Weatherproofing the Roof

Peel-and-stick underlayments provide years of protection.
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When trying to build a longer lasting waterproof roof, peel-and-stick underlayments are the best practice for today's homebuilder.

Asphalt-impregnated roof paper has been the conventional choice for builders for years. This "tar paper" material is inexpensive and easy to install, but comes with a long list of shortcomings like snap back, curling, and poor seam sealing. If wind-driven rain gets past the exterior defense of the roofing material, water can easily find a way under the paper and lead to moisture problems inside the home.

Peel-and-stick underlayments were designed to specifically address the limitations of felt paper roofing material, and when properly installed they can provide years of protection for the home. Peel-and-stick underlayments can be used on the entire roof surface for maximum protection, or in specific areas like near the eaves where ice damming can occur.

Here are a few more benefits to peel-and-stick underlayments:

  • Because it's self-adhesive, there's no need for nails. The fewer penetrations into the roof surface, the less chance water has to get into the home.
  • Due to the flexible nature of the material, peel-and-stick underlayments are easy to install around hips, valleys, and ridges.
  • Unlike felt paper, peel-and-stick underlayments won't easily tear. This helps provide consistent protection during the building process and is reliable in severe weather.
  • Most are built with a nonskid surface to help prevent falls and jobsite accidents.

As always, when installing any adhesive material, make sure that the work area is swept clean and free of debris. Also, be sure to allow for adequate attic ventilation for the home, as peel-and-stick underlayments will greatly reduce air flow through the roof.

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