11. Why is the roof underlayment so important?


The roof underlayment is an essential part of your roofing system, even if it’s not visible to the naked eye. When you think about your roof, shingles are likely to be the only thing that comes to your mind. But an underlayment is required to protect your home from water damage. The roof underlayment is a sheet of felt or synthetic material spread on the roof’s plywood deck before the shingles are installed.

The underlayment is an added layer of protection and is designed to prevent rain and moisture from permeating the deck, which could result in attic leaks and wood rot. But the underlayment doesn’t just protect the deck from water, it also protects the wood from chemicals in the shingles. Heat from the sun’s rays can make shingles practically melt into the wood if there is no underlayment in between, resulting in expensive repairs. Another reason why underlayment is essential is that, in the event of shingles flying off your roof, the roof deck is not immediately exposed. The underlayment helps protect the wood until you can install the missing shingles.

There are two basic types of underlayment: felt paper saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof and synthetic underlayment. For many years, roofers and contractors used mostly felt for roof installations but in modern days synthetic underlayment is used by most roofing contractors. Synthetic underlayment is thinner and lighter than felt, and much easier to install. It’s also believed to be more effective at preventing water leakage, but it’s more expensive. However, because of its chemical makeup, it lasts longer than felt so homeowners will see a higher return on investment.

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