The Role of Underlayment in Shingle Roofing Systems

When it comes to protecting your home from the elements, your first thought might be of your roof’s shingles. They are the first line of defense against wind, rain, and sun. However, there’s an unsung hero that plays a pivotal role in the longevity and effectiveness of your roofing system — the underlayment. For the homeowners of North Wildwood, NJ, where coastal weather can be particularly harsh, understanding this component of your roof is critical.

What is Roofing Underlayment?

Underlayment is a layer of material placed between your shingles and the roof deck, which is the structural surface that supports your roof. Think of underlayment as a waterproof or water-resistant barrier that provides additional protection.

Why is Underlayment so Important?

It might not be as visible as your shingles, but underlayment serves several essential purposes:

  • Protection from Water: No matter how well shingles are installed, there are always spaces where water can seep through. A quality underlayment will protect your home from this risk.
  • Backup Weather Protection: In the case that shingles are blown away or damaged by severe weather conditions, underlayment is your immediate backup layer of defense.
  • Acts Against Resin: Some roof decks are made from wood that contains natural resins. Over time, these resins can seep out and damage shingles. Underlayment provides a barrier to prevent this interaction.
  • Improved Fire Rating: Certain types of underlayment materials can help improve the fire-resistant qualities of your roof, which may also lead to insurance benefits.

Types of Underlayment

There are three main types of underlayment used in roofing systems:

  • Asphalt-Saturated Felt: This used to be the standard and is still used in many roofing projects. It isn’t completely waterproof but does offer water resistance.
  • Rubberized Asphalt: More expensive but provides a watertight seal and often comes with a ‘peel-and-stick’ adhesive backing that makes installation easier.
  • Non-Bitumen Synthetic: Made from polyethylene or polypropylene, it is highly water-resistant and strong, creating a durable layer under your shingles.

Considerations for North Wildwood, NJ Homeowners

For homeowners in coastal regions, like North Wildwood, where winds, rain, and salty air are part of daily life, choosing a robust, water-resistant underlayment is crucial. A synthetic underlayment may offer the best combination of strength, durability, and resistance to moisture and wind. It can be the difference between a damaged roof in the next storm and peace of mind knowing your home is protected.


For residents of North Wildwood, NJ, and indeed all homeowners, taking the time to understand the role and importance of roofing underlayment is a wise investment. It’s not just about the shingles — the real support lies in that often overlooked layer just beneath them. When evaluating your roofing needs, always ensure that you consult with a licensed roofing professional who can guide you to the best underlayment option for your home, ensuring that it stands secure against the storms of tomorrow.

With almost 40 years of experience in the industry and countless roofing projects under our belts, Rosenello’s has you covered, literally! Contact us today with any questions or to schedule a free consultation.

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