What Is Roof Underlayment, and What Does It Do for Roofs?

Underlayment is a layer of material between your roofing material (tile, shingles) and roof plywood sheathing. The underlayment's job is to keep moisture out of your home, preventing water damage and mold growth as a result.

Think of it in hockey terms: If water is a hockey puck and your home is the hockey net, think of underlayment as the goalie. Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.12.30 PM

Image Source: www.scotsdaleaz.gov

Unfortunately, underlayment does not last forever.

How Long Does Underlayment Last?

It depends on the type of underlayment. But a most common type is felt, which deteriorates after 12-20 years. After that, the underlayment must be removed and replaced (R&R), otherwise your home will be vulnerable to water damage.

How Do I Know If My Underlayment Needs Replacing?

Most homeowners find out the hard way: when they notice their roof is leaking. That's a telltale sign that the roof underlayment has deteriorated and no longer protecting your home.

The other, less expensive way to find out is to hire a roofer to check out your roof once the underlayment is around the end of its usable lifespan (around 12-20 years).

This is what deteriorated underlayment looks like:

cracked underlayment

Cracked underlayment

Why Just Having Underlayment Isn't Enough

Imagine you get your tires changed at a cheap grease monkey's garage and then, in the middle of the highway, one of the wheels pops right off because the lug nuts weren't properly tightened. That's a scary example of how a good thing (lug nuts) can go bad due to poor service.

Similarly, even if you have underlayment, that does not mean your roof will be protected. You need a good roofer the properly install the underlayment.

So how do you find a roofer that knows what they're doing?

How to Find a Fantastic Arizona Roofer

Lucky for you, we've written about this subject extensively.

First, you need to know the 3 simple steps to choosing a roofing contractor.

Second, you need to resist the temptation to not hire an unlicensed contractor. While they may be cheaper, there are several dangers of hiring someone who isn't licensed.

Do you live in Phoenix or Tucson and need your roof checked out? Contact Lyons Roofing online today for help.