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Roofing in Florida: What Exactly is Roofing Underlayment Anyway?

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Everyone knows that a roof is a vital component of a house. It maintains the home’s structure. It shields the building from storms, cold temperatures, and Florida’s hot sun.

Most people know that roofs consist of a base or frame covered with shingles, tiles, or metal. The underlayment is one of those things people don’t understand or know about, but that’s about to change.

What’s Roofing Underlayment?

There are various types of underlayment. Each offers something different depending on the material chosen.

Some are water-resistant, while others protect against the snow. Of course, in Florida, folks want protection from heat and rain.

No matter the type of roofing underlayment you plan to use, placement on the surface of the roof deck is vital.

All this has to happen before homeowners move on to installing the roofing. No matter the type of underlayment chosen, it’s going to look dark grey or black.

There are other considerations. If you want a budget-friendly option, you’ll have to go with the asphalt-saturated felt.

Pros and Cons

Like with everything else in life, there are always some pros and cons. Homeowners must know all of this before deciding on roofing underlayment.

Pros

  • Weather protection
  • Water-resistant
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Leak protection

Cons

  • Additional expense
  • More installation obstacles
  • Underlayment loses effectiveness with time

Knowing this should make it easier for homeowners to figure out if paying the extra cash to install an underlayment is worth it or not.

Keep in mind that it may seem like a cost you don’t need to worry about, but you only feel like that now. If water makes it through your roofing, this underlayment will prevent you from dealing with water damage, mold, and other expensive issues.

Types of Roofing Underlayment

Homeowners who are going to add this additional safety precaution should know each type of underlayment. There are three main types.

1. Asphalt-saturated felt is the cheapest and water-resistant. It is heavy and hard to work with. Installation could take longer because of this, and that’s not a good thing for homeowners. On top of all that, the extra weight could hurt the roof in the long run.

2. Non-bitumen is sometimes referred to as synthetic underlayment and is also water-resistant. It is much lighter, though, but it does require skill and experience to install. A good and experienced roofer should be able to take care of this in no time.

3. Rubberized asphalt underlayment is the most expensive, but it is waterproof, which is essential to Floridians. It’s also heat resistant, just another bonus. Homeowners should also know that this underlayment lasts the longest.

A Note on Water Resistance and Waterproof

The reality is that most homes will be fine with a water-resistant underlayment.

Yes, the added protection from a completely waterproof underlayment is good but not absolutely necessary.

Homeowners need to keep in mind that the roofing will also add some additional water protection.

Homes that need a waterproof underlayment are prone to ice damage or deal with extremely high winds. Floridians don’t need to worry about ice, but they do need to worry about high winds depending on where they live.

Waterproofing underlayment is also needed in the following places where water tends to collect even if it’s not raining heavily:

  • Eaves
  • Valleys
  • Any protrusions like vents or skylights
  • Low slopes

How to Choose the Right Underlayment?

Now, it’s time to figure out what’s right for you. Ideally, you will make this decision with the help of an experienced and trustworthy roofer so that you can get all your questions answered before you make your decision.

A lot has to be taken into consideration, not just Florida’s weather.

A homeowner’s budget is definitely a factor. Keep in mind that roofing estimates are only estimates. Issues can arise that could run the price up even higher. Factoring in a homeowner’s budget is extremely important.

Along with all that, the type of roof a homeowner needs is important to know.

For example, metal roofs trap a lot of heat, so a heat-resistant underlayment is preferable. This one varies case by case. It’s better to have a roofer give you this information before making a decision.

Talk to the experts, and have a professional inspect your roof to find out everything you can before deciding. Besides, there could be other issues with your roof that you can’t see that have to be addressed before the roof is updated. It’s better and cheaper to take care of all this now that you’re thinking of upgrading your roof.