Roofing underlayment is an important component of your roofing system. It is installed on top of your decking and beneath shingles, metal roofing installation panels or external roofing material. Underlayment:
• Temporarily protects your decking and interior from water while your shingles are being installed
• Acts as a vapor barrier
• Prevents chemicals in your shingles from damaging your decking
• Protects your shingles from the resins present in your decking
• Assists attic ventilation by acting as an ambient barrier
For many years, asphalt felt was the standard underlayment, and about the only choice was whether to select 15-pound or 30-pound felt. More recently, synthetic felt underlayments have been developed that provide a number of benefits. Synthetic felt underlayments:
• Weigh about six times less than traditional asphalt felts for a similar area
• Are capable of standing up to high winds should shingles blow off
• Are safer to walk on when installing shingles
• Lay flatter than asphalt felts, preventing “telescoping” of the underlayment through shingles
• Are available in rolls that cover 1,000 square feet
• Are the recommended vapor barrier for metal roofing systems
• Are more expensive than traditional asphalt felts
It is important to remember, however, that not every roof demands the highest quality underlayments. For example, if you are installing standard three-tab shingles and are on a limited budget, traditional 30-pound felt should be entirely sufficient, but you should always ask your roofing contractor for his recommendation based on your roof’s pitch, size and other factors.
Although synthetic underlayments provide a better water barrier, neither traditional nor synthetic styles will prevent water penetration over a long term. They are designed to be water-resistant and to serve as vapor barriers. Therefore, if shingles are damaged or blown off, they should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent damage to the decking, rafters or interior.
At Alpha Roofing, we specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of traditional, metal and low-slope roofing systems. For more than 30 years, we have helped residential and commercial customers throughout the Austin and Central Texas area with all of their roofing needs. We also offer gutter and siding installation, chimney services and attic installation. Our dedicated crews are committed to providing every customer with exceptional results at competitive rates. You can submit our online form to request a free quote, or you can call us at (512) 777-1086.