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  • Writer's pictureApril Dacas, VP

Shingle Underlayment Damage And Its Potential Problems


Most homeowners don't give a thought to their roof or its condition until a problem crops up that threatens home and belongings. The average roof system has several components designed to work together harmoniously to keep you safe and dry through stormy weather and seasonal changes. If even one of these vital components fails to perform its intended function, you could find yourself with some significant damage and the need for expensive repairs.

Shingle Underlayments 101

A roofing underlayment is moisture-resistant material that is placed between roof shingles and tiles and the plywood roof deck. It is typically installed directly atop the roof deck, providing an added layer of protection from sun, wind, rain, and debris.

Different types of underlayment are available, made from various kinds of materials. The most commonly used material is felt paper, comprised of asphalt-saturated felt. This robust and sturdy substance is quite effective in protecting your roof from all sorts of stressors. Other materials commonly used for underlayments include peel and stick, nail able synthetic roof membranes, and even thin metal sheets. These materials offer their unique advantages and some disadvantages that you as a homeowner must consider when choosing the best one for your home.

It's essential to note that the type of underlayment that you choose should be compatible with the roof material you are using. Talk to your roofing professional to determine which materials play well together to create a strong, sturdy roof for your home.

Factors That Cause Damage To Underlayments

Several factors contribute to damage and eventual breakdown of roofing underlayments. Some of the most common occurrences include:

  1. Improper installation–If a roofing contractor does not install the underlayment properly, you and your roof can be susceptible to damage from the elements. Any weakness in your roof structure can leave you prone to leaks that can damage both your home's exterior and interior.

  2. Shingle or tile damage–If the outer layer of your roof is compromised, it can also weaken interior structures, including the underlayment. Any gap in coverage creates openings where rain can seep through and damage roof layers.

  3. Clogged gutters–Clogged gutters create a backup of water, moisture, and debris on your roof. Standing water can quickly degrade and break down the outer layers of your roof, eventually causing damage to the underlayment.

  4. UV exposure–Sun's powerful ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the underlayment over time. As your roof is subjected to daily wear and tear of the sun and the elements, gaps and cracks will eventually form that reach the lower layers of your roof structure, weakening it from the inside out.

  5. Age–Unfortunately, a roof is not intended to perform well for an indefinite period of time. The older the structures get, the more likely you will have damage from daily exposure to the elements.

Choosing the right material for your underlayment

As you consider your roofing underlayment choices, consider the climate where you live. Florida residents would not need underlayments specifically formulated to withstand snow and ice. Similarly, someone living in Minnesota would not need an underlayment designed to block out the sun's high heat and ultraviolet rays year-round. If you have questions concerning materials are right for you and your roof, consult your roofing contractor for material options.

Is my underlayment damaged?

One way to determine if your underlayment is damaged is to regularly maintain and inspect your roof. An inspection can help identify many potential problems before they become more significant issues. You can also check for water stains on walls and ceilings inside your home. These are indicators that your roof has been compromised in some way.

Need an inspection? We can help!

Len's Roofing professionals have decades of quality workmanship, superior service, and satisfied customers that attest to their integrity. We specialize in all types of roofing jobs, from prep and installation to repair and clean up. If you wonder about the current condition of your roof, now is the time to give us a shout. Visit to book your inspection today or call us at 941-896-7897.


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