There is a lot more on your roof than that top layer of shingles that you can see from the street. There are actually several layers of roofing underlayment material that help protect your home. Here is what you need to know about underlayment material as a homeowner.

Roof Protection

Underlayment material protects your home in two ways.

Water Protection

The main purpose of having roof underlayment material is to provide additional protection to your home. Your roof is exposed to a lot of water, and underlayment material is designed to give you some additional protection from water. While your shingles may do a great job at protecting your roof right after it is installed, those shingles can become damaged or cracked over the years, and in some instances, blow off the roof during a strong storm. You'll need that underlayment material to provide protection until you can have the roof professionally repaired by a roofing contractor.

Moisture Protection

You don't just have to worry about your roof being damaged from water on the outside, but moisture from the inside as well. This is due to the hot air inside your home that rises to your attic. That air contains moisture, and it will eventually seep up and reach your roofing material. You need roof underlayment material to act as a moisture barrier to prevent moisture from getting on the underside of your roofing material. This will easily happen in the winter when the hot air reaches the cold shingles. The underlayment material prevents the moisture from touching the roofing material, which can cause mold or mildew to form, and eventually lead to the roofing material rotting on the bottom side.

Underlayment Materials

There are two types of underlayment materials that are frequently used for roofs.


Roofing felt is made in a variety of different thicknesses that are designed to provide protection from water and moisture. Thicker felt is going to provide more protection and boost the durability of your roof. It is common for homes to use 15-pound roofing felt at a minimum, but 30-pound roofing felt will be ideal due to the better protection it provides.


Another option is to use rubberized asphalt, which is glued down to the roof deck rather than nailed or stapled. Not only is the rubber a stronger material than roofing felt, but the lack of nails and staples create fewer spots where water can get through.

To learn more about underlayment materials, contact a residential roofing contractor in your area.