Are you planning to have a new roof installed on your home? It’s a lifetime investment for any homeowner and involves critical decision-making. You may know there are three primary roofing layers: sheathing, underlayment, and roof covering. In this article, we will go over the best roofing underlayments for all residential roofing systems– shingle, metal, shake, tile, and slate.
At Division Kangaroof, we are dedicated to help you pick the best materials to build your roofs and exteriors. A sturdy and durable roof makes a home safe and comfortable for many years. We’ll discuss each type of roofing underlayment in detail and explain why they’re best for your home’s roof.
We will start by explaining the three categories of underlayment. It will help you to understand why one underlayment suits a particular roof type.
Overview Of Roofing Underlayments
A roofing underlayment is a waterproofing layer installed between the roof decking and roofing covering, such as asphalt shingles, clay tile, and metal panels. Proper underlayment ensures optimum weatherproofing from heavy rain, snow, hail, and fire elements. This layer requires professional installation to function correctly and protect your home against roof leaks, electrical failures, holes, and accidents. Here are three types of roofing underlayment:
Felt is the first roof underlayment that was developed years ago, and it is suitable for standard shingles. It is also called felt paper or roofing felt. It’s the basic and most affordable type of underlay on the market as it is a traditional waterproofing material, and it is less sturdy than more modern options. It is also the easiest to install, so it’s perfect for new roofers who have started recently and are looking for more experience.
It’s the most durable, sturdy, and flexible underlayment on the market. The primary composition includes rubber and asphalt, but it varies according to the manufacturer and product. Rubberized asphalt is best for premium, and leak-prone roof coverings such as wood shakes. Since it costs more than other types of underlayments, you can use it to waterproof specific areas of your roof that may need extra protection. These can be the tight areas around the roof accessories like skylights, chimneys, roof vents, and valleys.
This is the most recent form of roof underlayment material, made of fiberglass and polypropylene. It’s highly durable and resistant to tears– best to handle heavy roofing materials like slate, tile, and metals. It also resists mold and algae growth. So if you don’t want to choose an expensive rubber asphalt, synthetic underlayment is also a good choice for wood shake roofs. It costs more than felt but is more affordable than rubber underlays.
Now, we will explain the top 6 roof underlayments chosen by our experts based on product quality and reviews.
Top 6 Underlayments For Pitched Roofs
Asphalt shingles cover most homes in the United States, so let’s start with the best roof underlay for all types of shingle roofs. There are two main options: felt and synthetic. Both of these types of underlayments work well on shingle roofs measuring 2:12 and above.
#1 GAF FeltBuster Synthetic Roofing Underlayment Roll
GAF FeltBuster Synthetic Roofing Underlayment Roll is #1 on our list. It’s a premium underlayment that comes in a roll and has an adhesive backing. This product is lightweight and emits less heat to enhance comfort. It provides traction for safe installation, and its nailing pattern on the front helps with easy installation. GAF FeltBuster Synthetic Roofing Underlayment Roll also lasts longer than other felt papers and resists tearing due to its high-quality manufacturing methods. It’s made from durable polypropylene (not asphaltic) material that won’t crack or break down over time. GAF FeltBuster is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable yet high-quality product.
#2 APOC Gator-Skin Synthetic Roof Underlayment
APOC Gator-Skin Synthetic Roof Underlayment replaces the #15 and #30 organic felt. It’s made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which exceeds the performance requirements of ASTM International, helping to waterproof your roof while strengthening it against impact and wind damage. It has Safe-Step technology to help roofers walk safely over it during installation. It also resists tearing, so you don’t have to worry about any problems with holes in your home’s roofing system. And because APOC Gator-Skin has a Class A fire resistance, it reduces the chances of flames spreading through your home.
Next, we have slate, tile, and metal roofs that require premium, heavy-duty fiberglass or rubberized underlayments. The high density makes the underlays sturdy and durable to hold the heavy loads of such roofing systems. Premium underlays also have excellent thermal resistance, so they won’t succumb to heat and chills as quickly as other materials.
#3 Malarkey Right Start UDL
Malarkey Right Start UDL is a rubberized asphalt membrane that provides a tight-fitting, waterproof layer for any roofing system. This underlayment is made with Malarkey’s industry-leading NEX® Polymer Modified (Rubberized) Asphalt technology and will withstand the extra weight of tile and slate roofs. It is mechanically fastened, which means it has been designed explicitly for premium roof coverings. Malarkey Right Start UDL comes with a 10-year product warranty and is eligible for their enhanced warranty when used with other Malarkey roofing products. It also exceeds the performance requirements of ASTM International, creating an incredibly sturdy and flexible material.
#4 Fontana VulcaSeal G40 Fiberglass Underlay
Fontana VulcaSeal G40 is a fiberglass-based modified asphalt underlayment. It comes with a 10-year single-layer and 20-year double-layer warranty, so you can trust it will last for years to come. This roofing underlayment is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), making it highly impact-resistant and able to withstand the elements much better than other materials on the market today. The HDPE also allows this product to be used in areas such as Alaska and Ohio, where thunderstorms and hail are common.
Lastly, there are natural wood shake roofs– not common in the cities but popular in countryside homes, old cabins, and homeowners who prefer traditional cedar roofs. If you have a wood shake roof, rubberized asphalt is the best type of underlayment for your home. It is one of the more expensive options, but it is ideal for shake roofs. That’s because it offers maximum protection against rot, mold growth, and insects– the most significant issues with wood.
#5 GCP Grace Ice & Water Shield
GCP Grace Ice & Water Shield is a rubberized peel-and-stick underlayment that adheres firmly to the roof decking. It creates a strong seal against stormy weather conditions, hailstones, and snow. It offers a ‘Ripcord split release on-demand’ technology to efficiently waterproof the small areas around the roof accessories and attachments such as skylights, vents, and chimneys. This underlay has an HT (heat transfer) formula that’s particularly suitable for hot climates or high-temperature roofs; however, it can be used in all types of roofs throughout all regions, as its adhesive will stick to the decking even in cold weather conditions when installed carefully. Grace Ice and Water Shield comes with a 10-year warranty on the material, which is a standard warranty for good-quality underlayments.
#6 DuPont Tyvek Protec 120 Roof Underlayment
DuPont Tyvek Protec 120 is a roofing underlayment that fits all types of roofs and locations. It comes with a carved surface allowing better friction and grip during installation. This helps prevent slips and falls, so you don’t have to worry about property damage. The woven polypropylene scrim provides added strength to the underlayment. Tyvek Protec 120 has a wrinkle-free surface, so it won’t irritate anyone who walks on it, even in hot weather conditions where moisture can build up under the sheeting. It also has a lightweight design, making it easy for roofers to carry. Tyvek Protec is fully compatible with chalk marks, so the lines will be properly visible when cutting, ensuring correct installation.
We hope our list helps you decide which roof underlayment is best for you. There are so many manufacturers and underlays available, and we understand it can be a tricky choice if you’re not an expert. If you need help in making a decision, you can contact us today!
Which Roof Underlayment Is Right For Your Home?
At Division Kangaroof, we have been building the most sturdy and durable roofs for years. Our roofing experts have extensive experience with all kinds of roofing underlayments, and we will be happy to guide you. If you live in Gainesville, GA., or the surrounding regions, call us at (706) 778-3516. One of our experts will offer you a free consultation so that you can discuss all about roof underlayments and other parts of your roof.
Getting a new roof is a big decision, and we look forward to advising you and offering you the best roof replacement and installation service.