The Causes and Effects of Roofing Underlayment Failure

The underlayment is an essential part of a roof that needs as much care as the shingles or gutters. In today’s post, local roofing and wood window replacement company Kroll Construction takes a look at the causes of underlayment failure and how they can be prevented.

Roofing Underlayment Failure

What Is Underlayment?

The underlayment is the protective barrier installed between the roof deck and the outer roofing material, such as shingles or sheet metal. Underlayment helps prevent rainwater from penetrating the roof deck in case the outer roofing material is punctured or otherwise fails. Traditional or “organic” underlayment is made of paper soaked in asphalt. Most of today’s roofs, however, feature synthetic underlayment, some of which are made of a breathable material that allows moisture underneath to evaporate and keep the decking dry.

The Effects of Underlayment Failure

Underlayment failure happens when water infiltrates the roof deck and leaks into the attic. The presence of moisture in the attic can result in rot and corrosion, which can lead to an unplanned roof replacement, or even a wood window replacement if the attic is converted to a living area. Moisture can also damage roofing insulation, which can affect your indoor heating and cooling requirements and result in higher energy bills. It can also allow mold to grow and spread to your indoor living spaces and pose a health hazard.

What Causes Underlayment Failure

Damage to the roof, caused by strong winds or impact from hailstones or airborne debris, is among the most noticeable causes of underlayment failure. There are, however, less noticeable ones that you, as a homeowner, should watch out for.

  • Low quality material. It always pays to choose the best quality material that your roofing budget will allow. Your roof is, after all, exposed to daily wear and tear. As described above, some manufacturers offer breathable underlayment that can help mitigate the effects of moisture that may have penetrated the roof deck.
  • Poor installation. All types of underlayment have specific installation methods. Doing them the wrong way can result in poor performance that leads to premature failure.
  • Delaying roof repairs. While underlayment does a good job of preventing moisture infiltration in case of outer roofing failure, it’s not a substitute for a fully functional roof. Delaying roof repairs increases the risk of roofing failure.

Kroll Construction is your leading provider of roofing and wood window replacement services. Give us a call at (888) 338-6340. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Detroit and surrounding communities in Michigan.

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