Can Roofing Felt Get Wet? A Guide to Protect It

by | Oct 23, 2020 | Blog | 0 comments

Roofing felt serves to add an extra layer of protection between the shingles and the plywood and create a temporary moisture barrier until all the shingles are put into place. However, the roofing felt’s water resistance properties are limited and temporary; therefore, they can get wet quickly.

Roofing felt can get wet while still maintaining its integrity. It is possible if it is not left to be exposed to the elements for greater than a week. The roofing felt breaks down in sunlight because of the massive amounts of ongoing moisture. Underlayment, flashings, and shingles all work together and must be installed in the correct order to protect the roofing felt from getting wet.

Roofing felt is also commonly known as tar paper. There are several parts to a roofing system. Each part plays a significant role in keeping your property protected.

The shingles are considered the first line of defense that adds to the house’s overall look. The underlayment of the roofing felt offers another layer of shield. The sheathing or decking provides steadiness to the top two layers. Moreover, rafters and trusses hold everything together.

Out of all these components, only the shingles are designed so that they don’t get wet for longer periods since that’s the job of shingles!

But what do the other parts of the roof take part in? What do they do during the roof installation process when the weather isn’t very cooperative? Do the wet conditions ruin the drill? The easy answer is that it depends on the amount of rain and the duration. However, once the underlayment is put into place, your roof is protected.

roofing felt
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How Does Roofing Felt Get Wet?

If we performed roof installations during the dry season, we’d have nothing to do for almost six months of the year! But roofing during the wet weather is just part of the job in many parts of the world. Therefore, professionals and roofing experts have come up with plans, processes, and precautions to protect not only your property but also you.

What’s The Purpose Of Underlayment?

Roofing that has gotten wet during the rainy season can be covered with shingles only if it is allowed to dry out first completely. The surface underneath the underlayment shouldn’t get wet, wrinkled, bubbled, or ripped.

If the felt is still wet, it may rip apart when you start installing shingles. If the surface underneath your roofing is wet, there is a threat of mold and mildew formation. It leads to the degeneration of the subsurface as well as the roofing felt. Wrinkles and bubbles that form in the felt tend to create heat pockets that harm the shingles over time while having rips compromise the ability of the felt to guard the roof.

As mentioned above, underlayment serves to add an extra layer of protection for your roof. While the shingles do the job of heavy lifting if water finds it’s way under a shingle by any chance, the waterproof underlayment is present to protect the decking that is underneath.

The common question that often arises in many people’s minds is: could underlayment itself shields the roof when it’s raining? Yes, for a few days, you can be protected, at least.

Underlayment is installed a lot in the same way as shingles. We have to overlap the edges to ensure that every inch of the roof is covered. In this way, it is beneficial to maintain the roof’s integrity while laying down the foundation of the felt. However, it’s not enough to stand strong through all of the whole winter.

What's The Purpose Of Underlayment
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So, yes – roofing underlayment can get wet. But it doesn’t happen for long periods. That’s why having a proper plan in place is so vital during a roof installation project.

During a clear day when it’s 70-degree on the scale, installation teams have more flexibility in our schedule. However, once the rainy season is here, you will find it tough to book an appointment and get work done because it is recurring everywhere.

A lot of water can cause serious damage to the rafters and sheathing, but it also makes things tougher for the professional teams to handle. Therefore, ensuring personal safety and the safety of the experts visiting your house for the job has an important determinant factor.


How To Protect Your Roofing Felt
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How To Protect Your Roofing Felt – A Guide

Follow the steps written below to help yourself in protecting the roofing felt from getting wet. We are sure you won’t be disappointed with the guide that we have put together for you.

  1. Before you apply for roofing, cover the sheathing with tar paper, or roofing felt. Don’t make use of felt like makeshift protection against rainwater. If the felt gets wet, it will wrinkle up, which makes it harder to shingle. If you want temporary protection for your roof, cover it with a plastic sheet or a tarp.
  2. Underlayment, flashings, and shingles all work together and must be installed in the correct order to protect the roofing felt from getting wet. If you make the felt lie down perfectly straight, you can use the lines to align the shingles.
  3. Start by applying drip edge onto the eave. Then cut the drip edge flashing by taking an angle at the corner. Press the drip edge lightly against the eave end as you drive a nail close to the end. Please make use of a chalk line or carefully align it with your eye to ensure that the line is straight. Next, drive roofing nails in after every foot so that you can fasten it to the sheathing easily.
  4. Wherever drip-edge pieces meet one another, overlap them by at least 2 inches. Press the tabs steadily to make the corners crisp while leaving no gaps and attach them with roofing nails.
  5. Next, you need to draw a chalk line to assist you in aligning the WSU or felt. Ensure that the WSU overhangs the drip edge by 0.5 inches, so draw a line that is 35.5 inches above the drip edge. Check at different points to ensure the overhang is regular in its design. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be perfect, but you must realign the drip edge.
  6. Overlap the felt courses every 4 inches. Snap a chalk line 32 inches beyond the top edge of the WSU or use these lines on the felt as guiding marks. If you utilize the chalk lines as guides for installing shingles, measure it from the drip edge to make sure that you stay parallel while doing so.
  7. Roll out the felt, and make sure to eliminate any creases or bubbles that could form. Next, drive at least three staples after every foot.
  8. Where your roof meets the wall, lap the felt up 4 inches if you can. Push away the siding, after which you can slip the felt under the siding. You may have to briefly remove the siding and switch it after installing the underlayment, shingles, and flashing in some situations.



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