What Is The Best Underlayment For Roofing?

What Is The Best Underlayment For Roofing
August 7, 2023

When it comes to roofing, there’s one crucial element that often goes unnoticed but plays a significant role in protecting your home: underlayment. But what exactly is the best underlayment for roofing? Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll dive into the world of roofing underlayment and explore the options available to help you make an informed decision.

Roofing underlayment is like the unsung hero of your roof – it’s the hidden layer that provides an extra layer of protection against water, moisture, and other potential damage. Think of it as the trusty sidekick to your shingles, ensuring that your roof remains strong and durable. But with so many options out there, choosing the best underlayment for your roofing needs can be a daunting task. Don’t worry, though, because I’m here to break it down for you and simplify the process. So, let’s get started and uncover the secrets of selecting the perfect underlayment for your roof!

What is the Best Underlayment for Roofing?

What is the Best Underlayment for Roofing?

When it comes to roofing, one of the most important components is the underlayment. The underlayment is a layer of material that is installed beneath the roofing material to provide an extra layer of protection against leaks and moisture. But with so many options available, how do you know which is the best underlayment for your roofing project? In this article, we will explore the different types of underlayment and discuss their benefits and drawbacks, helping you make an informed decision for your roofing needs.

Types of Underlayment

There are several types of underlayment available in the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most commonly used underlayment options:

1. Asphalt-saturated Felt

Asphalt-saturated felt, also known as roofing felt or tar paper, is one of the oldest and most traditional types of underlayment. It is made from a base material such as fiberglass or organic felt, which is then saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof. Asphalt-saturated felt is relatively inexpensive and easy to install, making it a popular choice for many roofing projects. However, it is not as durable as some other types of underlayment and may not provide the same level of protection against extreme weather conditions.

2. Synthetic Underlayment

Synthetic underlayment is a newer and more advanced option that offers improved performance and durability compared to traditional asphalt-saturated felt. Made from synthetic materials such as polypropylene or polyester, synthetic underlayment is lightweight, tear-resistant, and highly water-resistant. It also has a higher UV resistance, which means it can withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight without degrading. Synthetic underlayment is a popular choice for both residential and commercial roofing projects due to its superior performance and longevity.

3. Rubberized Asphalt

Rubberized asphalt underlayment is a self-adhering membrane that combines the benefits of asphalt-saturated felt and synthetic underlayment. It is made from a mix of asphalt and rubberized polymers, which gives it excellent waterproofing properties and enhanced durability. Rubberized asphalt underlayment is easy to install, as it comes with a peel-and-stick backing that adheres directly to the roof deck. It is also resistant to tears, punctures, and damage from UV rays. However, rubberized asphalt underlayment can be more expensive than other options and may require professional installation.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the best underlayment for your roofing project, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Climate

The climate in your area plays a significant role in determining the type of underlayment you should use. If you live in an area with heavy rainfall or snowfall, you will need an underlayment that provides excellent waterproofing and protection against moisture. Synthetic underlayment and rubberized asphalt are both good choices for wet climates. On the other hand, if you live in a hot and sunny region, you will need an underlayment with high UV resistance to prevent degradation over time.

2. Roofing Material

The type of roofing material you plan to install also affects the choice of underlayment. Some roofing materials, such as metal or tile, require a more robust underlayment that can withstand the weight and potential movement of the materials. Synthetic underlayment and rubberized asphalt are both suitable options for a wide range of roofing materials. However, for asphalt shingles, asphalt-saturated felt may be sufficient.

3. Budget

Cost is another important factor to consider when selecting underlayment. Asphalt-saturated felt is generally the most affordable option, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners. Synthetic underlayment and rubberized asphalt are generally more expensive but offer superior performance and durability. It is essential to strike a balance between your budget and the level of protection you need for your roof.

4. Installation

Consider the ease of installation when choosing underlayment. Asphalt-saturated felt is relatively simple to install, and many DIY homeowners can handle the installation themselves. Synthetic underlayment and rubberized asphalt may require professional installation due to their specific application methods. If you are not confident in your roofing skills, it is best to hire a professional to ensure proper installation and optimal performance.

Benefits of Quality Underlayment

Investing in high-quality underlayment for your roofing project offers several benefits:

– Enhanced waterproofing: A good underlayment acts as a barrier against water intrusion, preventing leaks and water damage to your home.
– Improved insulation: Underlayment provides an additional layer of insulation, helping to regulate temperature and reduce energy consumption.
– Added protection: Quality underlayment offers extra protection against extreme weather conditions, such as wind, hail, and UV rays.
– Extended roof lifespan: By providing an extra layer of defense, underlayment can help prolong the lifespan of your roof, saving you money in the long run.
– Peace of mind: Knowing that you have installed a reliable underlayment gives you peace of mind, knowing that your roof is well-protected.


Choosing the best underlayment for your roofing project is crucial to ensure the long-term durability and protection of your roof. Consider factors such as climate, roofing material, budget, and installation ease when making your decision. Whether you opt for asphalt-saturated felt, synthetic underlayment, or rubberized asphalt, investing in high-quality underlayment will provide peace of mind and enhance the performance of your roof. So, take the time to research and select the underlayment that best suits your needs and enjoy a well-protected and long-lasting roof.

Key Takeaways: What is the Best Underlayment for Roofing?

  • Choose an underlayment that offers excellent waterproofing capabilities.
  • Consider the climate in your area when selecting the best underlayment material.
  • Opt for underlayment with high durability to ensure long-lasting protection.
  • Look for underlayment that provides superior resistance against mold and mildew.
  • Ensure the underlayment is compatible with your roofing material for optimal performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should I consider when choosing underlayment for roofing?

When choosing underlayment for roofing, there are several factors to consider:

1. Climate: Consider the climate in your area. If you live in a region that experiences heavy rainfall, you may want to choose an underlayment that offers superior waterproofing.

2. Material: Underlayment is available in various materials such as asphalt felt, synthetic, and rubberized. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose one that suits your specific needs.

What are the different types of underlayment for roofing?

There are three main types of underlayment for roofing:

1. Asphalt felt: This is a traditional and cost-effective option. It is made from organic or fiberglass material and provides good protection against water and moisture.

2. Synthetic: Synthetic underlayment is becoming increasingly popular due to its superior durability and resistance to tears and wrinkles. It is also lightweight and easy to install.

3. Rubberized: Rubberized underlayment offers excellent waterproofing properties and is ideal for areas with heavy rainfall. It is highly resistant to damage and provides an extra layer of protection against leaks.

What are the benefits of using synthetic underlayment?

Synthetic underlayment offers several benefits:

1. Durability: Synthetic underlayment is highly durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, including high winds and heavy rain.

2. Lightweight: Synthetic underlayment is lightweight, which makes it easier to handle and install. It also reduces the overall weight on your roof.

3. Tear resistance: Synthetic underlayment is tear-resistant, meaning it is less prone to damage during installation or due to foot traffic on the roof.

How important is underlayment for roofing?

Underlayment plays a crucial role in protecting your roof and home from water damage. It acts as a secondary barrier against moisture, preventing leaks and extending the lifespan of your roof.

Without proper underlayment, water can seep into the roof deck, causing rotting, mold growth, and structural damage. It also helps to improve the overall energy efficiency of your home by providing insulation.

Can I use multiple types of underlayment for roofing?

It is generally not recommended to use multiple types of underlayment for roofing. Each type of underlayment has its own specific properties and using different types together may compromise the effectiveness of the system.

It is best to choose the most suitable type of underlayment for your specific roofing needs and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation. This will ensure optimal performance and protection for your roof.

Roofing Underlayments EXPLAINED by a roofer: Tar Paper, Synthetic, Ice and Water Shield

Final Summary: Choosing the Perfect Underlayment for Your Roof

After exploring the various options for underlayment in roofing, it’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what is the best underlayment. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on factors such as climate, budget, and personal preferences. However, by considering the key characteristics and benefits of different underlayment materials, you can make an informed decision that suits your specific needs.

When it comes to underlayment, there are three main contenders: asphalt-saturated felt, synthetic underlayment, and rubberized asphalt. Asphalt-saturated felt is a traditional choice that offers good protection against moisture and is cost-effective. Synthetic underlayment, on the other hand, provides superior durability, resistance to tearing, and enhanced waterproofing capabilities. Lastly, rubberized asphalt combines the benefits of both asphalt-saturated felt and synthetic underlayment, offering excellent waterproofing properties and increased strength.

In conclusion, selecting the best underlayment for your roofing project involves weighing the pros and cons of each material and considering factors like weather conditions, budget, and personal preferences. Remember to prioritize factors such as durability, moisture resistance, and ease of installation. By making an informed decision, you can ensure that your roof is well-protected and can withstand the test of time. Happy roofing!

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