The Guide to Choosing the Right Roofing
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Types of roofing underlayment

The Guide to Choosing the Right Roofing

Underlayment Material

Roofing underlayment is a membrane applied to the deck of the roof before the

shingles are installed.

Your roof needs an underlayment because of the following reasons:

from permeating on the roofing deck

It prevents chemical mixture of shingles from leaking onto the roofing deck,

to save the roof from an expensive repair

It works as a secondary ambient barrier, optimizing the heat and sound


It acts as a water barrier and prevents precipitation or external water vapor

Types of Roofing Underlayment

Constructing a roof demands significant investment and so it is important to choose

the right types of roof, material and underlayment. Choosing the right products has a

huge impact on the overall maintenance cost of the structure. It is always

recommended to seek the advice of a reputable roofing company in Florida or the

one in your city before you start with the installation work.

Types of roofing underlayment

Let’s look at the three common types of roofing underlayment options your roofing

company might recommend and the difference between them:

Asphalt Saturated Felt

A sheet material impregnated with asphalt, it is one of the most common types of

roofing underlayment used for residential structures. Organic and inorganic are the

two types of felt underlayment that are commonly used. The base material of

organic felt is made of rag or cellulose fiber while the inorganic felt has fiberglass or

polyester as the base material.

The thickness of the felt paper varies, the most common one being 15lb and 30lb.

The 15 lb paper has a perm rating of 5 but the number can rise with increasing

humidity. The 30lb paper is more resistant to damage during the installation process

and provides better protection to the roof.

The asphalt saturated felt is usually fastened with staples but if you live in a

hurricane-prone area, it is recommended to use plastic windstrips along the edges of

the felt. It is advisable to attach plastic caps to felts as they provide better wind

resistance as compared to staples.

When Does Asphalt Saturated Felt Fail?

underlayment fragile and moisture absorbent

If the felt underlayment somehow gets exposed to direct sunlight, UV rays

increase the deterioration process

Volatile components in asphalt dissipate over time which make the

Rubberized Asphalt Underlayment

Rubberized asphalt underlayment is made of regular asphalt concrete and crumb

rubber procured from recycled tires. It is a peel-and-stick product that adheres to the

roof deck. It seals around fasteners such as nails and staples because of its

rubber-like quality. A rubberized asphalt underlayment might have:


Polymer film bonded to weather surface


Mineral coating on the weather surface

Polyethylene bonded to the upper surface to provide weather-resistant

Rubberized asphalt underlayment is vapor impermeable which makes it highly

Types of roofing underlayment

recommended for hurricane prone areas. In addition to this, rubberized asphalt fully

adheres to the substrate and adjacent sheets on the side and end laps, which makes

it highly resistant to air pressure.

Non-bitumen Synthetic Underlayment

Polypropylene or polyethylene are the two synthetic polymers used to make

non-bitumen synthetic underlayment, which is lightweight and has a high strength.

Some of the additional features include resistance to fungal growth, non-skid surface,

moisture absorbance and high resistance to UV damage. The non-bitumen synthetic

underlayment is generally fastened with roofing nails and plastic caps. It is

recommended to avoid the use of staples because synthetics don’t have self-sealing


Although, non-bitumen synthetic underlayment costs more than the felt roofing

underlayment, but it provides better protection against seepage. Felt and rubberized

asphalt are sticky to work with and slippery to walk on during the installation process,

but non-bitumen synthetic underlayment is easier to install.


A roofing underlayment has significant role in increasing the ability of the roofing

materials to withstand external elements and protect the structure. While choosing

roofing underlayment take into consideration some essential elements such as

weight and ease of installation, durability, safety, waterproofing and long term

maintenance cost to get value for your money.

Related Links: Silicone Roofing: A Solution for Generations

For more information regarding roofing services, visit: SRG Roofing