Dependable Construction is asked this question many times. Along with do I need ice & water shield, well tackle that in another post. We wonder why anyone would think of not using some type of felt or underlayment when having their roof replaced. Yes cedar shake roofs don’t get it but that’s because it’s laid directly on lathe sheathing. Maybe it’s because of my age and the understanding of the correct shingling methods, just to note I’m not old. I have to say; I would never do any other steep slope roofs without using synthetic underlayment.

The best reason for using underlayment is, it’s the last line of defense from moisture or water entering your home. There are many other reason why, but I’ll just mention a few.

  1. Most manufactures of roofing products require an underlayment for a warranty on their product.
  2. Protects your roof from wind driven rain.
  3. Ice Dams from cold climates can cause water to seep into your home.
  4. Temporary water proofing till a job is complete.
  5. Gauge lines for straight courses.
  6. Separation from wood sheathing.
  7. Your local building department may require it.
  8. Costly dry rot repair from damaged eaves without underlayment.

For many years felt paper or as some like to call it tar paper has been the only product available to use under a steep slope roof like shingles, tile, shakes and metal. All the water from your roof runs down towards the eaves and valleys. With the slightest problem or wind driven rain this supply of water can get on the unprotected roof deck and over time dry rot the wood or worst, it gets in to the home and cause major damage and mold. This can be stopped with underlayment protection.

Now many roofers reading this may have other ideas about this subject. The bottom line is, if you are a homeowner or a roofing contractor, why would you not use underlayment? Some say the felt wrinkles when it gets wet. Some say it leaks with all the nails from the shingles. Those claims can be argued. I have found that the roofer that tries to say “you don’t need felt” is trying to save money and not worried about quality. If it’s felt they don’t like why not use a synthetic underlayment. Since 2014 that’s All Dependable Construction has installed on their customers roofs. The synthetics are becoming more and more popular, it won’t wrinkle when wet. It is easy to roll out with 10 sq. rolls. It is great as a temporary roof covering when working with other construction projects. And best of all it is about the same cost as felt.

So what do you think you should do? Use an underlayment or not?


Call Dependable Construction today at (937) 318.9572 to learn more about their roofing services & more. You can also visit us on Facebook to keep up with the latest jobs we are working on, be sure to like the page.


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