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Roofing Underlayment Comparison Guide: Breaking Down the Best Roofing Underlayments

Choosing the best roofing underlayment is crucial because it protects your home from elements that could damage it. It’s not just the shingles that determine how well a roof works and how long it lasts, but also the type of underlayment used. 

This protective layer beneath the shingles is an essential part of a full roof system that most homeowners don’t know about. Hence, this article will tackle the different types of underlayments and their pros and cons.

Asphalt-Saturated Felt

Premium organic mat is used to make these Asphalt Saturated Organic Felts, which are then saturated with premium asphalt. These are intended to be used as an underlayment before asphalt shingles are installed on the roof.

When dealing with wind-driven rain and ice damming, you’ll want to add a second layer of protection using this underlayment.

Pros/Cons

The pros and cons of asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayment are numerous. You should know them before you decide on using them.

Benefits

  • Protects from the rain in the case individual shingles are damaged or dislodged
  • Minimize picture framing of shingles that is the visible outline of deck panels
  • Safeguards asphalt shingles from resins in plywood substrates, which causes damage and a shorter life

Disadvantages

  • Not UV resistant; must be covered immediately after installation by the top roofing material
  • Felt rips easily, causing installation issues
  • Doesn’t stay as long as other underlayments since the water-resistant volatile chemicals evaporate

Companies That Offer Best Asphalt-Saturated Felt

The felt industry is a very competitive market. Here are the brands that provide the best asphalt-saturated felt.

Atlas Roofing

To outperform typical felt roof underlayment, Atlas Roofing’s Gorilla Guard incorporates additives and glass fibers. Their underlayment inspires more contractors to sell it to consumers as a standard product rather than an add-on to traditional felt because of its higher quality and the time and effort it saves.

Gardner Coatings

Gardner Coatings manufactures asphalt roofing felt of the finest quality. Their most reinforced mat is soaked with premium-grade asphalt, making it ideal for any building project. Their products are frequently requested in the most challenging places to provide roof weatherproofing.

Rubberized Asphalt

Even though rubberized asphalt is named after asphalt, it has very little to no asphalt in its composition. This is applied on the roof deck using specific adhesives, similar to membrane roofing.

Its composition changes based on the roofing project’s specifications. Some of these improvements include better waterproofing, fiberglass reinforcing, and sound absorption.

Pros/Cons

Rubberized asphalt roof underlayment has several advantages and disadvantages. Here are the upsides and drawbacks of this type: 

Benefits

  • Waterproof material
  • Comes in rolls, which means there are some seams
  • Sun’s ultraviolet rays resistance
  • Easy to repair

Disadvantages

  • Rubberized underlayment is available in a variety of configurations; some are fire-resistant, while others are not
  • This underlayment must be installed by a professional, which adds to the expense

Companies That Offer Best Rubberized Asphalt

Several firms provide high-quality roof underlayment today, and they all have something unique to offer. Here are the manufacturers of the best-rubberized asphalt on the market:

Grace Select

Grace Select roofing underlayment comprises two waterproofing materials: a rubberized asphalt adhesive and a layer of cross-laminated high-density polyethylene film. Their exclusive, enhanced composition enables the membrane to fulfill industry requirements for fastener sealability, typically reserved for much thicker and heavier materials.

MB Technology

An elastomeric feature, which is not available in conventional underlayment, is provided by MB Technology with SBS rubber to asphalt. For further waterproofing, their products have a higher amount of asphalt in them. Moreover, rubberized asphalt becomes less susceptible to decay and disintegration because of its inorganic fiberglass reinforcing.

Non-Bitumen Synthetic

Asphalt-based synthetic underlayment is reinforced with fiberglass, polyethylene, and polypropylene. These three components contribute to the felt’s outstanding stability and resistance to rips. Certain producers coat it with a slip-resistant substance that protects it from water.

The majority of its synthetic materials are woven from polyethylene or polypropylene. While the components are similar, manufacturers can adjust each underlayment type’s production process and thickness to provide various qualities.

Pros/Cons

Non-bitumen synthetic roof underlayment provides several benefits and drawbacks. Here are the benefits and downsides of this material:

Benefits

  • Longevity and durability
  • Lightweight
  • Helps to avoid water leaks and ice jams
  • Resistance to fungi
  • Not affected by direct UV rays

Disadvantages

  • It can be highly pricey depending on the materials used in the manufacturing

Companies That Offer Best Non-Bitumen Synthetic

Numerous companies now offer high-quality roof underlayment, and each has something for every customer. The manufacturers of the best non-bitumen synthetics on the market are as follows:

Epilay

Epilay Synthetic Roofing Underlayment manufactures goods that are technologically innovative and feature-rich. They are well known for making synthetic roofing underlayment for sloped roofs. Due to Epilay’s products’ being extremely lightweight, roofing professionals may effortlessly carry the roll up and down the ladder.

Owens Corning

Owens Corning manufactures synthetic underlayments that are highly robust and durable, having a high tear strength. Additionally, most of their products are significantly lighter, making them easier to handle and increasing job site productivity. Also, these materials were intended to give a more secure walking surface.

Final Verdict

Roofing underlayment is critical if you want to extend the life of your roof. Having your roof exposed to a variety of conditions throughout the year puts its durability to the test. Preventative maintenance is preferable to coping with the expense of major damage repairs.

Remember that with shingles alone, your roofing deck can only withstand so much. Use this guide to know which type and company can provide for the needs of your roof.

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