What’s An Underlayment, and How Important Is It?

Most of us tend to think of the home’s roofing system as composed of the roofing material, the gutters, and some other things like the flashing. Many of us forget that there’s one unseen element that’s just as important as the roof itself. This element is called the underlayment.

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What’s the Underlayment?

The underlayment plays an important role in completing the home’s roofing system. As the name implies, it is a water-resistant or waterproof barrier placed atop the roof deck, beneath the roofing material. This roofing element brings the following benefits:

  • It adds a layer of protection that prevents water and moisture from seeping and permeating the deck. This helps prevent attic leaks, wood rot, and mold growth;
  • It prevents the chemicals found in asphalt roofing shingles from melting into the wood used in the roof deck. This saves homeowners from expensive yet unnecessary repairs;
  • It acts as the last line of defense for the roof if and when the shingles are blown off. The protective layer keeps the home dry until the roof is repaired.

Types of Underlayment

There are three types of underlayment available on the market today: asphalt-saturated, non-bitumen synthetic and rubberized asphalt.

  • Asphalt-saturated underlayment is made of felt paper saturated with asphalt. This is a flexible and water-resistant type of barrier that was very common in previous decades. It’s the most affordable among the three.
  • Non-bitumen synthetic underlayment offers better water-resistance compared to asphalt-saturated, and is designed to be applied to the entire roof.
  • Rubberized asphalt is the most expensive of the three underlayment types. It boasts of the protective capabilities of asphalt-saturated and non-bitumen synthetic types, but unlike the two, it is waterproof and offers a “natural” seal between it and the roof deck. 

If you’re looking for reliable roofers, look no further than Garlock-French Coproration, the experts in roofing and gutters in Minneapolis, MN. We’ve served homes since 1932, and our decades of experience can help your home. Contact us at (612) 722-7129 or fill out our online form for a free quote.