Can Roof Underlayment Get Wet?


Can Roof Underlayment Get WetHurricane season is typically from June through November. During this time, residents that live in hurricane-prone areas may experience torrential rain and heavy winds. Even if you aren’t in an area that experiences hurricanes, potential heavy rains are still common.  

Since home repair is expensive, it’s a better practice to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to rain, especially when it comes to the roof. 

What Is Roofing Felt?  

One way to protect the roof is by using roof felt. Roofing felt is also referred to as “tar paper” or “roof underlayment.” It is the protective barrier between plywood and shingle layers of a roof. It is a compact, wool-like material, commonly made from condensed fiberglass or polyester fibers. It is not a sponge-like material. On the contrary, it blocks moisture more than it absorbs it.  

Can Roofing Felt Get Wet? 

Yes, roofing felt can get wet. It is designed to repel water, not absorb it, so it should hold up just fine. However, it can break down if it stays wet for too long and needs time to dry out. In addition, too much sunlight can also damage roofing felt, so it’s best not to use it in climates that are extremely wet or extremely dry.  

How to Install Roofing Felt  

When installing roofing felt, be sure to do the following: 

  • Strip away old or current roofing felt, adhesives, nails and screws. 

  • Make sure the area is dry and that the roofing felt is layered onto a surface that is tolerant to moisture.  

  • Check for any evidence of decay and moisture — dry out, repair and replace if necessary. Also check for protruding nails.  

  • If the surface is dry, clear away any dust and dirt.  

  • Lay down the first layer of roofing felt. Make sure the felt has no wrinkles when laying it. Wrinkles can turn into cracks and cause leaks in the future. Also, make sure to look for any holes or tears, because those can also affect the integrity of the material. 

  • Install a second layer of roofing felt so that it can be bonded to the first layer using a suitable adhesive. Avoid joints occurring in the same area as the first layer of roofing felt and cut it to size. Allow a period for the felt to settle.  

  • Apply the top bonded felt layer or mineral cover layer to the second layer using the recommended adhesive method.  

  • Add edge flashing and verges to help prevent damage from driving rain. Alternatively, you can install fascia board upstands and arris rails where two fascia boards meet.  

  • Inspect the roof for any areas that might need touch-ups such as gaps or areas that may require additional adhesive. As an added protection, you can also apply Roof Flex Solar Reflective Paint to waterproof and protect your asphalt, felt and metal roofs against UV and heat.  

  • When the roofing felt is dry, install the shingles.  

Contact Us  

Please note that you should always contact a roofing professional to handle work on your home such as installing or replacing roof felt.  

Roofing felt is an important layer of protection between the shingles and plywood layers that make up your roof. Roofing felt gives additional leak protection and can help prevent wood rot. While roofing felt can withstand a large amount of moisture, it should not get too wet or remain wet for an extended period. Whether you are considering upgrading your roof or would like a roof inspection, ABC Roofing Company can help you with all your roofing needs. Contact us today.  



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