Why are there so many types of underlayments and which one is the best to use? For many years the felt or sometimes called tar paper was all we had to use when installing a roof. Now it seems we have a great variety of underlayment’s to choose from.

Felt was made from asphalt saturating recycled rags which gave it a fussy felt feel. Many of the Forty-Niner’s used this asphalt saturated felts as a roof because they rolled it out easy, kept the water out of their cabins and could be easily moved to the next gold camp. Modern felt was manufactured to be a weight of about 15 pounds per sq. and when used for shakes 30 pounds per sq. A sq. is 100 square feet in roofing terms or 10 feet by 10 feet. Around the seventies the oil crisis began. Supplies of oil became limited, the cost of felt went up and the quality has been said to have gone down in asphalt base roofing products. This must have some truth to it, as the felts no longer weigh the same and are called number 15 or number 30. This type of underlayment improved with the introduction of fiberglass into the product but it left a door open for synthetic underlayment to enter the roofing and construction market.

Since Synthetic came out in the ’80 years have gone by and many improvements have been made to synthetic underlayment’s and are now included in almost every roofing systems. Dependable Construction has had the pleasure of using almost all of them. Synthetic has a faster layout time and in wet conditions it won’t wrinkle like felt does. Pricing is not really an issue and it comes down to the roofers’ choice. Another great feature Dependable Construction likes is working on the cooler colors vs the heat absorbing black felt paper. As roofers we know what that is like in the hot summer months.

Felt vs Synthetic. Having rolled out miles and miles of roofing felt and used many different types of felts, synthetic is now the way to go and is now becoming the industry standard with many roofing companies.

Dependable Construction has change in 2014 to only installing synthetic. Yes, it’s more expensive for us but it provides our customers with a better water tight system. A much cleaner finish product once completed and helps keep our roofers safer while working.


To learn more about our roofing services & more Call Dependable Construction today at (937) 318.9572. 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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