Have you ever considered what safeguards your home from severe weather conditions? It’s not merely the roof shingles or tiles visible from the outside. Underneath them lies an essential component – the underlayment. This crucial piece, installed by professionals like Ready Roofing & Solar Dallas, acts as a defense line against water, wind, and other challenging elements. However, did you realize that there are distinct types of underlayment used in roof installations? Let’s explore this topic further to assist you in making an educated decision when it’s time to refurbish your roof.

The Importance of Roof Underlayment

Before we delve into the types of underlayment, it’s essential to understand why we need them in the first place. The underlayment is the hidden hero of roofing systems, providing an extra layer of protection against rain, snow, and wind. It also offers thermal insulation, preventing heat loss in the winter and maintaining a cool temperature in the summer.

Types of Roof Underlayment

Determining the type of roof underlayment for your home is an essential step in the roofing process. As the protective layer between your roof and the external elements, underlayment is critical to your home’s comfort and safety. At Ready Roofing & Solar Dallas, we have identified three key types of underlayment: asphalt-saturated felt, synthetic, and rubberized asphalt. Understanding the distinctions among them can help you make an informed decision for your next roofing project.

Asphalt-Saturated Felt

Asphalt-saturated felt, otherwise known as “traditional underlayment,” has been the cornerstone of the roofing industry for decades. This underlayment type involves a felt material, typically made from organic or fiberglass substrate, that’s been saturated with asphalt to boost its water resistance. It’s an attractive choice for many homeowners due to its affordability and the ease with which it can be installed. This underlayment type has a long track record of reliable performance in many different climates and roofing applications.

Pros and Cons of Asphalt-Saturated Felt

Being a traditional underlayment choice, asphalt-saturated felt offers the advantage of being cost-effective and relatively straightforward to install. This makes it a widely used option among homeowners, particularly those working within a tight budget. However, it’s worth noting that while it does an adequate job in many situations, it lacks the durability and resilience of newer, synthetic underlayments. Over time, asphalt-saturated felt can break down, becoming less effective in extreme weather conditions and needing replacement more frequently than its modern counterparts.

Different Types of Underlayment Used in Roof Installations

Synthetic Underlayment

As a more recent addition to the roofing industry, synthetic underlayment is manufactured from engineered materials like polypropylene or polyester. These materials offer superior resistance to water, UV radiation, and fungal growth, thereby providing robust protection for your roof. Synthetic underlayment often includes a woven or spun-bound filament layer with a polymeric coating, enhancing its strength and weather resistance.

Pros and Cons of Synthetic Underlayment

Synthetic underlayment comes with a heftier price tag compared to traditional asphalt-saturated felt. However, this investment may well be justified by its enhanced durability and tear resistance. Synthetic underlayment stands up to extreme weather conditions remarkably well and often has a longer lifespan, proving to be a cost-effective solution in the long term for many homeowners.

Rubberized Asphalt

Regarded as the luxury choice in the world of roof underlayment, rubberized asphalt combines rubber polymers with asphalt to create a superior water-resistant barrier. It’s self-adhering and often comes with a protective membrane that offers high-temperature stability and flexibility even at low temperatures.

Pros and Cons of Rubberized Asphalt

Although rubberized asphalt offers impressive durability and superior waterproofing, it is the most expensive option among the three types of underlayment. While the upfront cost may be higher, this type of underlayment provides exceptional performance. If you’re seeking the most robust, water-resistant underlayment and are willing to invest more in your home’s protection, rubberized asphalt could be the right choice for you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Underlayment

Selecting the appropriate underlayment for your roof is a crucial task, requiring thoughtful consideration of several elements. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation; the optimal underlayment can vary based on numerous factors including your region’s climate, the slope of your roof, and even the local building codes. Here, we delve into each of these factors to better guide your decision-making process.

Primarily, the climate greatly influences the selection of appropriate underlayment. For example, if your home is in a location that frequently experiences heavy snowfall or intense rainfall, a water-resistant underlayment like rubberized asphalt, often recommended by a seasoned roofing contractor in Dallas, TX, could be a smart choice. Conversely, in areas where the climate is characterized by strong sunlight and high temperatures, a UV-resistant synthetic underlayment is likely the best option.

Secondly, the slope of your roof – or its pitch – can influence the type of underlayment required. Steep roofs tend to shed water quickly, thus a standard underlayment like asphalt-saturated felt could suffice. However, for lower sloped roofs that can potentially hold water longer, a more robust, water-resistant underlayment would be advisable to prevent any water infiltration.

Lastly, local building codes can dictate the type of underlayment you should use. Different regions have varying regulations concerning roofing materials based on local weather conditions and other safety considerations. It’s crucial to ensure that the underlayment you choose complies with these local guidelines.

Given the technicalities involved in selecting the right underlayment, consulting with a roofing professional, like at Ready Roofing & Solar Dallas, is always a wise decision. They can provide expert advice tailored to your specific circumstances, ensuring your home receives the most effective protection.


  1. Why is underlayment important in roof installations? Underlayment provides an extra layer of protection against weather elements and provides thermal insulation.
  2. What are the main types of roof underlayment? The main types are asphalt-saturated felt, synthetic, and rubberized asphalt.
  3. Is synthetic underlayment better than asphalt-saturated felt? While synthetic underlayment is more durable and resistant, the choice between the two depends on your specific needs and budget.
  4. How often should I replace my roof underlayment? The lifespan of underlayment varies, but it’s typically replaced when you get a new roof.
  5. Can I install the roof underlayment by myself? Installing underlayment can be complex, so it’s recommended to hire a professional.