Pitched Roofing Underlayments – Synthetic Vs. Felt – Who Wins?

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Roof underlayments are a must when installing shingle over a roof deck, and needs to be installed before the shingles go down. Roofing felt, both #15 and #30, have been around for a long time and were the standard for decades. Synthetic underlayments are nbewer to the roofing market compared to felts, but have been around for some time now themselves. Synthetic underlayments are durable and long-lasting. While many roofers are now installing synthetic underlayment, some still hold true to the felts. The question is, which underlayment wins?

Roofing Felts

Constructed with asphalt or fiberglass, roofing felt does a fair job of protecting roof decking/sheathing once the shingles are on. You shouldn’t leave roofing felt uncovered for more than a few hours before installing shingles as it is prone to tearing in high winds, and rain can blow under gaps in the felt. Because it’s thicker, 30-pound felt is a stronger choice than 15-pound felt for roofing. For installers, it is slicker than synthetics and not as safe to walk on. After decades, it becomes very brittle and begins to flake apart and does not retain water tightness.

Synthetic Underlayments

Synthetic underlayments have enhanced and superior water resistance over felt. Polymers give synthetic underlayment its strength and far longer life span over felt. They can be up to 600% stronger than standard #30 felt. It’s impervious to moisture and, when installed correctly, offers a much higher degree of weather protection than felt. It is safer to walk on when installing the roof. It also isn’t prone to the degradation that occurs with felts as time passes. Also, if the roof cannot be shingled right away, it holds up to the wind and elements and can stay water proof for periods of 3 months or more depending on the synthetic underlayment. Another added bonus is its lighter than felt, up to 33% lighter than #30 felt, which adds less weight to your rooftop.

Which Underlayment Wins?

In EverGuard’s opinion, synthetic underlayments win by leaps and bounds, not only for the safety of our installers, but for the water tightness and overall life of your roofing system. Call us today to learn more about synthetic underlayments and our fully warranted roofing systems. We are a GAF Master Elite Contractor, and our warranties cant be beat!

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