To form an effective barrier from the elements, a layer of roofing felt is used. So what exactly is it? It is simply a form of insulation that is put in place to keep moisture from seeping into a structure. We’ve all see bad storms where shingles are blown away. Repairs are sometimes not made for a few weeks, and not everyone is able to put up a tarp right away. This is the layer that keeps a structure from turning into a swimming pool in these situations.
What needs to be known about roofing felt? Well, many years ago roofing contractors actually used shingles which had a layer of felt already attached to it. While it was somewhat effective in roofing systems, the problem of damaged and missing shingles often created leaks. Using a separate layer of felt was developed to solve this problem. Felt backed shingles are still used today. In fact, a type of shingle made from polyurethane or asphalt coated felt is still very popular because it is less expensive.
If you are replacing your roof, using a system which uses roofing felt will be your best option. You will avoid leaks and keep your home better insulated. Even though you will spend more money to have it installed, you will save money on heating costs and future repairs. Talk to your roofing contractor specifically about what materials are to be used and make changes where appropriate.
When choosing a type of roofing felt, you need to keep a couple of characteristics in mind. First, it usually comes in a long roll as it is meant to be placed in slightly overlapping strips. You can sometimes find it in squares, but these are usually scraps. Think about the size of the roof before you pick out a brand. Also, consider the thickness and the density. Felt is calculated by its weight, not by a measurement.
Next, think about who is going to install the roofing felt. If you have hired a contractor, it is probably safe to say that it will be laid and sealed correctly. However, if you are doing this project yourself you will need the right tools and instructions. The purpose of felt is to create a very tight barrier from the elements in the event shingles should fall away. They are to be used as an insulator first and as a backup second. Creating a smooth surface is optimal for making sure that the shingles can be laid properly. Keep the roll of felt taunt as you apply it, taking care to smooth out any ridges or bubbles.
Using roofing felt will cost more money now, but the investment will pay for itself within a few years. It is impossible to know when you have recouped the costs associated with installing the felt, but taking a look at your money heating bill is a good place to start. Make sure that it is installed correctly and you will have an efficient roofing system that will be in place for years to come.