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Roofing Felt Guide (3 Best Options for Your Roof + Repairs)

Written by

Leroy Whitt

Roofing felt, often overlooked but undeniably crucial, forms the silent protector of your home, shielding it from the relentless onslaught of the elements. From rain and snow to harsh UV rays, this unassuming layer plays a pivotal role in prolonging the lifespan of your roof and safeguarding your investment.

Today, we’ll be breaking down all of the facts about roofing felt, exploring:

  • Its significance
  • Different varieties
  • Signs of wear
  • Installation costs
  • Common misconceptions about its replacement

What is Roofing Felt?

roofing felt and hammer

Roofing felt, also known as tar paper or underlayment, is a protective barrier installed beneath the primary roofing material. Typically made from a combination of asphalt and either fiberglass or organic materials, roofing felt serves as an additional layer of defense against moisture infiltration. It is available in rolls and comes in various thicknesses and grades, catering to different climate conditions and roofing requirements.

Importance of Roofing Felt

The importance of roofing felt cannot be overstated in the realm of roofing construction. Here’s why it’s a crucial component:

  • Waterproofing: Roofing felt acts as a waterproof membrane, preventing water from seeping through the roof deck and causing structural damage to your home.
  • Moisture Control: By inhibiting moisture buildup, roofing felt helps maintain a dry and healthy environment within the attic space, minimizing the risk of mold and mildew growth.
  • Enhanced Durability: It reinforces the roof’s structural integrity, providing an additional layer of protection against punctures, tears, and abrasions.
  • Thermal Insulation: Some varieties of roofing felt offer thermal insulation properties, helping to regulate indoor temperatures and reduce energy consumption.

3 Different Roofing Felt Styles

Roofing felt is available in several styles, each offering unique features tailored to specific roofing applications:

1) Asphalt-Saturated Organic Felt:

Made from recycled materials such as cellulose fibers, this traditional roofing felt provides excellent waterproofing properties and is commonly used in residential roofing projects.

2) Fiberglass-Reinforced Felt:

Comprising fiberglass matting coated with asphalt, this type of roofing felt offers enhanced strength and durability, making it ideal for areas prone to high winds and heavy foot traffic.

3) Synthetic Underlayment:

Engineered from polyethylene or polypropylene, synthetic underlayment surpasses traditional felt in terms of tear resistance, UV protection, and longevity. It is lightweight and easy to install, making it a popular choice for modern roofing systems.

Signs That You Need to Replace Your Roof Felt

Despite its durability, roofing felt is not immune to wear and tear. Here are some telltale signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement:

  • Tears or Rips: Visible tears or rips in the roofing felt can compromise its waterproofing capabilities, allowing water to infiltrate the roof structure.
  • Curling or Buckling: Curling or buckling of the felt material suggests aging or improper installation, necessitating prompt replacement to prevent further damage.
  • Water Stains on Ceilings: Water stains on interior ceilings often indicate roof leaks caused by deteriorating roofing felt. Addressing the underlying issue promptly can prevent extensive water damage.
  • Excessive Granule Loss: If your asphalt shingles are shedding an excessive amount of granules, it could be a sign of deteriorating roofing felt beneath them. Granule loss exposes the shingles to UV damage and accelerates their deterioration.

Cost to Install Roofing Felt

installing roofing felt

The cost of installing roofing felt varies depending on several factors, including the size of the roof, the type of underlayment chosen, and local labor rates. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $0.15 to $0.50 per square foot for materials and installation. For a typical 2,000 square foot roof, the total cost ranges from $300 to $1,000.

Do You Have to Replace Your Whole Roofing System to Replace Your Roofing Felt?

Contrary to common misconception, replacing roofing felt does not always necessitate a complete roof replacement. In many cases, especially when the primary roofing material is in good condition, only the underlayment needs to be replaced. However, it’s essential to assess the overall condition of the roof and consult with a qualified roofing contractor to determine the most appropriate course of action.

A Pro Roofing Contractor For All Of Your Needs

Roofing felt may not be the most glamorous aspect of roofing construction, but its significance cannot be overstated. As the unsung hero of your roofing system, it quietly performs its duty, protecting your home from the elements and extending the lifespan of your roof.

If you’re looking to learn more about roofing felt, contact Whitt’s Quality Roofing to get the inside scoop!

Leroy Whitt

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