What Is the Best Roof Underlayment for Homes in Nebraska?

When you’re ready to replace your roof, you’ll need to make some complicated decisions. Beyond picking your favorite roof material, style, and color, you must decide on the roof underlayment material, which can heavily impact the system’s cost and durability. The roof underlayment is the heart of your roof’s structure, so you shouldn’t take this decision lightly.

Below, our highly trained team from Nelson Contracting discusses each type of roof underlayment material so you can select the best option for your home. When you’re ready to replace your roof, call our family-owned Nebraska-based team at (402) 464-2418 for a free inspection and estimate.

What Is the Roof Underlayment, and Why Does It Matter?

Most roofing systems contain three primary layers: the decking, the underlayment, and the shingles. The decking is the wooden framing and plywood creating the roof’s structure.

Above the decking is the roof underlayment, a semi-breathable, water-resistant layer that protects your home’s interior from leaks that might otherwise get through the shingles. The underlayment layer should protect your roof decking and shingles from water absorption so your system can last as long as possible.

On top of the underlayment is the final layer of shingles. Shingles are what you see from the outside of your home when looking at your roof. Most people believe shingle material is the most important decision when replacing a roof, but the underlayment material also plays a big role.

Roof Underlayment Material Options

You have three main options for roof underlayment materials, with each offering varying advantages. The primary types of roofing underlayment include the following;

Asphalt Felt

Asphalt-saturated felt (a.k.a. felt paper) is the most popular underlayment material because it’s the cheapest option but still provides decent durability. Some types of felt underlayment use a cellulose base, while others have fiberglass reinforcement, though neither is waterproof.

Over time, felt underlayment can absorb moisture and become quite heavy, causing complications during repairs. To avoid this concern, purchase a thicker, 30-pound version that can withstand the elements better or consider one of the more expensive underlayment options.

Non-Bitumen Synthetic

Synthetic underlayment does not contain asphalt but features a blend of different plastic polymers for improved durability with less weight. Of course, this improved solution comes at a much higher price point, but you won’t have to worry about concerns like wrinkling, rotting, or replacements for a long time. The weather-resistant option can easily withstand Nebraska’s climate.

Self-Adhering Membrane (Rubberized)

Self-adhering rubberized membrane underlayment offers the same benefits as the previous option but with a peel-and-stick adhesive layer for better fitting to your roof. The rubberized material can provide superior weatherproofing but may come with added complications when you’re ready to remove the adhesive layer, especially if your roof sits in the sun throughout the day.

Considerations When Selecting the Best Roof Underlayment for Your Nebraskan Home

Deciding between the above three types of underlayment may seem a bit overwhelming, so here are a few factors to consider to narrow your options:

  • Your budget: Felt offers the most cost-effective option, while synthetic and self-adhering membranes increase costs significantly. Think about how much you’re willing to spend on your roof replacement now versus in future repair costs.
  • Your shingle material: Some shingle materials will only last a couple of decades, while others can last nearly 100 years. If you select something like metal that lasts a lifetime, you may want to choose a premium underlayment to hold its own.
  • Your roof slope: Low-slope roofs are more susceptible to water damage. If you have a flat or low-slope roof, you may want to invest in a more expensive, durable underlayment.

Need More Advice? Call Nelson Contracting Today

If you’re still unsure which roof underlayment you should select, call Nelson Contracting in Lincoln, NE, at (402) 464-2418, and our team will happily help you decide on the right fit for your needs.


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