When people think of roofs, shingles or metal often come to mind. However, many aren’t aware that underneath the roof covering lies an additional protective layer on top of your roof deck. This layer, known as roofing underlayment, is crucial in safeguarding your home from moisture damage.

Understand more about the importance of this roofing structure component in our comparison: “SYNTHETIC VS. FELT ROOFING UNDERLAYMENT.”

What is Roofing Underlayment? Roofing underlayment is the layer sandwiched between the shingles and the roof deck, usually composed of OSB or plywood. Installed directly onto the deck, it provides an extra line of defense against the elements, including rain, snow, and wind.

Types of Roofing Underlayment Primarily, there are two types of roofing underlayment:

  1. Felt
  2. Synthetic

The pros and cons of each vary. Your choice might be influenced by factors like your location, the type of roofing materials you’re using, your roof’s design, your budget, or the advice of your roofing contractor.

Felt Roofing Underlayment Felt roofing underlayment, the older of the two types, is made from a paper or fiberglass mat coated in asphalt. There are two main types: No.15 and No.30. No.30 felt is typically thicker, stronger, and less likely to tear or rip during installation.

Pros The main benefit of felt roofing underlayment is cost. It’s cheaper than synthetic underlayment, making it a popular choice among budget-conscious homeowners.

Cons Despite its cost advantage, using felt underlayment has its drawbacks. Traditional felt underlayment can’t usually be exposed to the sun for more than a few hours as it tends to dry out or release oils, reducing its ability to repel moisture. Other disadvantages include its susceptibility to tearing during high winds or under strain, difficulty in transportation due to weight, and more seams due to the amount of material used per roll.

Synthetic Roof Underlayment Synthetic roofing underlayment products, made from durable polymers, provide strength and durability. When properly installed, they offer greater weather protection than felt. However, their performance is not standardized, so products from different manufacturers can vary. It’s advisable to consult a trusted roofing contractor to select the right materials for your home.

Pros The major advantages of synthetic roofing underlayment over felt are its toughness, fast installation, safety, and water repelling properties. Synthetic underlayment is extremely durable and has a high tear strength. It’s resistant to prolonged UV and moisture exposure, making it particularly useful if there’s a delay before the roof covering is installed. Additionally, it is lighter, safer to work with due to its slip-resistant surface, and resists mold because it’s made from plastic.

Cons The main drawback of synthetic underlayment is cost – it’s more expensive than felt. However, investing in better roofing materials upfront could save you money in the long run. The peace of mind that comes with knowing your roof is adequately protected against moisture is priceless.

When it comes to “SYNTHETIC VS. FELT ROOFING UNDERLAYMENT”, considering all these aspects will guide you to make the best choice for your home.

This post was written by Reggie Reed! Reggie is a state-certified roofing contractor and co-owner of Reggie Reed Roofing. He is a 4th generation roofing contractor. RR Roofing offers a wide variety of roofing services for residential homes, apartment complexes, condos, commercial buildings, churches, and more. Reggie enjoys dedicating his spare time to helping underprivileged youth in his community and traveling with his family and friends.