Roofing Underlayment: Why It Matters and How to Install It Correctly in Florida

If you’re looking for a reliable roofing material to protect your home against Florida’s intense heat and rain, you should consider installing a proper roof underlayment. With the right type of underlayment in place, your home will remain secure throughout the sun-filled days and fast-moving storms. 

Not only will it keep you dry during all kinds of weather, but with correct installation methods, your roof can last for years without major repair or replacement costs. This guide focuses on the importance of appropriate roof underlayment matters and how to install one correctly in our sunny state.

What is Roofing Underlayment and Why You Need It

Roofing underlayment is a water-resistant or waterproof barrier installed directly onto your roof deck. It is applied under all other roofing materials as an added layer of protection from severe weather. In particular, it is crucial for climates like those in Florida with intense heat and heavy downpours.

Protection from Water Damage

The primary purpose of roofing underlayment is to act as a barrier against water. In the event of a storm or heavy rain, it prevents water from seeping into the house structure, thus averting potential damage.

Resistance Against Heat

Florida is known for its scorching temperatures. A properly installed underlayment can insulate your home against extreme heat, reducing the cooling costs during the hot summer days.

Enhancing Roof Lifespan

Lastly, a good quality underlayment can extend the lifespan of your roof by providing additional protection against various elements that can cause decay and damage over time. This can save you money in the long run by avoiding early roof replacements or expensive repairs.

Types of Roofing Underlayments

Various underlayment types are available, and the choice greatly depends on the roof style, weather, and your budget. Here, we will explore three main roofing underlayments—Asphalt-saturated felt, Rubberized asphalt, and Non-bitumen synthetic—and delve into their specific characteristics and benefits.

Asphalt-Saturated Felt

This is one of the most common types of underlayment used in residential roofing. Often referred to as “felt paper,” asphalt-saturated felt is made from organic or fiberglass substrate, saturated with asphalt to make it water-resistant. 

While this type of underlayment is not completely waterproof, it offers good protection against water penetration. It’s a cost-effective choice that has been used for decades, although it’s less popular today due to the advent of more advanced materials.

Rubberized Asphalt

Rubberized asphalt underlayment is a premium choice. This underlayment type is water-resistant and durable and contains a higher percentage of asphalt and rubber polymers. It typically comes with a sticky back and a protective membrane that you peel off during installation. The adhesive creates a strong seal around the nail holes, providing superior waterproof protection and making it an ideal choice for Florida’s rainy climate.

Non-Bitumen Synthetic

Synthetic underlayment, made from polypropylene or polyester, is a relatively recent addition to the roofing industry. It is highly resistant to water and fungal growth, making it a popular choice in hot, humid climates like Florida. 

Although synthetic underlayment is typically more expensive than felt, it is lighter, stronger, and more durable, which can extend the overall lifespan of your roof. Additionally, it’s easier to install and comes in larger rolls, which can cover more area in less time.

How to Install Roofing Underlayment Correctly

Installing roofing underlayment correctly is crucial for ensuring its effectiveness. Here are some best practices you should follow when installing a roof underlayment:

Clean the Roof

Before you begin installation, make sure the roof surface is clean and free of any debris. Any dirt, leaves, or other materials can prevent the underlayment from properly adhering to the deck.

Start at the Bottom

Begin installing the underlayment at the bottom edge of the roof, working your way up towards the peak. Overlap successive layers by a few inches to ensure complete coverage.

Use Proper Fasteners

Make sure to use the right fasteners, preferably roofing nails or staples, to secure the underlayment. These should be spaced evenly and securely to prevent any buckling or movement.

Cut Around Penetrations

When installing underlayment around vents, pipes, or other roof penetrations, carefully cut holes in the material rather than simply covering them. This will ensure a tighter fit and better protection against water leaks.

Hire a Professional Roofer

While it may seem like a straightforward process, proper installation of roofing underlayment requires skill and experience. It’s best to hire a professional roofer with the knowledge and tools to install your underlayment correctly and ensure maximum protection for your home. Visit their website to learn more about their services and request a free quote.


In conclusion, roofing underlayment is an essential component of any Florida roof. It provides protection against water damage and heat and can extend the lifespan of your roof. Understanding the different types of underlayments available and following proper installation techniques ensures your home remains safe and secure from the harsh Florida weather.


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