Most people have probably never heard of or seen roof underlayment, but it plays an extremely important role in protecting and supporting your roof. While many can agree that roof underlayment is necessary to preserve a roof, there is little consensus over which type is best. There are several factors to consider when deciding on what type of underlay to purchase.

What is it?

Roofing underlayment is a protective sheet that is directly placed on top of a roof deck and underneath the roof shingles. This layer is intended as a second protection measure to ensure the base of your roof stays protected from harsh weather.

Synthetic and felt are the two materials that are often used to make roofing underlayment. Each material has pros and cons, but they are both viable options for roofing underlayment.


Synthetic is a new type of material that has only been used for roofing underlayment for around twenty years. Although it is relatively new, synthetic materials have exponentially grown in popularity and might soon overtake felt as the most popular material used. Because the synthetic underlayment is stronger and more resistant to water, this type of material is better suited for climates that experience intense rainfall or humidity.

Since synthetic is a lighter material than felt, it tends to be easier to install compared to felt. Synthetic is sold in wider sheets than felt, meaning you are able to purchase less material to cover your entire roof. The ingredients that make up synthetic materials are extremely strong and durable so they can stand up to foot traffic better than felt can. Another advantage that synthetic has over felt is that it is not as slippery when it is wet which makes it is much easier to walk on after a storm.

The cost creates a major difference between synthetic and felt materials. Although felt might be cheaper, it might not last as long as a synthetic underlayment. For this reason, many people believe that synthetic material is worth investing in.


Felt has been around for much longer than synthetic materials and it was originally used to cover the tops of shacks as a makeshift roof. Today, felt is the most commonly used material in roofing underlayment. Roofing felt ensures that water drains off the roof properly without seeping into the base of the roof. Felt underlayment is available in two different styles; one that is lighter and cheaper, and another pricier option that is more durable and long-lasting.

Roofing felt creates a more cohesive look throughout your entire roof. The main advantage of utilizing felt underlayment is the cheaper cost which makes felt the perfect choice for people who are limited to a budget. However, it is important to note that felt has many drawbacks that could cause issues and cost more money down the road. The material is usually pretty thin which means that it can tear or get damaged easily. It is a slippery material to walk on which can be difficult for workers to install or repair tears that might occur. Felt can sometimes become rigid in the cold which could cause the edges to come unattached. In addition, felt is typically black which means that it holds on to heat more than synthetic materials.

Ultimately, deciding between felt and synthetic material is a personal choice. You should base your decision on what fits your budget and lifestyle best and we are here to inform you of your options.

How we can help you

Preferred Contractors is a local roofing company that provides roof repairs, installments, and replacements. At Preferred Contractors, we specialize in roofing underlayment and we can assist you with choosing the best option that suits your needs. We can supply you with a high-quality roof that lasts for years to come. Contact us today for more information.

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Our highly experienced roofing team is ready to assist you. Contact us today for a free quote today!