Are you wondering how roofing felt is made? Understanding the roofing felt manufacturing process will give you a greater appreciation of roofing felt and may lead to better roofing felt selections.
Roofing felt is made of a base which is manufactured from natural materials like wood cellulose or synthetic materials like polyester or fiberglass. The base is then saturated or coated with a protective coating such as asphalt that is meant to repel water.
Below, I will thoroughly explain how roofing felt is made. I will also go into technological advancements regarding the manufacturing of roofing felt, roofing felt shapes, and how to choose the best type of roofing felt.
Roofing Felt Manufacturing Processes and Technological Advancements
Roofing felt is usually manufactured from a fiberglass fleece that was soaked with waterproof materials such as asphalt and bitumen which are tar-like substances. Fiberglass-based felts are some of the most durable options that you can select. They are not inclined to tearing and handle extreme weather well.
Polyester fibers have recently been developed to be the base fleece material for roofing felt. Polyester roofing felt is also incredibly resistant to tearing and can make it through severe weather. It is also soaked in bitumen (asphalt) to make it waterproof.
Another decent option is fully organic roofing felt that is manufactured with the utilization of the fibers of rags. The fibers are typically soaked with bitumen for waterproofing which also retains the organic qualities that some people prefer.
The life span of polyester-based roofing felt is shorter than fiberglass like many other organic options. Fortunately, advancements in roofing felt coating have extended the life expectancy of polyester-based roofing felts.
Improvements in technology have made roofing felts way better in general. Presently, roofers can select a TPM, or thermoplastic polyolefin membrane, as the underlayment.
It is lighter than roofing felt, and is more resistant to punctures. It is stronger than polyester roofing felt as well.
It has only been available for purchase on the market since about 2003. Unlike traditional felt paper, it has not passed the test of time.
Early results are show signs of future success, however. This type of underlayment could certainly become the roofing felt of the future.
Everything becomes obsolete eventually in the roofing technology world. Roofing felt is not an exception to this trend.
Also, there are new shingle underlayments that provide a slip-resistant coating that will make it safer to walk on because of the increased traction. This new feature is appreciated greatly by roofers that work on pitches that are steep.
Nail sealing superiority is another new feature for roofing felts. Currently, nail sealing weighs less and can be bought in wider sheets than the traditional 36-inch long sheets.
The cost for the new, more expensive and technologically advanced roofing felts is easily offset by reduced installation labor rates. Wider rolls can help lower the number of seams, and the total labor expense of installation especially if you are planning on working on an exceptionally big roof
Some rolls have lines put on them that make the overlapping process easier. They will help you keep the lines straight.
These rolls are much easier to use and will assist you in the process of doing a professional job. Make sure you keep the rows even and straight is critical to laying an effective roof underlayment.
The old-school solution is to simply use the roofing felt and nothing else for roofing. This would primarily be utilized on outbuildings and sheds where expenses would be minimized. If you choose to save money with this solution, then be sure to select mineral-surfaced roofing felt because those can last for around ten years.
Roofing Felt Shapes
Roofing felt is almost always sold in rolls, and each roll will usually look like one long rectangle. When the felt paper is applied and rolled on a rooftop, it must be cut to match the shape of the roofline.
Roofing felt is easily altered with a utility knife. It is flexible and be cut to fit any shape roof. Whether you are working with a traditional roof, a hip roof, or a Victorian roof with pergolas, you can easily adjust roofing paper and cut to a near-perfect fit.
Choosing a Type of Roofing Felt
The very first thing you should consider when selecting a roofing felt is the directions on your final roofing material. When it comes to shingle weight, it is usually a good idea to choose the lower weight especially if you live in a milder climate.
The lower weight felt will, of course, add less weight to your roof. If you live in an area with severe climates that experience big storms, then it is important to know that a roof with lower weight will provide you with a higher level of protection.
The lower weight felt it is much more breathable for air to move through. Also, it is less expensive. It is important to remember that failing to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations can lead to your warranty being completely voided.