Bergen County Roofing: Article About Underlayment

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Whether a roof is covered in shingles, tiles or sheets of metal, proper roof installation requires some type of underlayment beneath the roof covering. Its purpose is to protect the decking and provide an extra layer of protection should water breach the exterior coverings. There are many types of underlayment available. A knowledgeable Bergen County roofing contractor can help homeowners choose the underlayment that's right for their roof.

Until recently, the most common underlayment was tarpaper. Also called roofing felt, tarpaper consists of a non woven fabric saturated with asphalt. It is still in use today and comes in either 15 or 30 pound weights. The installation method is determined by the roof's slope and the tarpaper's weight. Tarpaper is water resistant, not waterproof. It is a breathable fabric that also prevents moisture from being trapped between the deck and the shingles. Historically, roofing felt was made from organic fibers left over from other manufacturing processes. Today, it can be made of fiberglass or recycled paper and wood.

Modern manufacturers of roofing underlayment often seek to improve the function of traditional roofing felt by making it more durable or watertight. They also seek to improve installation methods.

The roofing experts at All Professional Remodeling of Bergen County NJ can assist you with any questions regarding roofing, skylights or siding.

Some newer underlayment uses adhesive as an installation method instead of nails or staples. Some underlayment uses a rubberized fabric base to make it more watertight. There are pros and cons associated with each type of underlayment. Using a watertight underlayment protects the deck in the event that it rains before the shingles can be applied, but some studies suggest that a watertight underlayment can cause moisture problems inside the attic. Proponents of "peel and stick" underlayment say that it is less labor intensive and allows them to work under windier conditions than traditional felt allows for. Self adhesive underlayment is often thinner than felt paper, and many roofers feel that it cannot protect the decking as well as thicker tarpaper can.

The most important decision regarding underlayment has to do with roofing system warranties. Each manufacturer requires that a certain type of underlayment be installed in conjunction with their shingles in order for the warranty to be effective. Using an underlayment other than the one specified by the shingle manufacturer could void an otherwise extensive warranty. This might seem like an unfair business practice; however, manufacturers are very aware of how their products perform under certain climates and weather events. Each manufacturer's brand of underlayment is engineered to complement the performance of its shingles.

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