Using Underlayments in Midwest for Residential Roofs :
When was the last time you asked yourself , ” What kind of underlayment am I going to use under my new roof ?” The type of underlayment you need for your roof is usually a choice you have to make once in a lifetime. That’s how many times most homeowners will typically have to reroof their home. This will more than likely be the only time you will probably think about it, because when your new roof is on, the underlayment is out of sight.
As recently as 20 years ago, the consideration of underlayment for a residential roofing project was not a high priority to most homeowners in the Midwest and Eastern portions of the country. In some states roofs did not even require roofers to use any underlayment. Today most of that has changed due to changes within state and local building codes, along with the advancement in underlayment technology. Underlayment is one of the most critical components on a residential roof; The product you choose should be carefully selected as it can impact the life and quality of a new or replacement roof.
What Underlayment Is:
Roofing underlayment is a layer of material;( organic or synthetic ) that is installed on top of your homes existing roof decking and goes underneath the shingles. It has traditionally been made of felt and saturated with asphalt so it will create a bond with the asphalt shingles your roofer will be installing. Felt typically is provided in two varieties: The most common are 15# (pound) and 30# (pound), often referred to as roofing felt.
There are also a lot of new and creative underlayment materials recently being introduced to the Midwest known as “synthetic felt” or “synthetic underlayment.” These products are mostly made from synthetic polymers or similar materials, which usually add more high performance protection to the roof, specifically for certain weather applications such as hot/cold weather conditions, excessive moisture or in use with a particular shingle type.
Some underlayment materials are an integral part of a complete roofing systems specified by roofing shingle manufacturers. Their product is required in order to validate and maintain warranty conditions of certain shingle types. It’s important to communicate with your roofing contractor to understand the requirements of these systems; as many are designed to be installed in a certain fashion and /or may require additional money in order to have the warranty validated.
If you are planning to stay in your home for a long period of time or are replacing your roof for the first time, you should be interested in what kind of underlayment will be used on your roof, and how it will perform over time.
How Underlayment Works on your Roof: Knowing what residential roofing underlayment does can give you some knowledge on its importance in specific applications. A roofing contractor may just add the underlayment as part of the project, but he more than likely will have a specific reasons for use in the product he selects.
During the roofing installation process, it is very important to provide immediate protection to the open roof so as to prevent any damage from water getting into the home, or allow any moisture to rest on the roof deck. As soon as the deck is fastened and solid, the underlayment should be installed. A roof with excessive pitch should use synthetic underlayment in order to facilitate better footing for the roofers.
Ice and Water Barriers:
Underlayments heavier than 15# saturated felt or Synthetic types of underlayment are also used to provide ice and water protection on areas where overhangs meet heated surfaces of the roof deck. Sometimes special “ice and water” membrane is used for this purpose to avoid or reduce the chances of their being Ice Damming; which can cause leaking and structural damage to the roof and possibly the interior of the home. This peel and stick underlayment provides additional protection against temperature change extremes that cause ice back up and water ponding as the result of melting snow.
Synthetic Underlayments helps prevent leaks in the roof by creating an additional seal around the area where the nail penetrates. Although the nailed areas are covered; should ice, snow or driven rain finds its way underneath the shingles, underlayment provides another potential barrier. Next time you are ready to have a new roof installed, remember to consider which type of synthetic underlayment and ice damming prevention system will work best for your home in order to protect its stability and value.