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How Does Shingle Underlayment Protect Your Home?

A roof is more than simply shingles. In fact, above your head there is an entire roofing system at work protecting you home and everything in it. Multiple components work together to create today’s modern roofing systems, and at the foundation of this system is the shingle underlayment.

Shingle Underlayment is a vital part of the roofing system A roofing contractor installing DiamondDeck® synthetic roofing underlayment. Image courtesy of CertainTeed Corp.

Shingle underlayment forms a moisture-resistant layer that blocks any water that may find its way through your shingles. For many years, “felt-paper” was the preferred material for shingle underlayment. Recent innovations in building materials have led to the emergence of synthetic underlayments as the preferred underlayment material for the modern roof. Though more expensive than it’s predecessors, synthetic underlayment is easier to install and performs better as a moisture barrier. Some synthetic underlayment is durable and efficient enough to serve as temporary roof covers.

Most modern roofing systems actually consist of two different underlayment for optimal protection. The first underlayment is a waterproof ice and water covering that is installed along the outer edges of the roof. This underlayment protects from ice damming in snow-zone areas (learn more about ice dams here) and shields other vulnerable areas such as skylights, vents, and roof-wall intersections. The second underlayment is a tear-resistant and waterproof material that covers the remainder of the roof. This underlayment protects the vast majority of the roofing deck, as well as provides a high traction walking surfaces for the contractors installing the roof.

Once the shingle underlayment is installed, the foundation is set for the installation of the rest of the roofing system. You can rest at ease knowing that your shingles are not the only element of protection for your home, and in fact, there is a modern roofing system at work above your head.

Click here to find out more about shingle underlayments and CertainTeed’s Integrity Roof System!