Understanding Roofing Felt: Its Role, Benefits, and Importance

Understanding Roofing Felt: Its Role, Benefits, and Importance

Ever wondered what’s beneath your shingles? It’s roofing felt, an unsung hero in the roofing world. This vital component plays a big role in keeping your home dry and damage-free.

Roofing felt, often referred to as tar paper, is a layer installed between the roof deck and the shingles. It’s designed to provide an extra layer of protection against the elements. This humble material is more important than you might think.

In the next sections, we’ll delve deeper into what roofing felt is, why it’s used, and how it contributes to the overall performance of your roof. So, stay tuned to learn more about this essential roofing component.

Key Takeaways

  • Roofing felt, often referred to as tar paper, is a critical roofing component serving as an extra layer of protection between the roofing deck and shingles. It is hardy and moisture-resistant.
  • Roofing felt is commonly made from natural materials like wood cellulose or synthetic materials, which are soaked in waterproof agents like bitumen or asphalt.
  • This roofing underlayment helps prolong the lifespan of your roof by acting as a secondary line of defense against harsh weather conditions like rain, snow, or ice.
  • Besides its waterproofing benefits, roofing felt helps control condensation, prevents shingles from sticking to the roof deck, and contributes to the roof’s overall aesthetics.
  • Roofing felt is available in various weights and thicknesses, such as 15-pound (thinner) and 30-pound (thicker), indicating their tear resistance and overall strength.
  • Roofing felt also helps prevent shingle blow-offs during strong wind conditions, improving the safety and visual appeal of your roof.

The role and benefits of roofing felt are detailed in an informative article on the IKO website, which explains how felt under roofing shingles can protect your home. Gilstrap Roofing further elaborates on the importance of roofing felt, particularly how it acts as a critical barrier against extreme weather, providing an additional layer of protection under shingles.

What is Roofing Felt?

What is Roofing Felt?

If you have ever observed a roof installation or seen a roof stripped bare, you might have noticed a black paper-like material attached to the sheathing. This unsung hero of the roofing world is known as roofing felt or tar paper. It’s a robust barrier, sandwiched between the inner structure of your roof and the outer roofing material. But what’s it made of? Why’s it vital for your roofing system? Let’s delve a bit deeper and understand this critical roofing component.

Roofing felt is usually manufactured from a base of natural materials like wood cellulose or synthetic materials such as polyester or fiberglass. This fiber base is then soaked in a waterproof agent like asphalt or bitumen, which gives the felt its distinctive protective qualities. The result? A durable, moisture-resistant material that’s perfect for protecting your home from the elements.

Don’t be misled by its simple design. This roofing underlayment plays a key role in your roofing’s overall performance and lifespan. It acts as a second line of defense against harsh weather conditions, protecting your roofing deck from getting soaked when rain, snow, or ice penetrate the outer layer of shingles.

Roofing felt isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s available in a variety of weights and thicknesses, with the most common being 15-pound and 30-pound felt. The thickness you choose should be compatible with your climatic conditions and roofing materials.

As we continue to explore, you’ll find that roofing felt offers more benefits than just waterproofing. It also helps control condensation, prevents shingles from sticking to the deck, and offers a cleaner, more uniform look to your roof. Stay tuned as we discuss why roofing felt is essential for every homeowner’s armor against Mother Nature.

Importance of Roofing Felt

Have you ever realized the significant role of roofing felt in ensuring the longevity of your house? With its variation in weights and thicknesses, this seemingly plain material has a lot to offer. It’s suited to different climates and roofing materials granting homeowners a level of customization in safeguarding their homes. But the benefits don’t stop there.

Roofing felt acts as a protective cover. When your roof is exposed to harsh weather conditions, this robust barrier steps in to maintain the integrity of your roofing deck. It offers resilience, durability, and most importantly, a high degree of moisture resistance. The moisture-proof nature of roofing felt prevents the roofing deck from becoming saturated – acting as an effective barrier against rain, snow, and high levels of humidity.

The weight classifications of roofing felt, such as 15-pound and 30-pound, indicate their tear resistance and general strength. These numbers translate not so much to actual weights but to the fabric’s resilience to wear and tear. Keep in mind that a higher number signifies a thicker and more robust felt.

Weight ClassificationRelative Thickness

But wait, there’s more to roofing felt than just protection against harsh weather. It also aids in controlling condensation, a nifty feature when you’re warding off the harmful effects of water accumulation. Less moisture means less mold, less decay, and ultimately, a roof that stands the test of time.

Furthermore, roofing felt prevents shingle blow-offs by stopping them from sticking directly to the roofing deck, improving the stability of your roof. So, the next time you’re marveling at a perfectly laid out roof, remember, that the unseen player, roofing felt may just be the MVP.

Lastly, let’s not forget about aesthetics. Roofing felt enhances the overall appearance of your roof. While it’s typically unseen from the ground, it provides an even surface for shingles, improving their laying pattern, and inevitably, the ‘curb appeal’ of your property.

So now that you’ve got a deeper understanding of roofing felt, you’ll surely appreciate this humble yet essential aspect of your home’s defense against the elements. The next time the rain pours or the snow falls, remember that roofing felt is hard at work, offering you unparalleled protection.

Benefits of Using Roofing Felt

Roofing felt is more than just an additional layer on your rooftop. It’s a well-created barrier system that helps protect your home in several essential ways.

Enhanced Durability and Longevity

First, using roofing felt significantly adds to the durability and longevity of your rooftop. The robust felt material functions as an extra shielding layer, reducing the effect of extreme weather conditions like heavy rain and snow. Ultimately, this leads to increased lifespan and enhanced performance of your roof.

Resistance to Shingle Blow-Off

It’s crucial to note that roofing felt lends extra weight to your roofing system, helping prevent shingle blow-offs during strong wind conditions. This resistance to shingle displacement not only keeps your roof safer but also ensures your rooftop maintains its aesthetic appeal.

Protection against Condensation

Roofing felt plays an important role in controlling condensation in your roofing system, a significant benefit, particularly in regions with high humidity and rainfall. By preventing moisture saturation and controlling condensation, it effectively safeguards the roofing deck, prolonging its lifespan and ensuring better roof stability.

Customization and Versatility

The versatility of roofing felt lies in its available options in terms of weights and thicknesses. The most common are the 15-pound and 30-pound roofing felt which correspond to different levels of tear resistance and robustness. So, you can choose what suits your needs best, offering added customization to your roofing system.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. You’ll realize the real benefits of roofing felt when your home weathers harsh and unpredictable conditions without significant damage. So, considering the vital role roofing felt plays, opting for it will undeniably be an act of wise homeownership.

How Roofing Felt Protects Your Roof

How Roofing Felt Protects Your Roof

Diving deeper into the protective properties of roofing felt, let’s explore how this unsung hero works tirelessly to keep your home in superb shape. Indeed, protecting a roof from the onslaught of various weather conditions is no small feat. Let’s elucidate how roofing felt accomplishes this impressive task.

One primary benefit lies in its ability to act as a shield against harsh weather elements. With intense UV rays beating on your roof daily, it’s the roofing felt that absorbs most of the damage. In the face of heavy rain, hail, or snow? Your roofing felt layers serve as an indispensable protective layer to prevent leaks from seeping into the roof’s body or your home.

Should you find yourself caught in a blustering storm with strong winds, the roofing felt underneath your shingles works to prevent unwanted shingle blow-offs. Think of it as an additional weight that holds your roof together and promotes safety and aesthetic value. Hence, you’ll find peace of mind in knowing that your roof can withstand fierce wind forces that might otherwise lead to severe property damage.

But don’t forget – roofing felt is not only a defender against the weather. In fact, it’s in the everyday realm where roofing felt showcases its versatility. By managing condensation, it prevents the build-up of moisture which could damage your roofing deck in the long run.

Now when it comes to customization, roofing felt doesn’t lag behind. You can select variations based on weight and thickness to suit your roofing needs. For instance, opting for the heavier 30-pound option over the 15-pound type offers more tear resistance and robustness. This adaptability factor makes roofing felt an essential component in any practical homeowner’s toolbox.

Clearly, with an arsenal of protective features, the importance of roofing felt cannot be overly emphasized. It’s an unsung hero that keeps your home safe, dry, and beautiful regardless of the weather outside.


So, you’ve seen how roofing felt plays a crucial role in preserving your home’s roof. It’s not just a layer of protection; it’s a shield that absorbs the brunt of harsh weather conditions. From UV rays to heavy rain and snow, roofing felt is your roof’s first line of defense. It’s also a deterrent against shingle blow-offs during high winds, adding to your home’s safety and appearance. Plus, it’s a condensation manager that keeps your roofing deck safe, and it offers customization for tear resistance and durability. In the face of diverse weather conditions, roofing felt is your roof’s best friend, enhancing your home’s lifespan and beauty. It’s clear that roofing felt isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity for any homeowner.

What is the main purpose of roofing felt?

Roofing felt primarily acts as a protective barrier that absorbs damage from various weather conditions such as UV rays, heavy rain, hail, and snow. Its use prevents leaks and maintains the structural integrity of the roof.

How does roofing felt influence the aesthetic appeal of a house?

Aside from its protective aspect, roofing felt also serves as a weight to prevent shingle blow-offs during strong winds, ensuring the roof has a clean, consistent visual appeal.

What role does roofing felt play in controlling condensation?

Roofing felt manages condensation effectively, thus protecting the building’s deck or wooden structural component from potential water damage.

Can the weight and thickness of roofing felt be customized?

Yes, you can customize the weight and thickness of roofing felt according to your needs. It can offer better tear resistance and durability.

Why is roofing felt essential for homeowners?

Roofing felt is essential as it safeguards homes from weather damage, thereby enhancing their longevity and beauty. It is a crucial aspect of maintaining a home in various weather conditions.