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Legal Disclaimer

 

Roofing Underlayments 

Why are they important ?

  •     All roofing materials that are built for low slope and steep slopes are considered water-shedding devices. They are not "WATER-PROOFING", even though many people are under the impression that they are, but they usually ... are not.

  •     Because such roofing materials for low slope or steep slopes are NOT WATER-PROOFING, it is important to create a secondary line of defence against water ingress into the building. This second line of defence is generally the roofing underlayment that is installed below the primary roof covering.

  •     Even if the underlay is not building code mandatory on some roofing materials, it is still necessary to install it under the primary roof covering materials.

  •     Why ?

  •    A.      A warranty requirement for certain materials or manufacturers.

  •     B.    The wetter the climate, the more important and necessary is the underlayment, both in quality, strength, durability, breathability, and of course its water shedding, or water-proofing characteristics.

  •     C.    The lower the slope, the more opportunities for water and rainfall to get beneath the primary roofing materials and cause leaks and damage to the home and structure.

  •     D.    In our region we have learned about something called "Leaky Condos". The builders may have built to the "minimum" standard, but our wet weather region had a climate that subjected the materials and the application methods to severe weather conditions that DEFEATED those minimum standards. We now have billions being spent to correct the mistakes of the past. Mistakes that could have been avoided or at least damage mitigated by having secondary lines of defence to run rain and water away from the buildings inner walls and roofs by simply having proper flashings, proper underlayments, and proper water diversion methods. Do you really want to take a chance and build to the "minimum" standard???

  •     E.    The colder and more moisture in a climate region, or the more severe the weather can get, the more important it is to upgrade underlayments from minimum materials, to better underlayment materials and choices.

  •     F.    The Class A Fire Rating that many products are either required to have, or seek to meet, MUST HAVE an underlay installed to meet such standards. All Fire Rating tests are conducted using the underlay specified by the manufacturer or required by building code.

  •     G.    The longer the expected life of the roofing product, the better the underlayment one should install. 

  • Why Not ?

  •     Underlayment is not expensive.

  •     It is generally cheap and easy to install.

  •     In rainy regions like the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest or West-Coast of BC ...where rain is often trying to drive its way into buildings, WHY take the risk?

  •     Consider it as cheap insurance, on most buildings, but in severe weather areas an absolute and necessary item.

  • If the roof happens to blow off in a storm, some underlayments such as the synthetic underlayments will stay on the roof even if the shingles have blown off. This offers much needed protection for your home in the event of a severe wind gust or storm situation. In areas such as Florida, history has shown us recently that when a hurricane force storm has occurred, homeowners who had their roofing shingles blow off their roof did not see insurance contractors for up to 6 months to fix their problem. In those circumstances the synthetic underlayments that were still fastened to the roof were the ONLY protection the homeowners had for a long time. They kept the train out for months still protecting the home and its contents and families, while they awaited help to eventually arrive.

  • You cannot fix the problem of missing or inadequate underlayment later; Not without removing the entire roof system first.

  • If you can't fix it later ...DO IT RIGHT NOW !

Contact our knowledgeable staff on what underlayments are right for your home or building, in the region your roof is being installed in. 604-572-8088 or 604-420-9000  email: info@roofingstore.ca

The following types and styles of underlayment are typical for the West-coast region of BC, each with their own benefits, purposes, and normal applications.

  • SRP Roofshield - and extremely breathable roof underlayment, eco-friendly, qualified for "green roofs". Prevents water ingress yet allows moist air to escape through its unique matrix synthetic design. Easy to install, the system includes specialty sealing tapes and detailing tapes to really "batten down the hatches". The most expensive solution, but very breathable. Normally reserved for institutional or commercial applications due the cost ( around $800 / roll) and as architects get involved in such projects and may specify.

  • BP DeckGard - A high performance synthetic underlayment that is manufactured to provide best-in-class performance in terms of both weather protection and contractor safety. DeckGard is a synthetic, scrim-reinforced, water-resistant underlayment that can be used beneath shingle, shake, metal, synthetic composites, or slate roofing. It has exceptional dimensional stability compared to standard felt underlayment. Normal felt underlayment can wrinkle when it becomes wet, especially in our climate region, and those wrinkles can "telegraph" through to the shingles applied over it. These wrinkles can severely ruin the appearance of an otherwise nice looking roof job, and there is no way to fix that once the roof is installed. DeckGard eliminates this problem, as the product does not wrinkle. Also, DeckGard's special top surface treatment provides excellent slip resistance, even when wet (always wear safety lines in any event). We also love the layout grid imprinted on top to assist with laying out roofing panels, and roofing shingles. A single roll contains 1000 square feet of underlayment, and ought to cover in the range of 900 to 940 square feet depending on how much you choose to overlap each roll. The product can be left exposed to the weather for up to 180 days. This underlayment is recommended by by our company as your best underlayment solution. It meets the requirements for most shingle manufacturer's warranty requirements, as it is an upgrade from premium felts. This is a good quality, mid-priced solution for underlayments, but in fact is one of our most competitive synthetic underlayment solutions. Great quality, great price, AND great value for all types of roofing, for both moderate slopes as well as steep pitched roofs.

  • Certainteed DiamondDeck - A high performance synthetic underlayment that is manufactured to provide best-in-class performance in terms of both weather protection and contractor safety. DiamondDeck is a synthetic, scrim-reinforced, water-resistant underlayment that can be used beneath shingle, shake, metal, synthetic composites, or slate roofing. It has exceptional dimensional stability compared to standard felt underlayment. Normal felt underlayment can wrinkle when it becomes wet, especially in our climate region, and those wrinkles can "telegraph" through to the shingles applied over it. These wrinkles can severely ruin the appearance of an otherwise nice looking roof job, and there is no way to fix that once the roof is installed. DiamondDeck eliminates this problem, as the product does not wrinkle. Also, DiamondDeck's special top surface treatment provides excellent slip resistance, even when wet (always wear safety lines in any event). This underlayment is recommended by Certainteed for all its extended warranty shingle systems, as its preferred underlayment (and usually "required").  This is a good quality, mid-priced solution.

  • GAF DECK-ARMOR - A good synthetic underlay for under most materials, it is part of the GAF's roofing accessory requirements for extended warranties on their brand of shingles. It is lightweight, strong, easy to install but tough to tear or blow off. It does not wrinkle or buckle, even when wet, and can be left installed as the temporary roof covering for three months, prior to covering it with the primary roofing material product. A single 1000 sq ft roll covers approximately 900 square feet of roof. We find the GAF Deck Armor to be quite over priced for what you get compared to other brands, so we no longer recommend this product. We stock it to fill order requests that continue to come in for this underlayment. This is a high priced decent quality solution.

  • Certainteed Winterguard HT - another "peel & stick" that is both high temperature allowable for beneath metal roofs, as well as high tack and easily malleable. We also use it as a premium ice and water shield below fiberglass shingles, low slope shingles, and critical details such as around skylights, chimneys, in valleys, along eaves, and around slope change areas (pitch changes). This material includes a split release film on the back for easy installation, and it is film surfaced on the top. The "HT" in the name stands for high tack, and high temperature making this a wonderful rubberized waterproofing membrane for lower slopes as well as critical areas on a roof where preventing excess rainfall from getting into the home ought to be a priority. Batten down the hatches with this great underlay.

  • Certainteed Winterguard - typical peel & stick, used in critical areas of the roof, or as a general underlayment on low slope roof situations. Includes a granular grit to assist walk-ability.

  • Malarkey 401 - a peel & stick with a sandy surface top. A lower priced ice and water shield than Winterguard manufactured by Malarkey. A good quality waterproofing membrane.

  • Malarkey Right Start #501UDL - a premium SBS (rubberized) Fiberglass Base Sheet that was designed as premium underlay beneath shingles and other roofing materials. Its feature is its lay flat nature, its fiberglass reinforcement (versus organic felt paper that can rot, buckle, and wrinkle), and the SBS rubberized asphalts that makes it an ideal underlay for low slopes (mandatory beneath Malarkey brand shingles on low slope conditions-{requires 6" head-lap, 12" side-laps caulked}, and a good underlayment for slopes that aren't low in slope. Only issue is the sandy top surface makes it less easy to walk upon when installed on steeper roofs {slippery}. Not as tough or as tear resistant as BP Deck Guard, and not as breathable, but only a bit more costly than most synthetic underlays. We highly recommend this product on lower sloped roofs.

  • Certainteed Roofer's Select - A fiberglass Felt that is wrinkle resistant, it is tougher than regular asphalt felts. It is a required element on Certainteed extended warranty systems. An inexpensive simple upgrade from regular felts, but not as high a quality underlayment as Certainteed Diamond Deck synthetic underlayment.

  • GAF-ELK Shingle-Mate - A fiberglass Felt that is wrinkle resistant, it is tougher than regular asphalt felts. It is a required element on GAFSmart Roof systems. An inexpensive simple upgrade from regular felts, but not near the quality of synthetic underlayments such as BP DeckGard.

  • Hal 30# Asphalt Felt - a CSA approved premium (based on cheaper less quality felts) organic paper based asphalt felt, using heavier paper and more asphalt. In BC this is the minimum requirement for eave protection, and often used as the minimum standard below tiles and synthetic roofs. Caution, this product can buckle or wrinkle below asphalt shingle roofs if it gets wet or moist, so it is best used just at the eave or up valleys.

  • Hal 15# Asphalt Felt - a CSA approved premium (based on cheaper less quality felts) organic paper based asphalt felt, using mid grade asphalt and felt paper. This is the minimum standard that the building code wants, and shingle manufacturers require below their shingles. A cheap underlay. Organic felts always have a risk of wrinkling below the installed shingles, and creating distortions that make the finished roof look unattractive.

  • BP No 15 Felt - a "Standard" felt that is for price point only. Not as good as Hal felt, we keep it for cheap budget roofers.

  • BP No.30 Felt - another cheap price point felt. Not as heavy as Hal 30 lb felt, but some roofers want to save $2 or $3 per roll, and this is our cheap stuff. A better felt would only cost the roofer about $16 to $30 more on a typical roof, but some roofers wish to save the money.

  • Tarpaper - never to be used as an underlay below roofing materials.

Always remember that we get crazy storms, driving rain, and melting ice on our roofs in this region. The underlay choice you make now may save your home from thousands or tens of thousands of damage in the future. We recommend to install a combination of the best underlayments to really "BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES".

 You are investing a lot of money not only in the structure of your home, your finishing, your cabinetry, your kitchen, your interior walls, etc, but also a lot of money in furnishings, televisions, computers, clothing, photos, and paintings. To protect your building and its contents you need a good roof. And the start of a good roof system is the underlayment.

The roof SYSTEM is not the place to cheap out, or cut the budget. It is meant to protect your home, your contents, and your family for decades to come, and you are hoping to be able to count on it being an adequate and dependable defender against the weather and the elements.

In the fall of 2006, we lost over ten thousand trees in the Lower Mainland, many of them in our majestic Stanley Park. Many of these trees were more than 100 years old, and have withstood more than a century of battle with the elements. We seen trees literally "BREAK" in half while still standing, these were trees 3 feet in diameter and larger. Stanley Park looked like the Battle of Bastogne in World War 2 and you could imagine tree bursts blowing up the trees. We had a lot of moisture and rain prior to freezing and the crazy windstorm that hit us and did its damage. But guess what. Our roofs and our roof systems have to withstand the same weather severity as our trees did. Our roofs and our roofing materials and systems have to be built well, the defense systems in layers to defend against repeated and continued attacks, or your home will loose the battle as well.

Strengthen your defense - its warfare against mother nature. Eventually, mother nature always wins, but you can postpone and delay her wrath if you put together a good roof system that includes good underlayments, good flashings, good ventilation, good workmanship, and of course good roofing materials.

And from time to time, do some roof maintenance, and eventually you can again re-roof with another batch of good roofing materials.

In the meantime, if you want to sleep well at night, if you do not want to fret every time some rain or storms is heading our way, make sure you are getting a well built roof SYSTEM ! Heavy Duty underlayment, heavy duty flashings, proper fasteners, and heavy duty roofing materials are required elements for heavy rain and consistently inclement weather.

 

Copyright 2011 All Weather Products

updated 16 August 2011