Roofing Underlayment: The Important Role It Plays

roofing underlayment

Installing a new roof is a more complex project than many homeowners or business owners realize from the outset. It’s not just a matter of buying enough tearing off the old shingles and putting on the new. There are many factors at play and decisions to make. One, in particular, that can have a dramatic impact on the life of your roof is roofing underlayment. It’s also one of the many reasons you shouldn’t take on a project like this yourself. In this article, we’ll be discussing the specifics of what underlayment does, what to look for in quality underlayment, and what your options are. 

What Is Roofing Underlayment?

Roofing underlayment is a layer of material that is installed between the roof deck and the shingles. The underlayment serves as a barrier, protecting the roof deck from water damage.

There are two types of underlayment: felt and synthetic. Felt underlayment is made from organic materials, such as wood fibers or paper. Synthetic underlayment is made from inorganic materials, such as polypropylene or polyethylene. Both types of underlayment are available in a variety of weights and thicknesses.

The Installation Process

When installing an underlayment, it is important to use the correct type and weight for the specific application. The underlayment should also be properly secured to the roof deck using nails or staple guns. After doing so,  the shingles can be installed on top of the underlayment.

Many roofing professionals recommend installing a synthetic underlayment because it is more durable and longer-lasting than felt. Synthetic underlayments are also less likely to absorb moisture, which can lead to mold growth.

The installation process for a synthetic underlayment is similar to that of felt underlayment. The main difference is that synthetic underlayments are often self-adhesive, meaning they can be applied without the use of nails or staples.

How Underlayment Protects Your Roof

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, and the underlayment is an important part of that. The underlayment is a water-resistant or waterproof barrier. This layer of protection helps to keep your home dry by deflecting wind-driven rain, melting snow, and ice away from your house. In addition, the underlayment can also help to buffer your home from the effects of high winds. When installed correctly, the underlayment can provide an additional layer of protection that can help to prolong the life of your roof.

Underlayment also provides additional insulation and can help to reduce energy costs. Many people don’t realize that the type of underlayment they choose for their homes can have a significant impact on energy costs.

In general, underlayment helps to insulate the home, keeping the heat in during winter and out during summer. This is because underlayment is typically made from materials that have a high R-value, which is a measure of a material’s ability to resist heat flow.

The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. When selecting underlayment, it’s important to look for materials with a high R-value that are also breathable. This will help to prevent condensation and mold growth, which can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

It can also extend the life of the roof by protecting it from ultraviolet rays and other elements. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause premature aging of your roofing materials, making them brittle and more prone to cracking and leaks.

Wind and rain can also wear down your roof over time, causing it to degrade and break down. All of these elements can shorten the life expectancy of your roof. However, you can help to prolong the life of your roof by choosing good underlayment materials and getting the right people to install them. As a result, an underlayment can add several years to the life expectancy of your roof.

More On Underlayment Materials

Underlayment is available in a variety of materials, including asphalt-saturated felt, rubberized asphalt, and non-woven polypropylene. Each type of underlayment has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the right one for the project.

Asphalt-saturated felt is the most common type of underlayment. It is often used in conjunction with a vapor barrier to prevent condensation and mold development. Rubberized asphalt provides better protection against moisture and wind, but it is usually more expensive. Non-woven polypropylene is a lightweight, breathable material that is becoming more popular in roofing applications. The main advantage of this type is that it’s easy to install and doesn’t require the use of a vapor barrier.

When selecting an underlayment material, it is also important to consider the climate in which you live. If you live in an area with high humidity, then you will need to choose an underlayment that is breathable and can help to prevent condensation, for example.

Roofing Underlayment Plays An Important Role

Underlayment is an important part of any roofing project and should be given careful consideration before installation. Most homeowners are best served to discuss the specifics with a professional before making a final decision. That’s where Molandes Roofing can help. We have helped many homeowners and business owners through the roofing process from underlayment to shingles to final cleanup. Let us know what we can do to help you. Contact us today for a free quote.

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