Synthetic vs. Felt Roofing Underlayment

Roofing is something that every homeowner will have to deal with at some point in their lifetime. Whether it’s just a minor issue or an emergency, there’s no escaping having to make the decision of what type of roofing material you should choose for your home. That said, this post aims to highlight the pros and cons of two popular types: synthetic underlayment vs. felt underlayment.

Advantages of synthetic underlayment

Long life: One of the greatest advantages of synthetic underlayment is its durability compared to felt underlayment, it is estimated that it can last 40 years or more, additionally, it resists longer under exposure to sunlight, a very useful quality in cases where the installation of the roof is suspended for a period of time or in unfavorable weather situations.

Water and steam resistance: The synthetic underlayment is designed to resist water absorption and thus keeps the surface free of moisture, as it is made of plastic it is resistant to the proliferation of mold and mildew.

Lightweight: Synthetic underlayment weighs an average of 2 to 4 pounds per square of ceiling, compared to felt underlayment which weighs approximately 15 to 30 pounds per square of ceiling, meaning that in most cases it is up to 4 times lighter. This incredible property reduces the pressure applied to the framing.

High temperature resistance: Ideal for areas with very high temperatures (desert, tropical or other hot climates), as they can withstand temperatures up to 260 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Smooth surface: Its smooth texture remains unalterable before, during and after installation.

Disadvantages of synthetic roof underlayment

High price: The disadvantage of synthetic roofing underlayment is that it has a higher price compared to the price of felt roofing underlayment. However, it should be noted that synthetic roofing underlayment comes in larger rolls, while felt roofing underlayment comes in smaller rolls.

Advantages of felt roof underlayment.

Affordable price: One of the most notable advantages of felt roofing underlayment is that they are much more economically priced compared to synthetic roofing underlayment, which is favorable for projects on a tight budget. It is good to clarify that you will have to buy more quantity of felt paper rolls, instead of buying a single roll of synthetic paper, due to the fact that the former come in smaller quantities.

Disadvantages of felt roof underlayment

Less durability: This is perhaps one of the major disadvantages of this type of underlayment, it has a short life span compared to synthetic underlayment. The felt surface cracks and wears out over time, due to long exposure to the sun and high temperatures.

Greater amount of weight: The felt base is heavier compared to the synthetic base, however, the weight of the felt base is not equivalent to greater quantity: a roll of synthetic paper has more quantity than a roll of felt.

Slippery surface: the felt underlayment makes installation somewhat difficult because it makes it difficult to walk on.

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