6 Best Underlayments for Metal Roofs in 2024: Expert Picks & Guide

Picture this: you’ve invested in a beautiful metal roof, hoping it will protect your home for decades to come. But without the right underlayment, your roof is vulnerable to leaks, moisture damage, and even premature failure. Don’t let your investment go to waste! Choosing the best underlayment for your metal roof is just as critical as selecting the right roofing material. In this article, we’ll dive into the top 6 best underlayments for metal roofs in 2024, empowering you to make an informed decision that will safeguard your home and give you peace of mind.

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What is Underlayment and Why is it Essential for Metal Roofs?

Underlayment is a protective layer installed between your metal roof and the decking. It serves several vital functions:

  1. Moisture protection: Underlayment prevents water from seeping through your metal roof and causing damage to your home’s interior.
  2. Noise reduction: It helps minimize the noise of rain and hail hitting your metal roof.
  3. Temperature regulation: Underlayment provides an extra layer of insulation, keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

For metal roofs, using the best underlayment is particularly important due to the material’s unique properties. Metal expands and contracts with temperature changes, making it more prone to leaks if not properly protected.

Types of Underlayments for Metal Roofs

  1. Felt paper: This traditional and budget-friendly option is made from asphalt-saturated felt. While it’s easy to install, it may not be as durable as other underlayment types.
  1. Synthetic underlayment: Made from materials like polypropylene, polyethylene, and rubber, synthetic underlayments offer increased durability and water resistance compared to felt paper.
  1. Self-adhered underlayment: Featuring a self-adhesive backing, this type of underlayment is easy to install and provides excellent water resistance and durability.

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Underlayment for Metal Roofs

Before diving into our top picks, let’s discuss the essential factors to keep in mind when selecting the best underlayment for your metal roof:

  1. Material: Consider the pros and cons of each material (felt paper, synthetic, self-adhered) based on your specific needs.
  2. Thickness and weight: Thicker underlayments offer better protection but may be more challenging to install.
  3. Durability and longevity: Look for underlayments with a proven track record of lasting performance.
  4. Ease of installation: Some underlayments are easier to install than others, saving you time and effort.
  5. Cost-effectiveness: Balance the cost of the underlayment with its quality and longevity to ensure the best value for your money.
  6. Climate: If you live in an area prone to heavy rain or snow, opt for a more water-resistant underlayment to ensure optimal protection.
  7. Roof slope: For low-slope roofs, self-adhered underlayments are highly recommended to prevent water infiltration.

underlayment acts as a waterproof barrier

The Top 6 Best Underlayments for Metal Roofs in 2024

1. GAF Metal Roofing Underlayment

– Self-adhered underlayment made from a blend of rubber and asphalt

– Highly water-resistant and durable

– Easy installation process

– Suitable for various metal roof types

2. CertainTeed Flintlastic SA Self-Adhered Underlayment

– Self-adhered underlayment made from a modified asphalt blend

– Excellent water resistance and durability

– Easy to install

– Ideal for a wide range of metal roof applications

3. Owens Corning ProArmor Synthetic Underlayment

– Synthetic underlayment made from a blend of polypropylene and polyethylene

– Superior water resistance and durability

– Easy installation

– Compatible with multiple metal roof styles

4. Grace Ice & Water Shield

– Self-adhered underlayment made from a rubberized asphalt blend

– Exceptional leak protection in valleys, eaves, and roof transitions

– Withstands temperatures up to 180°F (82°C)

– Perfect for regions with harsh winters and ice dams

5. IKO ArmourGard Synthetic Underlayment

– Made from a blend of polypropylene and polyethylene

– High water resistance and durability

– Easy installation process

– Suitable for various metal roof types

6. Tyvek Protec 120 Roof Underlayment

– Superior moisture protection with a unique embossed pattern for better grip

– Lightweight and easy to install

– Durable and tear-resistant

– Suitable for various metal roof types

Synthetic underlayments

Installation Tips for Underlayment on Metal Roofs

To ensure your metal roof and underlayment perform optimally, follow these installation tips:

  1. Prepare the metal roof surface by cleaning it thoroughly and repairing any damage.
  2. Begin installing the underlayment at the eaves, working your way up the roof.
  3. Overlap each layer of underlayment by at least 6 inches (15 cm) to prevent leaks.
  4. Use a chalk line or straight edge to ensure the underlayment is installed straight.
  5. Secure the underlayment with cap nails or staples, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Avoid walking on the underlayment more than necessary to prevent damage.
  7. If you’re not confident in your ability to install the underlayment properly, consider hiring a professional to ensure the job is done correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install metal roofing without underlayment?

While it's possible to install metal roofing without underlayment, it's not recommended. Underlayment provides crucial protection against moisture, leaks, and noise, ensuring your metal roof lasts longer and performs better.

How long does underlayment last under a metal roof?

The lifespan of underlayment depends on the material and quality. High-quality underlayments can last up to 30 years or more when properly installed and maintained.

Can I reuse old underlayment when replacing my metal roof?

No, it's not advisable to reuse old underlayment. When replacing your metal roof, always install new underlayment to ensure optimal protection and performance.

Investing in the best underlayment for your metal roof is a crucial step in ensuring its longevity, durability, and performance. By considering factors such as material, thickness, durability, ease of installation, cost-effectiveness, climate, and roof slope, you can select the best underlayment for your specific needs. Our top 6 picks for the best underlayments for metal roofs in 2024 offer a range of options to suit various metal roof types and climates. Remember to follow proper installation techniques and maintain your metal roof regularly to maximize its lifespan and protect your home for years to come.