What is a Roof Underlayment

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 by Mike Rooff


What is a Roof Underlayment?

Roof underlayments, or that sheet you see going over your roof before the shingles are installed, serve as secondary water-shedding protection.  Roof underlayments protect the underlying structure of your roof from leaks or wind driven rain, prevents wood resins damaging shingles, and creates a flat surface for shingle application.  There are two types of roof underlayments used with typical roof shingles: Synthetic and Organic.  Synthetic roof underlayments, in our opinion, are better than organic roof underlayments.  Synthetic roof underlayments last more than twice as long as organic roof underlayments, are fire resistant, can be exposed to the elements for a long period of time, and are heat resistant. 

However, not all synthetic roof underlayments are created equal.  For example, our Genesis Synthetic Roof Underlayment acts like your standard synthetic roof underlayment AND reflects radiant heat away from your roof; thus, creating a more comfortable climate in your home and saving your money on your cooling and heating expenses.  In addition, our Genesis Synthetic Roof Underlayment can act as a secondary water barrier, enveloping the nail when it is applied – effectively sealing your roof from possible water intrusion.  Our Genesis Synthetic Roof Underlayment dwells on the higher end of the roof underlayment spectrum.

Organic roof underlayments consist of a standard asphalt felt paper underlayment.  The most common type of organic roof underlayments, this felt paper is soaked in asphalt to make it water resistant.  Based on our experience, there are a few issues with this type of roof underlayment application.  Asphalt felt paper does not do well in hot climates because the asphalt tends to break down, which, in Florida, is guaranteed to happen.  In addition, asphalt felt paper’s enemies are time and Florida elements.  Asphalt felt paper (i.e. organic roof underlayment) only lasts about 15 to 20 years (max) before it begins to degrade, and it cannot be exposed to the elements for more the 24 hours because the sun will further diminish the effectiveness of the roof underlayment.

When installing a new roof or replacing your existing roof, be sure your roofing contractor is trained on the differences in roof underlayment materials and applications and will make the right choice for you.  Give us a call to talk about your roofing options, including our roof underlayments.

 

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