Underlayment, more commonly known as roofing felts, is an essential component of today’s residential roofing systems. It’s the waterproofing material that protects the roof deck or substrate from water intrusion in case the outer roofing material fails. The following are the kinds of underlayment options available today:
Asphalt-saturated felt is the oldest type of underlayment and is very similar to tar paper, but is saturated with hot asphalt instead of tar. This kind of underlayment is not as popular as it once was because of limited asphalt supplies. Most of the recycled asphalt reclaimed from old roofs is used in manufacturing asphalt shingles and for paving roads. Some homes still opt for traditional asphalt-saturated felt because of the stiffness it adds to the roof deck, which bolsters resistance against impact from branches and airborne debris.
Rubberized asphalt comes in several different compositions, all of which resemble sheets of rubber-like material, but typically does not contain asphalt despite the name. Roofers install this kind of underlayment using adhesive instead of nails. One of its main advantages is its inherent flexibility, which makes it suitable for climates that experience temperature extremes. Rubberized asphalt underlayment is manufactured with additional features depending on building requirements. Enhancements, such as fiberglass reinforcement, additional waterproofing layers and sound reduction, are possible.
Modern roofing systems feature non-bitumen synthetic underlayments, which are made from polyethylene or polypropylene. These thermoplastics are also used in making everything from food containers to tote bags as well as in 3D printers. Synthetic underlayment is strong, elastic and exceptionally waterproof. It also resists fungal growth, which helps the roof last longer if repairs cannot be done in time. Roofing systems, such as the GAF Lifetime Roofing System, feature non-bitumen synthetics as the standard underlayment material.
To learn more about underlayment options or if you would like more information about our roof repair, maintenance and installation services, call RPI Roofing today at (912) 289-0999. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a free estimate. We are located in Richmond Hill, GA, and we also serve the surrounding areas.