Roof Protector Underlayment 


The roof is by far the most essential part of your roof. Getting the best materials and contractors ensures that your roof not only looks good but lasts longer. However, when it comes to roof installation, certain things often get overlooked. Among them being roof underlayment.

On this guide, we are going to tell you all about roof underlayment, from what it is, why you need it, and even go a step further by reviewing some of the best roof underlayment on the market. We are also going to provide a buying guide to ensure you get the best product.



What is roof underlayment?



According to Long Roofing, roof underlayment is a water-resistant material barrier installed directly on your roof deck. It is installed under all other roofing materials. It serves as an added layer of protection against weather elements and other forms of physical or chemical damage to your roofing materials.

Roof underlayment is your roof's last line of defense from damage that may result in leakage.


Types of roof underlayment

Roof underlayment comes in three types. Advanced Roofing explains them as follows:


I.Asphalt saturated felt

Until 15 years ago, it was the go-to roof underlayment, until synthetic materials started gaining in popularity. The backing material used is similar to tar paper, but saturated asphalt is used instead of paper to act as the water-proofing ingredient.

Asphalt saturated felt stiffens the roof deck, thus increasing the durability of your roof. 

II.Rubberized asphalt

Despite its name, Rubberized asphalt has little to no asphalt in it. When installed, it appears like layers of rubber. Like the roofing membranes installed on flat roofs, rubberized asphalt is installed on the roof deck by the use of special adhesives.

Among the benefits of installing rubberized asphalt as your roof underlayment are: Fiberglass reinforcement, improved water-proofing, sound absorption, and flexibility. Its flexibility makes it suitable for areas whose climates have extremely hot and cold weather. Another advantage is that rubberized asphalt can be patched in case of damage- just like roofing membranes.

III.Non-Bitumen synthetics

Non-Bitumen synthetic underlayment is the most commonly installed underlayment on modern roofs. It is made of hard-wearing plastics like polypropylene and polyethylene. 

It has exceptional strength, water-proofing qualities as well as an inherent resistance to mold and fungal growth.


Why do you need roof underlayment?

Many people overlook the importance of installing roof underlayment and end up regretting it down the line. According to Rooftop Services, this is why you need it.
I.

Water repulsion

Wind-driven snow or water may get under your shingles, thus putting your roof at risk of water damage, rot, leakage, and mold. Roof underlayment ensures that the water drains off your roof hence eliminating all those risks.

II.

Acts as a backup protection

In the event of water or ice damage to your shingles, the only thing that stands between water and your home is your roof underlayment.

III.

Roof underlayment improves look and uniformity

In case your roof deck does not lie flat or straight, roof underlayment gives it an even uniform surface on which you can install your shingles. It also prevents the pattern of your wood decking from telegraphing through your shingles. It does this by providing an extra layer over uneven wood, thus leveling it.

IV.

Prevention of wood resin strains

According to IKO, certain types of wood leach small amounts of resins as they age. The resins may stain or compromise your roof shingles. Having a layer of underlayment between your wood and roof shingles not only minimizes leaching but also prevents the resins from coming into contact with your wood in case it happens.

Best roof underlayment on the market reviews


1. ArmorLay 25 Synthetic Roof Underlayment

One of the most impressive features of the ArmorLay 25 Synthetic Roof Underlayment is its weight distribution. A thousand-meter square roll of this underlayment weighs 25 pounds, thus making it competitive even with the pricy brands on the market.

Its overall strength is also very robust, and its texture versatile. Its texture allows you to place your footing on your roofs floating edges without any worry of slipping off. It also features a 60-day UV exposure protection.

The features this underlayment has, along with its added benefits, make it rank among the best and most efficient underlayment on the market.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Great weight distribution
  • Highly durable
  • The good texture that hinders slipping
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • It does not last very long when exposed to extreme conditions


2. Tyvek Protec 120

If you are looking for the best underlayment for your asphalt shingles, then this is the best underlayment for you.

Its textured underlayment is not only water-proof but also facilitates safer operation during installation. Its material and texture make it compatible with most roof types, and it is also very durable. The weight distribution on this roof underlayment is pretty awesome too.

On the downside, you might require an experienced contractor to install it.

Pros

  • Compatible with most roof requirements
  • Top-notch material
  • Relatively lightweight
  • The pattern embossing on it makes construction safer
  • It has an added water barrier layer for more efficient water-proofing
  • Its overall grip is pretty strong

Cons

  • Not suitable for DIY installation


3. ORGILL ROOFING FELT 30RF

If you have an old roof or just want to make your existing roof sturdier and better protected, then this is the best roof underlayment for you. The ORGILL ROOFING FELT, 30RF roof underlayment, errs more on the thicker side, thus increasing not only the strength of your roof but also its weatherproofing qualities.

It is very durable and provides excellent usability against slopes. Its robust safety features make it very effective and more suitable for older homes. On the downside, it is not as functional as other premium brands out there.

Pros

  • Provides excellent functionality for slopes
  • Features organic fibers that are very durable
  • Its material is smooth and flexible
  • Its overall uniformity makes it suitable for older homes
  • It is not too thick, thus making its installation relatively easy

Cons

  • Does not last very long


4. Grace Ice & Water Shield

The Grace Ice & Water Shield is a solid material that is impervious to water damage, thus making it suitable for any climate. It is a robust material of choice and offers excellent resistance against water damage. 

Although water shielding is its strong suit, it also has a textured surface that makes installation not only comfortable but also safer.

This roof underlayment is self-adhering; hence installation is pretty straightforward. It also offers excellent resistance from fungus and mold growth.

Pros

  • Offers great ice and water shielding
  • Prevents leakage even in adverse weather conditions
  • Features two solid water-proof materials
  • The rubber asphalt helps keep the overall adhesive quality intact
  • Wide compatibility range

Cons

  • It does not blend well with flat roof surfaces.


5. INTERWRAP Titanium PSU30 Roof Underlayments

The INTERWRAP Titanium PSU30 Roof Underlayment is one among the most durable underlayments that is highly appreciated by clients. It offers heavy-duty, long-lasting, and waterproof protection well-fit for all extreme weather conditions.

If you know anything about underlayment, you know that picking any underlayment from the shelf doesn’t guarantee the quality; for efficiency and longevity, you need one that is of ultra-quality and field-tested quality to ensure quality. That is what this underlayment is, quality.

INTERWAP manufactures titanium underlayment is focused on heavy-duty protection. This underlayment has sturdy construction made from modified rubberized asphalt with a hardened surface that uses a synthetic polymer to increase water resistance. 

It also features a self-sealing lap system that prevents slipping and sloping. Its adhesive application also simplifies installation.

This underlayment can be used on 2:12 roofs as well as straight run roofs. Its improved adherence and ribbed surface ensure that the rolls have a tight grip on your roof deck, and no detail slip occurs regardless of the amount of water it encounters.

Its light-grey surface ensures that minimal to no expansion or contraction occurs under intense cold or heat. The underlayment construction curbs the development of fungus and mold on your roof. It has a UV rating that can withstand up to six months of direct exposure, and it performs at a temperature range of between -40 degrees Fahrenheit and 420 degrees Fahrenheit thus making it highly resistant to extreme weather conditions.

It is designed to be compatible with a wide range of roofing. It can be installed directly to OSB., plywood, masonry, and concrete surfaces. When installed, it can be left exposed for up to 180 days. Available roof types range from shakes, metal, tiles, asphalt, slate, and synthetic shingles.

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Suitable for sloped and straight run applications
  • Adhesive lining that simplifies installation
  • Fits a wide variety of roof surfaces
  • Superior temperature and UV resistance

Cons

  • Quite expensive


6. Plastic Reinforced Poly Sheeting

If you are looking for quality underlayment at a low cost, then this is the best underlayment for you. The Plastic Reinforced Poly Sheeting underlayment offers all essential requirements for a quality underlayment. 

The high-quality multipurpose membrane is very durable and handles water efficiently. Its competitive pricing and average functionality and usability make it stand out as well. 

If you live in a fairly calm environment that is not prone to extreme weather, we recommend that you give this underlayment a shot.

Pros

  • It is very competitively priced.i.e., affordable
  • Decent durability
  • Features a multipurpose membrane
  • It doesn’t puncture easily
  • Great water-proofing capability
  • Compatible with a wide range of applications

Cons

  • Not well suited for extreme weather conditions


Underlayments buying guide: Factors to consider

1.

Compatibility

You should ensure that the underlayment you buy is compatible with the type of roofing material installed on your roof. All underlayment is manufactured to fit a specific type of roof, and each roofing material requires specific features from its reinforcement layer. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that the underlayment you purchase will adhere to your roof's material.


Traditional shingles are compatible with underlayment made of felt. Most preferably, 15-pound roofing felts as they provide additional protection and promote air ventilation. On the other hand, metal roofs are best fitted with synthetic underlayment since they offer heat resistant properties to curb overheating after extended exposure to direct heat from the sun during the day.

2.

Climate

Hot locations with high humidity and UV levels require synthetic underlayments. Synthetic underlayment resists heat, repels moisture, and offers a more seamless application during installation. Colder climates that experience rainstorms, frequent winds, or snow require specifically designed water and ice shielding provided by heavy-duty felt.

3.

Quality

The quality of underlayment is determined by its durability and the materials used in its construction. When determining the quality and durability of underlayment, look at the warranty. A warranty of at least 10 to 30 years is often an indication of high quality.

For more factors, go to DDD.

Frequently asked Questions

Question:  Which is the best roof underlayment for my roof?

Answer: Synthetic underlayment is the most preferred underlayment by roofing professionals today. It is saturated with asphalt, and the addition of fiberglass gives it superior tear resistance and stability. 

Question: Is installing underlayment on my roof necessary?

Answer: Yes. Underelayment is applied on the roof deck as an added layer of protection before shingles are installed. In case your shingles get damaged or let water slip in, underlayment enables the water to slip off your roof, thus preventing leakage.

Question: How is underlayment installed?

Answer: The process of installing underlayment is almost the same for most types of underlayment, but with minor variations.

You Tube
This video clearly illustrates the best way to install underlayment and even gives useful advice to ease your selection and installation process.

Conclusion:

Underlayment is a vital component of your roof. It has many advantages like water protection and even heat resistance, as in the case of metal roofs. When shopping for roof underlayment, don't just grab any underlayment off the shelf. It is essential to ensure its quality and compatibility, as we have discussed on the buying guide.

We have reviewed some of the best underlayments on the market to ease your search, but if none of those meet your budget or requirements, you can always shop at your favorite store. When shopping, remember to keep in mind the factors that we have discussed in the buying guide. If you have any further questions or need advice regarding roof underlayment, contact us and we will get back to you.