard to grace ice and water shield. I live in the snowy northeast and I feel like it's good added insurance. What do you other roofers like to use for an ice and water shield?

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We have certainteed grand manors with w.r.grace ice and water shield because the roofing contractor prefers it over certainteeds underlayment. Another consideration for you is to have the entire roof underlayment done with grace ice and water shield. Because our rooflines are cut up, the majority of it was done in grace and I wish now I would have asked them just to go ahead and do it all. Oh well!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 10:46AM
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Yes, sierreast, I suppose that is another debate: whether or not to cover the entire roof in ice and water shield? Right now, my feeling is that it's most likely unnecessary, unless you live in a very wet or snowy region, or you have a very shallow pitch roof. Right now, the plan is to place 6' of ice and water shield on the eaves and in the valleys, and around the chimney, there will probably be none on the rakes and none on the ridge. The roofers have all suggested using Certainteed winterguard, but I think I'll ask them to use the grace now. Of course, on top of the ice and water shield will be the certainteed roofers select and the certianteed landmark 30 year shingles.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 10:53AM
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IMHO the Grace product is superior. On all such products there should be a string that makes it easy to remove half of the backing paper so it's easy to install. If any form of this kind of product doesn't aggressively stick to itself, don't use it.

WinterGuard is part of what CertainTeed calls their "Integrity Roof System". Make sure the use of a different self-adhering underlayment doesn't reduce the manufacturer's warranty for the complete roofing system. They sometimes do that in order to sell their products but often the increased warranty is redundant or of little value (like most shingle warranties).

If you use the CertainTeed product use WinterGuard HT instead of the sand and granular coated version.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 4:05PM
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I've tried the Certainteed but all I use is Grace. And virtually every time I buy it, I always get the "You know, we have a similar product that's less expensive..." from the people on the desk.

Ordering a roll of lead or lead-coated copper for chimney flashing throws them for a loop too.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 6:45PM
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Didn't know you could still get lead flashing. We used it extensively on cape cod in the mid eighties. It was great especially for form fitting!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 7:02PM
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I'm not sure about any Warranty issues Certainteed may have with the use of Grace, I suppose I can call and ask, though my guess is that if they don't want to warrant one of their products, there are many ways they could find fault with either the install or products used in order to void the warranty.
Again, I want the roof done right with the right products, and I think that the feedback here has re-affirmed my initial thought that I should insist on the grace in place of the certainteed winterguard.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 10:36AM
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Shingle warranty's are something I'm not terribly concerned with. Still...

I'd recommend you write the Certainteed tech department and simply tell them that your installer will be using Grace Ice and Water, and you'd like to use Certainteed shingles but are concerned about the warranty, blah blah. Tell then that other than the use of Grace, the shingles will be installed in accordance with Certainteed's blah blah, and then ask will the use of Grace in any way shape or form void or limit the Certainteed warranty on the installed shingles.

Hopefully your writing skills are superior to mine and you can come up with something more appropriate than "blah blah."

If their reply is to your satisfaction, print it out, file it away, and away you go!

In critical situations I've followed up the email reply from the tech department with phone call, confirming the info in the email is correct, and annotating the email with the the name of the person on the phone, as well as the date and time of the call. That gives you two sources from the tech department should you ever have a problem in the future.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 11:47AM
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There is no warranty problem with using Grace underlayment products with CertainTeed or any other shingle. I was referring to the practice of improving the warranty if all CertainTeed products are used. The marketing information is vague so it might give extra protection in the first few years or it might not be anything at all. You just need to ask.

I agree that material-only pro-rated asphalt shingle warranties aren't worth much. I believe they are primarily used to up-sell owners and to get the installer paid on time.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 12:39PM
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1) Grace Ice and Water Shield product is the best.
2) We recommend Ice & Shield for 6ft beyond the plane of the wall, so if you have 3 ft soffits we'd use 9ft of membrane. Just something to consider.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 2:50PM
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I just had a new shingle roof put on my ranch house with a low pitched roof. My builder used Ice and Water for the first 6 feet. But he then used a white membrane in the vallies and on the edges to avoid ice dams. Now I have a two tone roof - black shingles and white membrane. I don't want a 2 tone roof so what is the fix?
Should he take off the white membrane, which he says is better than black rubber, and use the black rubber? Is there a roof paint for the white membrane?
Or should he use double I and W and then just shingle over it? Or what would you do?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 8:02AM
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