Eave Protection: A Must for Winter

There is a lot of talk in winter about the benefits of eave protection for your home.

But what purpose does it actually serve?

What happens on your roof in winter

As you know, warm air is lighter than cold air. So, it tends to rise. Your house is no exception: warm air rises into the attic space and gets trapped right under your roof.

This hot air trapped under the top part of your roof is at the heart of the following reaction:

  1. The accumulation of warm air leads to more heat on the roof, which causes snow to melt off the roof.
  2. This snow, now turned water, runs down the roof. It eventually reaches colder parts of the roof and freezes. This process is amplified when the water encounters pre-existing ice on the way down, as often happens on the lower parts of the roof.
  3. Ice accumulates at the bottom of the roof and ice dams form, blocking water from flowing.
  4. If it does not freeze quickly, the water held by the ice dams seeps in under the shingles. This infiltration can cause serious damage to your ceilings, walls, rain gutters, and more.
  5. This is especially common during freeze-thaw cycles, which tend to happen most often in early and late winter, when temperatures hover around the freezing point, tipping one way or the other as the sun rises and sets.

How eave protection works

The specific role of eave protection is to prevent water infiltration caused by ice build-up. As described above, the water held by ice dams can cause damage by seeping under the shingles.

Eave protection acts like a gutter for water trapped by ice dams

This watertight membrane, placed under the shingles, collects any water that gets under the shingles behind the ice dams. So instead of continuing downward and infiltrating into the roof, the water is routed to your roof’s main gutter.

A few tips to reduce ice damming:

  • The attic space should be properly insulated from your home’s heat to reduce snow melt.

  • The edge of your rain gutters should be lower than the extension of the roof slope to allow snow and ice to slide off the roof.

  • Vents should be used to ensure roofing is well aerated.

Choose the right eave protection for your roof

BP Canada offers two high-quality self-adhering waterproof membranes designed for the North American climate: Gripgard and Weathertex®

The Gripgard and Weathertex® waterproof membranes protect from water and ice on eaves, valleys, hip and ridge caps, roof edges, and all protrusions. Both are composed of a rubberized asphalt roofing sheet with a strong inorganic glass mat for reinforcement. The back is covered with an easily removable dual scored plastic release film, and the top surface of the Gripgard membrane is embedded with fine inorganic granules for optimal hold on shingles. Sand is used for the same purpose on the Weathertex® membrane.

You will find technical details on our eave protection products here.