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Why Underlayment Is So Important For An Asphalt Shingle Roof

If you plan to install asphalt shingles on your roof, you might wonder if you also need to use an underlayment. Underlayment provides extra protection and benefits for your roof. It's crucial to have adequate underlayment when installing asphalt shingles.

Underlayment Benefits

Underlayment protects the roof deck from moisture damage. Underlayment is a barrier that prevents water from seeping into the wood or plywood supporting your roof. This can prevent rot, mold, and warping. An underlayment also helps to keep the roof deck dry until the shingles are applied, which can reduce problems caused by installing shingles on a wet surface.

Enhance the Fire Resistance of Your Roof

An underlayment can help prevent flames from spreading from the shingles to the roof deck. It can also be a thermal barrier that reduces heat transfer to the attic.

Protect Your Roof from Wind and Ice 

An underlayment can help prevent wind-driven rain or snow from getting under the shingles and causing leaks or moisture damage. 

Felt Underlayment

Felt underlayment is the traditional choice for asphalt shingle roofs. It is made of organic or fiberglass fibers. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to install, but it has some drawbacks, such as:

It also does not provide much traction or safety for the workers.

Synthetic Underlayment

This type is made of synthetic polymers or fibers and is designed to mimic felt properties but with improved features and performance. Synthetic underlayment is usually sold in rolls of various weights and thicknesses, depending on the brand and quality. Synthetic underlayment is more expensive than felt, but it has many advantages, such as:

The type of underlayment for your roof depends on several factors.

The Slope of Your Roof

The steeper your roof, the more likely it is to shed water quickly and efficiently. Therefore, a steep roof may not need a heavy or thick underlayment. 

The Climate of Your Area

The weather conditions in your area can affect the performance and longevity of your underlayment. If you live in a hot, sunny, or humid area, you may need an underlayment that can withstand high temperatures and UV exposure. 

The Quality of Your Shingles 

The type and quality of your shingles can also influence your underlayment choice. Some shingle manufacturers may require or recommend a specific type or weight of underlayment to ensure optimal performance and warranty coverage. Regardless of what you choose, you'll get the best results if your asphalt shingles are installed by an experienced roofing contractor.

For more information on asphalt shingle roofs, contact a professional near you.