Have you heard the word underlayment being thrown out there in the roofing world, but still has no idea what it’s about? It must be important if need it for your roofing. It makes good sense to familiarize yourself with the term and understand what it means and its relationship to roofing. Here we’ll look at what underlayment is all about, how it impacts ice and water barriers, and why it’s necessary for your roofing.

What is Underlayment?

A roof’s underlayment is a protective membrane that is applied to the ‘deck’ or plywood of a roof before the installation of shingles, where it provides an added layer of safeguard against water penetration. Imagine a layer of cling-wrap covering your roof before you lay the shingles, so to speak. Underlayment is typically made of heavy black felt paper with a layer of asphalt covering its surface as a bonding agent to which the shingles will hold. However, technological advancement has made it possible to create synthetic variations that are used today, which may perform better than the felt variety under certain conditions or with particular roofing materials. 

Underlayment as a Snow and Ice Barrier

Underlayment of a certain variety can function as a snow and ice barrier or protector, particularly in places where snow and ice, and severe rainstorms occur frequently. It’s a rubberized type of underlayment that is paired with the regular felt underlayment to amplify the protective impact of the materials. It’s a much tougher membrane than the felt variety and is ideal for application around ‘critical’ points on your roof, where it’s common for ice dam formation to develop. Areas around your chimneys, skylight, and roof valley are crucial points that should be protected with underlayment.

Underlayment as a Barrier Against Water Penetration

Low sloped areas and certain high-water risk areas of your home are prime are for underlayment. While it may not always be necessary, application in these areas doesn’t hurt. Better to be prepared than not. Furthermore, its application can make your home more fire-resistant. Underlayment can protect your low-sloped roof performing as a secondary barrier that helps to prevent water from penetrating your roof by protecting the joints and seams of your roof decking from water damage and creating a seal around the nails that hold the shingles in place.

Reasons You Need Underlayment

You need underlayment for your roof because it serves as a secondary line of defense. It’s a supportive, protective barrier that helps to do the work that shingles alone cannot accomplish. It’s a barrier against moisture, snow, and ice, and water penetration, which helps to keep water damage at bay and your roof dry. It protects your home against roof leaks and mold growth caused by moisture buildup and your roof deck from exposure to the elements.

Roofing underlayment impacts the performance of your roofing system. It can provide you with peace of mind when the stormy season comes around. You need it simply so that your roofing system performs at an optimal level.