Your roof is comprised of many different components and each plays a vital role in protecting your roof. Underlayment is one of the most important roofing materials as it allows your roof to withstand all types of weather. Roofing underlayment is a water-resistant barrier that is installed directly to the roof deck, underneath the shingles. Without underlayment, your roof could succumb to water damage, resulting in problems like wood rot, mold growth, and degradation of materials.
Types of Roofing Underlayment
The type of underlayment used on your roof can make a major impact on its ability to ward off rain, snow and ice. There are three main types of roofing underlayment used on residential homes, including asphalt-saturated felt, non-bitumen synthetic underlayment and rubberized asphalt underlayment. While each type works a little differently, all three acts as a moisture barrier and an extra layer of protection for your roof. It is true that shingles provide the first line of defense against water intrusion but shingles overlap and are not sealed on all sides. This is why you need underlayment.
Asphalt-saturated felt has been used by contractors for many decades. This common roofing underlayment is often used on steep slope roofing systems as it is affordable and effective. Saturated underlayment is easy to install and can last for many years due to its high tear strength. You can usually find black, asphalt-saturated felt paper made from either organic or fiberglass substrate. This type of underlayment is not waterproof, but is water-resistant. It is typically available in two thicknesses: 15-pound or 30-pound. The 30-pound underlayment provides more protection as it is stiffer and thicker.
Synthetic roofing underlayment is a more modern technology that has a number of advantages over traditional saturated underlayment. In addition to being up to six times lighter than saturated underlayment, synthetic products are also three times stronger. Most synthetic underlayment is constructed from durable polypropylene fabric which makes it more water-resistant than saturated underlayment. However, it is also more costly. In return for a bigger investment, you will receive a roofing underlayment that will not crack, rot or buckle. It is also slip resistant which makes it safer for contractors on your roof. Many modern synthetic underlayments also contains a protective UV coating.
Rubberized asphalt underlayment looks like sheets of rubber once installed. This type of underlayment is installed directly onto the roof deck using special adhesive. While there are many benefits of using rubberized underlayment, one of the biggest is its flexibility which allows the material to adapt appropriately to both cold and hot weather.
What makes rubberized roofing underlayment unique is the features that it offers. In addition to providing homeowners with improved waterproofing capabilities, the underlayment also provides fiberglass reinforcement and effective sound absorption. If a roof leak should occur at any point in the future, rubberized asphalt can also be patched to prevent you from having to replace all of the underlayment.
Why Homeowners Need Roofing Underlayment
You may be wondering if you really need roofing underlayment or if you can get by without it. The majority of homes do indeed require roofing underlayment to protect against the elements. Underlayment essentially creates a barrier between the elements and your home year-round. It can also be quite useful for when you are making repairs to your roof. When shingles are removed to make repairs, you will still have the underlayment to prevent water from seeping into your home. Keeping the roof deck dry is crucial to prevent problems like wood rot.
Creating a Uniform Look
Roofing underlayment provides your roof with a smooth surface for roofing shingles. This allows you to create a uniform look with your shingles. No matter what type of underlayment you choose for your roof, having this extra layer beneath your shingles allows you to hide any uneven areas that may be present in your roof deck. Without this barrier, these areas would likely be visible if you were to place your shingles directly onto the roof deck. Even though you are unable to see the underlayment after the shingles are placed, this layer of material is critical if you want to create a polished look.
Protects Roof From Weather
Underlayment acts as an important weather barrier for your roof. You already know that your roof is designed to provide your home and family with protection from the elements. However, what would happen if some of your shingles should blow off your roof in a windstorm? Without underlayment, your roof deck would be vulnerable to damage. Underlayment helps to keep rain, snow and ice from penetrating the roof deck and eventually entering your home. Roofing underlayment will remain strong and water-resistant until you are able to replace the lost shingles.
Depending on where you live, underlayment for your roof is not just a suggestion but required. In many areas, there are local regulators that govern whether or not roofing underlayment is needed and what type you need based on climate and similar factors. Check your local laws to determine if underlayment is needed in your area and what type is required.
If you are considering getting your roof replaced in the near future, note that many contractors will require you to have underlayment if you wish to maintain a warranty on your shingles. This acts as a safeguard for contractors as underlayment can help extend the life of your shingles and reduce the likelihood of damage.
Speak to Professional Roofing Contractors
Many homeowners do not fully understand what components make up their roof and why these materials are important. While you may only see shingles when you look at roof, what lies underneath is just as important. Underlayment is an integral part of your roof and plays a critical role in your home’s overall health and stability. As not all underlayment is constructed the same way, it is important to talk with a contractor to find out which is best for your home. For more information about roofing underlayment or to schedule new roofing underlayment installation, contact the roofing professionals at Beyond Exteriors.