Sometimes referred to as underlayment paper, tar paper, or felt paper, most roofing companies in Roanoke use this on a new roof before installing the shingles. We’ve been asked many times, “Shouldn’t the shingles prevent leaks?” The answer is, “If there was never any wind or ice, yes, the shingles should prevent leaks.” We all know that in Roanoke, we get both wind and ice.

A Roofing System has Layers

When a roofing system is properly installed in a home there are three layers. First is the roofing deck, which is most often plywood. The second is the underlayment and the third is the shingles. The underlayment goes on top of the plywood to help seal the seams of the roofing deck. The shingles form the last layer of your roofing system and quality shingles like those by IKO, GAF, and CertainTeed are made to actually attach themselves to the underlayment. They still need to be nailed to the roof but the heat of the sun further attaches the shingles helping to protect your roof.

Types of Underlayment

felt or synthetic underlaymentThere are many brands of underlayment available for your roof replacement. Generally the available brands fall into one of two categories, felt and synthetic fiber.

Felt Paper Underlayment

Felt paper is made out of a fiberglass/cellulose mixture and comes in two thicknesses – 15 and 30 pound. The 30 pound is more resistant to damage should it be exposed to the elements. Neither is completely waterproof but both have a level of water resistance built in.

Synthetic Underlayment

Tiger Paw UnderlaymentSynthetic underlayment is up to 600% stronger and provides added moisture control over even the 30 pound felt. Another benefit is the breathability which allows moisture leave your attic easily. There are many different brands of synthetic underlayment but the brand used by Abracadabra Restoration Specialists is TigerPaw by GAF.

Which Should I Choose for My Roof Replacement?

Abracadabra Restoration Specialists, your Roanoke roofing company, always recommends TigerPaw over felt paper. It’s stronger and will protect your home better in the event that shingles are lifted or even blown away by strong winds. If you’d like to discuss a roof replacement anywhere in the Roanoke Valley, contact us today for your estimate at 540-977-0045. Let us know you’re interested in seeing the difference between Tiger Paw and felt and we’ll have our estimator bring along a sample of each.