With so many options out there for underlayment, how do you make the right choice? There’s a lot to consider, especially when it comes to metal roofing in particular. We’ll walk you through the top five things you should consider when assessing synthetic roofing underlayment for metal roofs.
One crucial thing to remember about metal roofing is that compared to asphalt shingles, metal roofs are heavy. That, and they have a lot of sharp edges, too. Both during installation and throughout the lifespan of a metal roof, you’ll need a durable synthetic underlayment that can stand up to the weight and strain that a metal roof will place on the underlayment.
Roofing underlayments that don’t easily tear or puncture during installation are a big bonus, too, since this will help you prevent accidental damage as you’re hauling sheets of metal onto the roof and fastening them into place.
2. Compatibility, Cost, and Value
When it comes to underlayment in general, you’ll need to consider a variety of regulatory and financial details. For example, you’ll need to choose an underlayment that is compatible with the primary roofing material—and that means two things. For metal roofing, the manufacturer may specify that you need to use a specific synthetic roofing underlayment for metal roofs to ensure that the manufacturer’s warranty remains valid.
Code is a concern, too. In some areas, building codes may require that you use a particular type of underlayment designed for metal roofing, or a synthetic underlayment capable of withstanding certain wind speeds or other environmental factors.
You should also consider the cost, value, and warranty of the underlayment itself. For example, if you use an asphalt underlayment with a 10-year warranty beneath metal roofing instead of a synthetic underlayment with a 40-year warranty, you’ll probably need to replace the entire roofing system every decade when the underlayment degrades. So while synthetic underlayment may be a higher initial investment, fewer repairs and replacements over time give it a much greater value.
3. Installation Ease
The most obvious benefit of an underlayment that is easy to install is that it’ll help you save time and money on the overall job—and where metal roofing is concerned, that can help ease costs for homeowners since metal roofing tends to be more expensive than alternatives like asphalt shingle.
But that’s not the only reason to choose an underlayment that is easy to install. Synthetic products like Epilay’s are lighter—and easier to haul onto the roof. They roll out easier than asphalt-felt underlayment, and they offer more traction when you’re walking on them. It reduces the risk of accidents and injuries, which is incredibly important when you consider that roofing is among the top three deadliest occupations.
4. Environmental Resistance
At every stage of the roofing process and throughout the lifespan of the roof, underlayment plays an important role in protecting the roof deck and the rest of the home. Whereas asphalt underlayment has no UV resistance and needs to be covered immediately upon installation, synthetic underlayment can be left uncovered for quite a long time—up to a year in the case of Epilay Protectite products. That gives you leeway to install roofing on your schedule, which can be especially important in the aftermath of damaging storms where you may have several roofing jobs waiting for supplies and available workers.
Waterproofing is another important consideration. Peel-and-stick synthetic underlayment can keep roof decks protected should the primary roofing material become damaged. These underlayments are also a good choice to protect against moisture infiltration caused by ice dams or excessive water flowing along roof valleys.
Since metal roofing isn’t as breathable as other types of roofing, you should consider not only ensuring that the roofing system is well-ventilated but also that your underlayment can control and prevent moisture infiltration under any circumstances. This will help preserve the integrity of the roof for years to come.
5. Social and Environmental Impacts
These days, more and more people are choosing environmentally friendly alternatives to common building materials—and traditional asphalt roofing felt is not only not recyclable, but full of harmful chemicals that can leach into the roof deck and the surrounding environment. Synthetic roofing underlayment is both recyclable and environmentally friendly, which makes it an appealing choice for eco-minded roofers and homeowners.
It’s also a good idea to get social before making your final choice. Check out reviews, get recommendations from colleagues—and find real-world insights about your options to make sure that the underlayment you choose is a good one.
Need a synthetic roofing underlayment for metal roofs? Among Epilay’s lineup, you’ll find both synthetics and peel-and-stick synthetics with the durability, moisture resistance, and other factors needed to create a roofing system that will go the distance.