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Top Rated Underlayments for Metal Roofs In 2024

Posted on May 14, 2024

Top Rated Underlayments for Metal Roofs In 2024

Installing a new metal roof or replacing your existing roof is a big decision that requires time and money. Since a roof is a long-term investment that you don’t take on frequently, it becomes even more crucial to approach this process correctly from the start.

Homeowners generally are aware of the choices they have in terms of roofing materials, but a roof replacement is much more than that. There are several parts of a roof that you need to take care of, one part being the underlayment. 

In this blog post, we will cover five of the best types of underlayment for metal roofs that can protect from water damage and add much-needed cushion to your metal roofing panels. 

Best Types Of Underlayment For A Metal Roof! 

Like asphalt shingle roofing systems, there are several underlayment options available to be used with metal roofs. These can be classified into three broad categories.

Felt Roof Underlayment

Felt underlayment, which is also known as organic underlayment, is a traditional choice made from recycled wood fibers or paper products. The fibers are then saturated or soaked with asphalt to add waterproofing capabilities. 

Felt underlayment is available in two types of thicknesses, #15 and #30 pound felt. It is a cost-effective option and provides a basic level of protection against moisture and wind-driven rain. 

This underlayment has always been one of the top options for asphalt shingle roofs. However, the same cannot be said for metal roofs. Felt can deteriorate over time, especially in areas with high humidity or extreme temperatures. 

Pros:

  • Felt underlayment is an affordable and cost-effective option for metal roofing projects.
  • Additionally, felt is a lightweight material that is easy to handle and install.

Cons:

  • Felt is not as durable as other types of roofing underlayment and can deteriorate faster than other options
  • Can be susceptible to tearing or ripping during installation or due to foot traffic.

Best Felt Roof Underlayment For A Metal Roof

Atlas Gorilla Guard® 30 Engineered Felt Underlayment

Atlas Gorilla Guard® 30 Engineered Felt Underlayment

This top-quality underlayment is designed to work seamlessly with most roofing systems, whether you have asphalt shingles, metal, or tile. It comes conveniently packaged in easy-to-handle four-square rolls, making installation a breeze. 

What sets this underlayment apart is its superior construction, as it lays remarkably flat without any buckling or wrinkling. Additionally, this underlayment boasts a significant increase in tear strength compared to traditional organic felt underlayments. 

Synthetic Roof Underlayment

The limitations of felt underlayment have made way for a better, more durable option, known as synthetic roof underlayment. This is one of the best underlayments for metal roofs as it’s made from strong chemical compounds such as polypropylene or polyethylene materials. 

Both synthetic compounds are more durable and moisture-resistant than organic asphalt used for felt rolls. This underlayment is also lightweight, easy to install, and provides better protection against water intrusion and potential roof leaks. 

Pros:

  • Synthetic roof underlayment is more durable and resistant to moisture than traditional felt underlayments. 
  • It’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and provide long-lasting protection. 
  • Synthetic underlayment is also lightweight, making it easy to handle and install. 
  • Some varieties offer specialized features like slip resistance or enhanced breathability, which can improve the overall performance of the roofing system.

Cons:

  • Compared to felt, synthetic underlayment is more expensive. 
  • They may also require special fasteners or adhesives for proper installation, which can add to the overall cost.

Best Synthetic Underlayment For A Metal Roof

Owens Corning ProArmor® Synthetic Roof Underlayment

Owens Corning ProArmor® Synthetic Roof Underlayment

This Owens Corning roofing underlayment is one of the most popular underlayments for metal roofs. 

The underlayment is conveniently available in lightweight, 42-inch rolls, allowing roofers to cover larger areas more quickly. Its synthetic construction allows it to withstand up to 90 days of UV exposure during installation, eliminating worries about premature degradation from sunlight. The company also backs this product with a 10-Year Limited Warranty.

GAF Deck-Armor™ 

GAF Deck-Armor™ 
GAF Deck Armor™

GAF Deck-Armor is a top-tier synthetic roof underlayment known for its durability and longevity. Its synthetic construction gives it at least 600% greater tear strength compared to standard asphalt felt underlayments.

This heavy-duty tear resistance prevents ripping or shredding during installation. Deck-Armor can resist UV damage for up to 180 days before installation, providing flexibility in project timelines. It also features unique technology that allows moisture to escape from the roofing system, promoting a drier, healthier environment.

Self-Adhering Underlayment

Self-adhering underlayment is the last option on our list, also known as peel-and-stick underlayment.

These underlayments have a rubberized asphalt adhesive backing that bonds directly to the roof deck, creating a waterproof barrier. Self-adhering underlayments are highly effective at preventing leaks and are often used in critical areas like valleys, eaves, and around roof penetrations.

Pros:

  • Forms a seamless, monolithic, waterproof barrier with no gaps or seams.
  • Excellent adhesion to the roof deck, preventing water infiltration and wind uplift.
  • Easy installation as no additional fasteners are required.

Cons:

  • Most expensive underlayment option, increasing the overall cost of projects.
  • Requires a clean, dry surface for proper adhesion during installation.
  • If it’s not installed correctly, it can lead to wrinkles, air bubbles, or improper seals along the underlayment.

Best Self-Adhered Roofing Underlayment

WeatherMaster® Flexible Ice & Water Underlayment

The WeatherMaster® Flexible Ice & Water Underlayment from Atlas is the best metal roof underlayment in this category. We recommend this peel-and-stick roofing underlayment as it has a plastic film that allows for high skid resistance and high-temperature stability up to 250°F. 

It maintains its integrity even in hot conditions with a self-adhesive backing that seals directly to the roof deck, forming a seamless waterproof barrier. While its UV-protected surface only allows for 30 days of exposure, this underlayment provides exceptional waterproofing reliability and stability ideal for metal roofing applications.

Grace Ice and Water Shield® HT

Grace Ice and Water Shield® HT

The Grace Ice and Water Shield HT is a special underlayment made for metal roofs. It’s made up of two waterproofing materials; a sticky rubberized asphalt layer on the bottom, and a slip-resistant polyethylene film layer on top.

This underlayment can handle very high temperatures up to 260°F without any issues. It’s also made to withstand sun exposure for up to 120 days before installation, so there’s plenty of flexibility with construction timeframes.

With its two waterproof layers, ability to take extreme heat, and long UV resistance window, the Grace Ice and Water Shield HT provides top-notch waterproof protection perfectly suited for metal roofing systems. 

Best Roof Replacement Services In Wisconsin

If you are in the process of installing a new metal roof, then allow us to tell you that this is one of the best decisions you can make for your roof. However, choosing the right roofing material and components is not enough, you need to make sure that you hire the best contractors too.
Prestige Roofing can take care of your metal roof replacement in De Pere, and the surrounding areas of Wisconsin.  We not only use metal panels made by trusted manufacturers, but we also make sure that we install the best metal roofing underlayment too. Contact us today at (920) 791-0414 to learn more about how we can help you.