When a roof is replaced, does that mean the felt underlayment needs to be replaced as well? This is a question that divides the roofing community, as some roofers claim it’s not necessary to replace the felt every time. Other roofers replace the felt on every re-roofing project. Both sides have their reasons, so let’s delve into the facts and myths about re-roofing and the replacement of felt underlayment.

Myth: You don’t need to replace the felt on every roof replacement project.

Fact: For this question, one should consult the Texas Building Code located here. Section 1511.3: Roof Replacement states: “Roof replacement shall include the removal of all existing layers of roof coverings down to the roof deck.” Ice barrier membranes are the sole exception to this rule; they may be left in place and covered with another layer of membrane.

The code is clear on the point that all shingles and underlayment must be removed, down to the roof deck. This is to protect the customer’s roof from water damage, mold and mildew that can accumulate when underlayments are left in place and layered over.

Myth: Having multiple layers of felt won’t affect your manufacturer’s warranty.

Fact: GAF representatives have stated that layering over old felt underlayment doesn’t void their basic warranty, because the basic warranty only guarantees that the materials will arrive onsite in good condition. Anything the contractor does with the materials after that point is not GAF’s responsibility. However, they strongly urge roofers to remove all the old felt and replace it as it is an industry best practice.

Master Elite contractors can offer Silver Pledge and Golden Pledge warranties which cover the roof for 50 years, plus 25 years of workmanship. This is the best warranty in the industry, and GAF does require the old felt to be removed by contractors who offer these warranties.

Myth: The more underlayment there is, the more protection the roof has.

Fact: While this sounds good in theory, the more layers of old felt there are, the more the felt bunches up, holds onto absorbed water, and deteriorates over time. This could affect the way the shingles lie and cause them to buckle or warp, allowing even more moisture to get in around them. It could also degrade the roof decking and cause mold, mildew, or water leakage to permeate the home’s attic.

Myth: Good roofers can detect underlying damage without removing the felt.

Fact: Some roofers believe they can spot weak areas on a roof just by looking, or by stepping onto the area to test its give. Not only is this approach risky to the roofer, it’s also risky for the roof itself. Without looking under the shingles and underlayment, there is no way to be certain how extensive the damage is. A good roofer doesn’t take chances with their clients’ property or the safety of their own workers.

Springtree Restoration Does It Right Every Time

At Springtree Restoration, we follow the roofing industry’s best practices on every job, even if it means working harder or increasing our own costs. Customer satisfaction and safety are our top priorities. We never take shortcuts that could lead to big repairs in the future, and we put 100% effort into every job we do.

If you need a new roof or roof repairs, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We fix old roofs and install new ones in Dallas, Fort Worth, and all counties across North Texas. Our customers know that we are a name to trust for excellent service and craftsmanship, and we hope you’ll think the same.