Roofing Underlayment: Essential Guide for Homeowners

When it comes to constructing or renovating a roof, many homeowners and contractors focus primarily on the visible elements like shingles or tiles. However, an essential component that lies beneath the surface is the Roofing Underlayment Manufacture. This unsung hero plays a crucial role in protecting your home from various elements and ensuring the longevity of your roof. In this article, we will explore what roofing underlayment is, its types, benefits, and answer some frequently asked questions to provide a comprehensive understanding of this vital roofing component.

What is Roofing Underlayment?

Roofing underlayment is a water-resistant or waterproof barrier material that is installed directly onto the roof deck, beneath all other roofing materials. Its primary function is to act as an additional layer of protection against water infiltration, providing a safeguard in case the outer roofing material is damaged or compromised.

Types of Roofing Underlayment

There are three main types of Roofing Underlayment Suppliers: asphalt-saturated felt, synthetic underlayment, and rubberized asphalt.

1. Asphalt-Saturated Felt: Traditionally known as tar paper, asphalt-saturated felt is made from organic or fiberglass substrates. This type of underlayment has been used for many decades and provides a reasonable level of protection. It is available in different thicknesses, typically measured in pounds per square (15-pound and 30-pound being common). The heavier the felt, the more durable and resistant it is to tearing and moisture penetration.

2. Synthetic Underlayment: Synthetic underlayment is a modern alternative to asphalt-saturated felt, made from polyethylene or polypropylene. It offers superior durability, tear resistance, and lighter weight, making it easier to handle and install. Synthetic underlayment is highly water-resistant and often comes with enhanced UV resistance, which can be beneficial if the roofing material takes time to install.

3. Rubberized Asphalt: Rubberized asphalt underlayment is a premium option that provides excellent waterproofing capabilities. It typically features a self-adhesive membrane, allowing it to form a secure seal around nails and other penetrations. This type of underlayment is particularly useful in areas prone to ice dams or heavy rainfall, offering maximum protection against water infiltration.

Benefits of Roofing Underlayment

1. Enhanced Waterproofing: The primary function of Synthetic Roofing Underlayment is to provide an additional layer of waterproofing. In the event that the outer roofing material fails, the underlayment serves as a second line of defense, preventing water from reaching the roof deck and causing structural damage.

2. Improved Roof Longevity: By protecting the roof deck from moisture, underlayment helps to prevent rot, mold, and mildew, which can significantly extend the lifespan of your roof. This added protection can be particularly important in regions with harsh weather conditions.

3. Better Fire Resistance: Some types of roofing underlayment, particularly synthetic varieties, offer enhanced fire resistance. This can provide an additional layer of safety for your home, particularly in areas prone to wildfires.

4. UV Protection: Certain underlayment materials come with UV-resistant properties. While underlayment is not meant to be exposed for long periods, having UV resistance can be beneficial if there are delays in the installation of the final roofing material.

5. Smoother Installation: Synthetic underlayment is generally lighter and easier to handle than traditional felt. This can make the installation process quicker and more efficient, reducing labor costs and the time required to complete the roofing project.


Roofing underlayment is an indispensable part of any roofing system, offering critical protection against water infiltration, enhancing the longevity of the roof, and contributing to the overall safety and durability of your home. Understanding the different types of underlayment and their benefits can help you make informed decisions during your roofing projects. Whether you opt for traditional felt, modern synthetic materials, or premium rubberized asphalt, ensuring proper installation and maintenance of your roofing underlayment will pay dividends in the long run, keeping your home safe and secure from the elements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is roofing underlayment necessary for all types of roofs?

Yes, roofing underlayment is essential for all types of roofs. Whether you are using shingles, tiles, or metal roofing, underlayment provides a critical layer of protection against moisture and other potential damage.

2. How long does roofing underlayment last?

The lifespan of roofing underlayment can vary depending on the material used. Asphalt-saturated felt typically lasts 15-20 years, while synthetic and rubberized asphalt underlayments can last 25-40 years or more with proper installation and maintenance.

3. Can I install roofing underlayment myself?

While it is possible for a homeowner with DIY experience to install roofing underlayment, it is generally recommended to hire a professional roofer. Proper installation is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of the underlayment, and a professional will have the necessary skills and tools to do the job correctly.

4. What is the cost of roofing underlayment?

The cost of roofing underlayment varies based on the type and quality of the material. Asphalt-saturated felt is typically the least expensive option, while synthetic and rubberized asphalt underlayments are more costly but offer superior protection and durability. On average, you can expect to pay between $0.15 to $0.75 per square foot for underlayment material, not including installation costs.