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When selecting a synthetic roofing underlayment, there are a lot of factors to consider. The weather might be the first thing that comes to mind, but let’s look beyond that at a couple of other factors that are sometimes overlooked. These include the roof’s pitch and the primary roofing material (like asphalt shingles, clay tiles, or metal roofing).

So what’s the right synthetic roofing underlayment to account for these two concerns? We’ll take a look to help you decide!

Choosing Based on Roofing Material

Because Epilay’s Protectite line is designed to have increased strength and durability over #15 and #30 roofing felt, any Protectite products, from the Plasfelt grade on up to Platinum, can be used with any roofing materials. Each of these underlayments has the durability and tear strength needed to stand up to a variety of roof types.

However, one thing to remember is that the heavier the roofing material, the more stress it will place on the underlayment over time. Generally, it makes sense to choose synthetic roofing underlayment with higher durability for heavier materials. Use this guide to choose between Protectite grades:

  • Protectite Platinum: This is the strongest grade of Protectite underlayment, and as such, it is 35 times stronger than felt and half the weight of felt. With a 17-mil thickness, Protectite Platinum is ideal for even the heaviest roofing materials, like slate or concrete and clay tiles. Of course, it can also be used as added protection beneath lighter materials like residential metal and asphalt shingles.
  • Protectite Ultra: Protectite Ultra features an 11-mil thickness. This underlayment is 25 times stronger than #15 and #30 roofing felt. The increased strength makes this product ideal not only for metal and asphalt roofing but for shake roofing, too.
  • Protectite Superior: This underlayment has a 7-mil thickness—but despite the thin, lightweight material, Protectite Superior is 25 times stronger than traditional felt, and up to four times lighter. This is the ideal underlayment for asphalt shingle and residential metal roofs.
  • Protectite Plasfelt: Now the lightest underlayment that Epilay has to offer, Plasfelt weighs only 21 lbs and gives you a 6.5-mil thickness that is five times lighter and 25 times stronger than #15 felt. This product is perfect for use beneath asphalt shingles and metal roofing.

If building codes are a concern in your area, then keep in mind that all Epilay products are designed to meet code standards nationwide for any roofing material.

What about The Roof’s Pitch?

In many cases, the roof’s pitch is a bigger concern when choosing an underlayment. That’s because steeper roofs see a lot more wear and tear. Water flows over them faster when it rains, and snow can slide off rather than melting in place.

Traditionally, that meant roofers would use #30 felt on steep slopes and #15 on lower pitched roofs because you need higher tear strength on steeper roofs. Now that synthetic roofing underlayment is a popular choice, you’ve got a lot more options. All Epilay products can be used on roofs of any slope, but you can follow the guidelines below to save money on lower slopes or increase protection on steep roofs:

  • For 8/12 roofs and below (in other words, for roofs that have an eight-foot rise or less over twelve horizontal feet), Protectitie Plasfelt and Protectite Superior are great choices. It’ll give you all the tear strength needed for a low-sloped roof.
  • For 10/12, 12/12, and roof slopes with even steeper pitch ratios, consider either Protectite Ultra or Platinum, or choose Platinum for roofs with extreme slopes. The higher pitch means you’ll need more tear strength to keep the roof deck protected.

As you can see, Epilay makes the choice between roofing underlayment products easy. If you’d like to learn more about how to choose the right Epilay underlayment for your roofing project, contact us to find a distributor near you.