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3 Types of Roofing Underlayment to Discuss When Getting New Asphalt Shingles

Underlayment is an important part of a roof replacement. The underlayment goes over the deck and under the shingles to create a barrier that keeps moisture out of your attic. Some shingle manufacturers may stipulate the type of underlayment that's necessary for the shingle warranty. Other times, your roofer may give you a choice. Here are the three types of underlayment you can choose for your roofing project.

1. Asphalt-Saturated Felt

At one time, this was the popular choice in roofing underlayment, and it is often referred to as felt paper or tar paper. It's not the preferred choice now since there are better options, but asphalt-saturated felt does have one advantage, and that's its low price.

Compared to other options, asphalt-saturated felt isn't as durable or as waterproof. Plus, it can be slick to work on and create a hazard for the roofers. This type of underlayment also can't be exposed for too long. Shingles need to cover it as quickly as possible to prevent damage to the underlayment from sun, wind, or rain exposure.

2. Rubberized Asphalt

Rubberized asphalt is more durable, and it's waterproof. It's also more expensive than asphalt-saturated felt, so you have to consider if the added protection and longer life are worth the added cost. This is an easier underlayment to install since some varieties come with peel-and-stick backing.

Rubberized asphalt roofing underlayment is a good match in areas that get snow since it is a good moisture barrier. You can even leave this underlayment uncovered for a few months if you need to delay the roofing project.

3. Synthetic Underlayment

Synthetic underlayment is a popular choice because it has advantages over asphalt and rubber options. Synthetic underlayment is made of plastic materials, so it's lighter. Being lighter, it's supplied on wider and longer rolls, so installing the underlayment goes quicker. This underlayment is also durable and resistant to tears. The surface is slip-resistant, so it's safer for the roofing crew to walk on.

Synthetic underlayment is waterproof so it can be exposed, if necessary, as the roof is applied. There is no rush to cover the underlayment since rain won't damage it and the material resists mold. Synthetic underlayment costs more than felt, but it is more durable and repels water better, so it's an option to consider after discussing your choices with your roofer.

Underlayment is necessary before asphalt shingles are applied to your roof. The underlayment protects the deck from rotting if a shingle starts leaking. Some brands and types of underlayment also add a layer of fire protection to your home.

If you need help choosing the right type of underlayment, contact a roofing company today.