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3 Problems With Synthetic Roof Underlayment (Pros & Cons)

Synthetic roof underlayment has gained popularity as an alternative to traditional roofing materials. However, homeowners should always take the time to weigh the pros and cons of it before making a decision.

In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic roofing underlayment, shedding light on the potential issues that may arise. By uncovering the good and the bad of this material, you can figure out what’s best for your roofing needs and budget. So, let’s unravel the problems with synthetic underlayment and separate fact from fiction.

What Is Synthetic Roof Underlayment?

Synthetic roof underlayment is a type of roofing material that’s used as a protective layer between the roof deck and the final roofing material. It’s typically made from synthetic polymers, such as polypropylene or polyethylene, which are engineered to provide durability and weather resistance.

Unlike traditional felt underlayment, synthetic underlayment is designed to offer superior performance and longevity. The composition of synthetic roof underlayment allows it to resist tears, punctures, and UV degradation. This makes it an attractive option for those who desire a long-lasting roofing solution. Synthetic underlayment is available in various sizes and weights, which allows for customization.

The Advantages of Synthetic Roof Underlayment

1) Lightweight and Easy to Handle 🪶

roofing underlayment rollSynthetic underlayment is significantly lighter than traditional felt underlayment. Therefore, it’s easier to handle and install. Its lightweight nature reduces the strain on contractors during installation and allows for quicker, more efficient work. This can result in cost savings for homeowners, as labor-intensive installations can be completed in less time.

The lightweight nature of synthetic underlayment also reduces the overall load on the roof structure. This is particularly beneficial in cases where weight restrictions apply.

2) Durability 💪

One of the primary advantages of synthetic roof underlayment is its durability. As stated above, synthetic options are made to withstand the elements. They are highly resistant, which ensures that the underlying roof deck remains protected for an extended period.

Synthetic underlayment also performs well under heavy foot traffic during installation. Therefore, it reduces the risk of damage during the construction process. This durability translates into long-term savings, as homeowners won’t have to worry about premature underlayment failure or the need for frequent replacements.

3) Weather Resistance⛈️

Synthetic roof underlayment is engineered to resist the effects of harsh weather conditions. It’s designed to shed water quickly, preventing moisture from seeping into the roof deck and causing damage. Synthetic materials are also resistant to mold and rot, ensuring that the roof remains structurally sound.

Also, synthetic underlayment is often rated for high wind resistance, which is crucial in areas prone to hurricanes or strong gusts. It provides an additional layer of protection against wind-driven rain and helps to prevent water infiltration during severe storms.

The Disadvantages of Synthetic Roof Underlayment

1) Higher Upfront Cost 💸

One of the main disadvantages of synthetic roof underlayment is its higher upfront cost. Synthetic materials tend to be more expensive due to their advanced manufacturing processes and superior performance characteristics. This is often a deterrent for budget-conscious homeowners.

However, it’s important to consider the long-term cost implications. Synthetic underlayment’s durability and resistance to damage can result in fewer repairs over time, potentially offsetting the initial investment.

2) Moisture Trapping Concerns 💧

Critics of synthetic underlayment argue that it has the potential to trap moisture, which leads to mold and rot issues. Unlike felt, synthetic materials can create a moisture barrier when not properly installed or ventilated.

To mitigate this concern, it’s crucial to follow manufacturer guidelines for installation, including proper ventilation and moisture management techniques. Also, regular inspections and maintenance can help identify any moisture-related issues early on and prevent potential damage.

3) Limited Aesthetic Options 🤷

While synthetic underlayment offers excellent performance and durability, it may have limited aesthetic options compared to traditional felt. Felt underlayment is often available in various colors, allowing homeowners to match it with their roofing materials or personal preferences.

Synthetic underlayment, on the other hand, is commonly available in standard black or gray colors, which may not be as visually appealing for some homeowners. However, for those who prioritize functionality over aesthetics, this may not be a significant drawback.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Synthetic Roof Underlaymentflat roof underlayment installation

  • Climate: The climate of the region where the roof is located plays a vital role in determining the most suitable type of synthetic underlayment. Areas with frequent weather events, like Florida, may require roofing materials with enhanced wind and water resistance. Moreover, high humidity levels may require extra moisture management to prevent potential issues associated with trapped moisture. Considering the climate when selecting synthetic underlayment will help to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
  • Roof slope: The slope of the roof is a necessary consideration when choosing synthetic underlayment. Steeper roofs may require underlayment with increased slip resistance to prevent contractors from sliding during installation. It’s essential to select underlayment that provides adequate traction and ensures the safety of workers during installation. Also, roof slope can affect water shedding capabilities, and underlayment with superior water resistance may be necessary for roofs with low slopes or areas prone to heavy rainfall.
  • Florida building codes: Florida building codes may dictate specific requirements for roofing underlayment, including fire resistance ratings, wind uplift ratings, and vapor permeability. It’s crucial to consult local building authorities or roofing professionals to ensure that the chosen synthetic underlayment meets all necessary code requirements.

Compliance with building codes will not only ensure a safe and durable roof but also prevent potential legal and insurance issues.

Does Your Roof Need Attention?

It’s safe to say that although there are a few problems with synthetic underlayment, the pros outweigh the cons. Once you weigh your options, you’ll conclude that it’s the best choice. With that said, if your roof needs attention, we’ve got you covered.

At Greentek Roofing & Solar, we provide a variety of roofing services. Our specialized contractors can repair residential and commercial roofs, install solar panels, and much more. If you’d like to get a roofing project started, call 813-670-7353, or contact us on our website for a free estimate. We look forward to serving you!



“GreenTek was awesome to work with. My rep James was easy to get in contact with and answered all my questions and made the process quick and smooth. The roof came out great and everything was finished on time and they handled everything with my insurance company so I didn’t have to. It made the process stress free for me.”

-Dylan O.

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