Contractors that choose Barricade® Underlayments, over asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayments, can avoid many of the problems of felt that lead to early underlayment replacement and damage to the roof deck and the structure. Barricade Underlayments are quicker to install and have greater strength and UV resistance than felt underlayment.

What is Roofing Underlayment?

Roofing underlayment is the product installed under all the roofing materials and directly on a roof deck. The underlayment provides a secondary weather barrier against exterior elements like wind-driven rain and snow. The shingles are the primary weather barrier.

The Benefits of Underlayment to the Roof and the Building or Home

  • Underlayment repels water that gets past shingles and ensures the water drains off the roof and does not leak into the structure.
  • Underlayment protects the deck during application of the shingles.
  • Some underlayments can help the shingles meet a Class A fire requirement
  • Underlayment helps create a uniform surface to install the shingles
  • Underlayment between the decking and roof shingles creates a longer-lasting and better-looking roof

Asphalt-Saturated Felt Underlayment

Contractors have used asphalt-saturated felt underlayment for decades. A blend of cellulose, polyester, bitumen, and asphalt is used to make felt underlayment. Felt is available in two thicknesses: fifteen-pound and thirty-pound. Fifteen-pound felt underlayment has a perm rating of about five, although this number can rise in high-humidity conditions. Thirty-pound felt is thicker and stiffer than fifteen-pound, so thirty-pound is more resistant to damage during installation and can protect the roof longer if exposed to outside elements like wind, rain, or snow.

Contractors and building owners like asphalt-saturated felt underlayment because it is a low-cost product that is easy to install. However, there are problems with asphalt-saturated felt underlayment that can cause it to fail.

Four Reasons Asphalt-Saturated Felt Roof Underlayment Fails

  1. Asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayments will fail if torn or damaged during installation.
  2. A poor quality, asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayment is at high risk of failure. Specifically, if the underlayment absorbs moisture, this will damage the roof deck. It is essential to use an underlayment that is ASTM D226 and ASTM D4869 compliant, which are less likely to absorb water.
  3. Asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayment is prone to failure because it contains volatile compounds. Over time these compounds will dissipate, which cause the underlayment to become more fragile and moisture-absorbent. Exposure of the felt to heat quickens the loss of volatile compounds.
  4. Asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayment is susceptible to failure because ultraviolet (UV) radiation deteriorates the felt.

Barricade Roof Underlayments Avoid the Problems of Asphalt Felt


Barricade UDL Standard roof underlayment


Barricade® Building Products is a first-rate manufacturer of building products, including high-quality roof underlayments. Barricade offers four levels of underlayments that are suitable for all roof coverings. All come in a cool gray surface, which is 30° cooler than black underlayments:

  1. Barricade® UDL Pro
  2. Barricade® UDL
  3. Barricade® Plus
  4. Barricade® Select

The Advantages of Barricade® Underlayment over Asphalt-Saturated Felt Roof Underlayment

  • Barricade underlayments provide 33 percent more coverage per lap. Barricade underlayment has a 48-inch width. Felt width is 36-inch.
  • Barricade underlayments install faster and save money over asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayment
  • Barricade underlayments are waterproof; they do not absorb water like felt underlayments.
  • Barricade underlayments have excellent tear resistance and superior strength compared to asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayment.
  • Barricade underlayments meet and exceed ASTM D226 I & II, ASTM 4869 II & IV
  • Barricade underlayments have UV protection:
    • Barricade UDL Basic – 60 days
    • Barricade UDL Pro, UDL Plus, and UDL Select – 180 days

Barricade UDL Pro



Because of problems associated with asphalt-saturated felt roof underlayment, contractors should consider an alternative roofing underlayment product, like Barricade underlayment.

Barricade underlayments are quicker to install and more resistant to installation and UV damage than felt underlayments. Barricade underlayments are also code compliant. Choosing durable Barricade underlayments will ensure the protection of the roof deck and building or home from rain, snow, and other external factors.