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In the roofing industry, the COVID-19 saga continues. Raw materials shortages have been affecting every aspect of construction in the form of increasing prices, shipping delays, and other issues. All of this is compounded by the fact that storm season has resulted in an uptick in demand for even more roofing supplies. Things like asphalt shingles are getting hard to come by—and roofers can expect to see price increases as they wait for those shingles to arrive.

What are roofers to do? Times are tough, but there are tips that can make your job a lot easier. Below, we’ll show you ways to ease the strain as the roofing supply shortage continues.

Plan Ahead  

This is the biggest one. Experts are saying to expect long lead times and higher prices when ordering materials, so make sure that your pricing and job schedule reflect this.

Get Ready for Long Exposure Times

Delays in shingles and other roofing materials mean that these days, roof decks are being left exposed to the elements for weeks or months as contractors wait on suppliers. It’s becoming crucial to choose an underlayment that can stand up to exposure.

Most asphalt felt, which is the underlayment that roofers traditionally relied on, needs to be covered immediately. By contrast, synthetic underlayments can resist UV rays for between six and 12 months depending on the brand and product line. This is pretty standard across all synthetic underlayment brands, but looking at Epilay products, in particular, all of our Protectite products—Platinum, Ultra, Superior, and Plasfelt—are rated to withstand up to one year’s exposure. Underlayments like Epilay’s Plystik Plus, which is a peel and stick underlayment, can be left exposed for up to six months. Peel and stick also comes with other advantages in that it creates a watertight barrier to protect the roof deck from moisture, and the sealed edges prevent it from lifting in the wind.

Go the Extra Mile for a Tight Seal

If extended exposure looks like it will be a concern on a particular roofing job, then you’ll find that it pays to go the extra mile to ensure that the underlayment provides a tight seal against the roof deck. This means using an underlayment that can be sealed along edges and laps—and making sure to follow manufacturer instructions when you do seal the edges and laps.

Similarly, use fasteners that provide a seal, or go with a peel and stick underlayment that doesn’t require fasteners. Every little bit helps to ensure a watertight barrier that keeps the roof deck (and the home’s interior) protected while you wait for shingles.

With the roofing supply shortage and rising costs within the industry, times are tight for roofers right now. But with some advanced planning—and the right underlayment—you can keep business going and keep roofs protected while you wait for those supply shipments!