Ice belts are used on house roofs in colder climates to help prevent roof leaks and water damage. During cold weather, ice dams can form on the edges of roofs, trapping standing water. The standing water can seep beneath roof materials, such as shingles, and into the house. Metal ice belts installed on the edge of the roof solve this problem by preventing ice and snow buildup. You can add a decorative touch to your ice belt by installing metal seam-type plates.
Things You'll Need
- Safety rope (if needed)
- Ice belt kit (metal standing seam pieces, winterized material)
- Tin snips
- Utility knife
Determine the length you'll need for your ice belt. The belt needs to reach about a foot or so from where the lowest space in the attic meets the roof joist. Measure from the fascia, which is the wooden edge of the roof that faces toward the outside of the house, underneath the roof to the wall. Make a note of this measurement. Add a foot and a half (to account for the ceiling and roof joists) to your original measurement. The sum is the length, measuring from the front of the fascia back toward the top of the roof, of ice belt needed.
Measure the width of your roof from corner to corner. Break up odd-shaped parts of your roof by measuring them separately. Add 10 percent into this figure for overages, and you will have the linear amount of footage needed for your roof coverage.
Use a ladder to reach your roof, if needed. On high roofs, use safety gear such as a retaining rope to secure yourself. Use a broom and brush to clean off any debris around the edges of the shingles. Inspect and make any shingle repairs, if needed.
Start in one corner of the roof. Put down any weatherized sheeting that came with your ice belt on the surface of the shingles.
Place the standing seam ice belt on top of the weatherized material. Secure it with roofing nails or screws as indicated by the manufacturer.
Place down another sheet of weatherized material. Slip the next section of ice belt over the first standing seam so the seams fit inside each other and the belt lays flat on the weatherized material. Secure with nails or screws.
Repeat this process across the roof until the edges are covered. Measure and cut the weatherized material and belt as needed when reaching odd angles or corners. Trim material with a belt, and metal ice belt pieces with tin snips.
Tips & Warnings
- Some weatherized material comes with adhesive backing for sticking onto the roof. Always follow your material manufacturer's directions if they differ from those above.
- Always wear safety gloves when working with tin snips.