How To Choose The Best Underlayment For The Roof On Your Home

Shingle underlayment offers a protective barrier that goes in between the shingles on your house and the roof frame. Although you probably will not be installing your own roof, you still need to be aware of the various kinds of materials that are available so that you can choose the best kind of underlayment for your roof and house. When you make the best decision it can help to extend the life of your roof and also minimize the number of repairs and maintenance that your roof will need.



This kind of underlayment normally is made out of organic felt and then saturated in asphalt. It might contain some fiberglass reinforcement for increasing longevity and strength. Felt that is saturated in asphalt is water-resistant for a while, but it will wear down eventually and become penetrable. When more asphalt is used for saturating the material, that makes the underlayment more durable but also more expensive. When it comes to the roofing process, asphalt is the component that is the most expensive. Lower priced underlayment will be of lesser quality and contain less asphalt potentially.

Usually felt underlayment is more useful on steep-sloping roofs since water can run off quickly, in contract with flatter roofs, which can result in water standing for extended amounts of time. In general, it wrinkles quite easily, over time may absorb water, and is not very tear-resistant. Deterioration can be accelerated by direct sunlight as the asphalt continues to deplete. Although it is less expensive compared to other types of underlayment, it might not be the best option if you are searching for total water resistance, durability, and quality.


There are different kinds of underlayment that are made out of rubber-like material. There is material that is polymer-modified that contains bitumen (which is a viscous hydrocarbon mixture), which provides plastic or rubber properties. Rubberized asphalt self-seals and its elastic and flexible nature allow it to fill in spaces around staples or nails. This kind of underlayment is better suited than felt in high-temperature climates. It may also be very resistant to moisture penetration and weathering.


One of the more popular forms of underlayment is synthetic underlayment but it also has a tendency to cost more. It is completely waterproof and adds a very protective layer of insulation between your shingles and roof frame. Overall, this kind of underlayment gets better safety ratings compared to felt. Also, it is more breathable and allows humidity to escape and also resists water penetration. It protects against ice, rain, and wind and is ideal for shingles and low-sloping roofs. It is long lasting and durable due to its polymer modifier and higher asphalt percentage. Non-bitumen synthetics are made out of polypropylene or polyethylene. Synthetic underlayment is fungus-resistant, wrinkle-free, lightweight and under directly UV radiation stands strong.  

Fire-Resistance Ratings

The fire-resistance rating of underlayment is another important factor that needs to be considered. When you are selecting materials, make sure that you check this. A majority of underlayment product offer about the same amount of protection against smoke, but flame protection may vary significantly. Look for a rating of A, B, C. An A rating is the best (this is the most fire-resistant options) and C is the worst (offers the least fire-resistance).  

In terms of roofing in the overall scheme of things, the pricing of the underlayment is not going to break or make your budget. if you just look at underlayment options on their own, you will find pricing differences of a couple of hundred dollars or so. When you compare that with the thousands of dollars of your overall roofing project, then you can see that it can be worth the extra expense to choose a more water-resistant, more durable, and higher quality underlayment.

Ultimate Roofing is the top roofing company in Albany where you can get your underlayment materials for all of your installment needs and guidance. We can help you decide which kind of underlayment is the best option for you.

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