What goes under cedar shingles and shakes? Whilst it is important that your outer roofing layer is high-quality, it is also important that you have a layer below to help protect from any moisture that may penetrate below. Choosing the right material to go here is important to the longevity of your home.
There are a few different materials that can be used as an underlayment, such as felt underlayment/tar paper or synthetic underlayment. Each has its own benefits and negatives, we will take a look into those below.
What is Underlayment?
What Goes Under Cedar Shingles?
There are two main types of material that go underneath Cedar Shingles. We will take a look at both of these now.
The Benefits of Felt Underlayment / Tar Paper Under Cedar Shingles
Felt underlayment is a great option for anyone looking to protect their home from the elements while also keeping costs low. It is normally made from natural materials like wood cellulose but it can also be made from synthetic fibers like fiberglass. It is then coated with a protective coating made up of Asphalt which repels water, moisture, and debris that may have got past the cedar shingles or shakes.
Felt underlayment are usually available in rolls of 15 or 30 pounds. Using Felt underlayment allows you to add an extra barrier that protects from the weather, reduces blow off, prevents roof damage, and protects the main parts of the roofs structure.
The Negatives of Felt Underlayment
Felt underlayment isn’t perfect for every situation. Felt paper is made of fibers that are stuck together but this also makes it susceptible to tearing apart if exposed to too much moisture or cold weather over an extended period of time. Felt can grow weaker with the passing years, making it a poor choice in areas where wind speeds are high and storms are frequent! This is also not an ideal roofing material to go underneath a metal roof as it can rapidly deteriorate under rapid heat.
The Benefits of Synthetic underlayment Under Cedar Shingles
If you’re looking for a way to protect your home in an efficient way, from harsh weather conditions, and a material that is durable synthetic underlayments is an excellent choice. They are made with synthetic materials, and are designed specifically with different types of roofing in mind so they stand up well against various climates and elements without showing signs of wear or tear!
They are generally made from one or more of the following materials: polyester, fiberglass, polyethylene, and/or polypropylene. Synthetics underlayment can actually be used on roofs that will see frequent storms, or a wide range of weather conditions as it can with stand alot. Synthetics underlayment also provide additional insulation which means heat loss is less likely – this might help save money on heating bills over time!
The Negatives of Synthetic Underlayment
Most people in the roofing industry agree that synthetic underlayments have fairly few drawbacks. But, it does cost significantly more than felt and is also not as waterproof so if there is a continued leak the water may penetrate after a period of time (depends on the quantity of water). With this said synthetic underlayments do last longer, with stand heat better, so these become less of a disadvantage over time.
Conclusion Between Felt Underlayment/Tar Paper and Synthetic Underlayment
In conclusion, it is important to consider What Goes Under Cedar Shingles or shakes as it will vary depending on your needs and local climate, thinking about the weather you have, the conditions and the moisture in the atmosphere and the moisture that hits your cedar shingles in the form of rain and snow. Each of the different underlayments have their own pros and cons but each one has different benefits depending on where you live, what you need, and what you are looking for from your roof.
Synthetics can last longer, offer better protection from heat and normal wear, but they are more expensive.
Felt underlayment is cheaper and more water-resistant but may deteriorate faster especially when hot. Felt underlayment can last for decades if the cedar shake roof itself is maintained correctly.
What Else Can Be Done?
If you are considering a roof replacement the first thing to know is do you actually need one? Having your roof cleaned costs about 5% the price of a new one and can extend the life of your roof for years to come. Roof replacement is a story often sold to people who have cedar shingle or shake roofs that look in poor condition – it is not a commonly know fact that cedar shingle and shake roofs need to be cleaned.
It is often the case that a cleaning of the roof will actually save it and extend its life for years to come! This is because moisture and debris damage the cedar shingles and shakes and removing this allows them to breathe and produce their naturally protective oils again whilst also removing the organic matter that is causing the issues.
Making sure that you have decent protection on the top in the form of a cedar shingle or shake roof, and on the bottom in the form of felt underlayment/ tar paper, or synthetic underlayment, it is also important to ensure that the roof is clean and free of organic matter and debris. Organic matter and debris on a cedar shingle or shake roof will cause premature deterioration of the roof which would then put the underlayment material of your choice to the test. Ideally, this will not be tested!
Bruce Sullivan offers professional roof cleaning to remove all problems from the roof such as fungus, algae, moss, mold, and other organic matter. Keeping the roof clean will allow the cedar shingle or shake roof to work as it was intended and it will also add years to your roofs life. A cedar shingle or shake roof is meant to last for around 40 – 50 years but many are replaced after 20 years (unnecessarily) due to poor maintenance. A roof only needs to be cleaned once every 5 – 10 years depending on local conditions and should be kept free of leaves and debris more regularly if possible.
Sullivan Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning never uses pressure washing and will never walk on a cedar shingle or shake roof. Both of these methods are commonly used but will damage your roof more than it actually helps.
Give Sullivan Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning a call or message today and get a quote to clean your roof and keep it working as it should.