Underlayment product selection is influenced by many factors. Primary roof covering, substrate type, roof design criteria, building codes, material cost, labor cost savings, life cycle expectations, walkability, exposure rating, warranties, climate and customer preference, to name a few, can all factor into the choice of underlayment.
To place these various factors into perspective, a good place to begin is a glance backwards at the history of traditional asphalt-saturated organic felt. That will help us to appreciate from a marketing perspective the entries of alternatives into the residential roofing industry. The new entries include premium self-adhering and synthetic underlayment products. The successful introduction of these new product categories into the residential roofing market is a remarkable story.