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Tile Underlayment

Photo of a tile roof.
Many people with tile roofs don’t know about the Roof or Tile Underlayment beneath their tiles so they don’t take care of it. If this underlayment gets worn, the roof and home could be at risk for leaks and other damage.

What Is Underlayment?

It is the thick, protective paper also called felt hidden under your tiles. It provides most of your roof’s protection and wears out much more quickly than most tile. Your tiles could be in perfect condition while your underlayment is in need of replacement.

How Often Does it Need to be Replaced?

Depending on the weather conditions and climate, tile underlayment should be replaced about every 10-15 years. Often, new homes are built with cheaper roof underlayment that doesn’t even last 10 years. If you have never had your roof underlayment checked, you should, even if you have a newer home.

How Can I Check My Underlayment?

It’s best to have a professional come out who can remove sections of tiles and inspect the roof underlayment. S/he will want to pay specific attention to areas of the roof that are leaking or have any problems so be sure to point out any problem spots.

What If It Needs to be Replaced?

A professional will take down your existing tiles, replace the underlayment and either replace your original tiles or put up new ones. It would be a good idea to tend to any other roofing problems at the same time. For example: replace bad flashing or damaged tiles.

As you can imagine, this is quite a job that could take several days. If you have a tile roof, however, the underlayment is extremely important since it protects your roof and home. You’ll want it to be in good condition so it can do its job.

Tile Underlayment Comes in Different Qualities and Thicknesses

Exactly which roof underlayment you choose will depend a lot on weather conditions. If you live in a harsh environment where your roof takes a beating, you probably want a higher quality that will last longer for you. Discuss your options with your contractor.

Updated: December 8, 2012 — 1:10 pm

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