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5 Metal Roof Underlayment In 2024

Posted on May 20, 2024

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Metal Roof Underlayments

Installing a metal roof is a costly investment in your property, and choosing the best underlayment is important to ensure the longevity of the system. Metal roofs can expand and contract due to weather or other conditions, so selecting a tough and durable roof underlayment is crucial to protect your property from leaks and damage.

At A. Fricker Roofing and Waterproofing, we are committed to providing you with the best roofing insights and services. In this blog post, we have provided a brief overview of roof underlayments and listed the five best underlayments for metal roofing systems and their cost. 

What is Roof Underlayment?

An underlayment is a protective layer installed right above the roof deck and under the metal roof panels. The primary function of an underlayment is to act as a barrier against water infiltration, moisture buildup, and wind-driven rain. 

Underlayments act as a shield for your roofing system, it protects the attic and roof structure from external elements like wind, UV rays, dust, and water. A correctly installed underlayment also prevents chemicals from seeping into your roofing system. 

By investing in a high-quality underlayment specifically designed for metal roofs, you get an added layer of protection that maximizes your roofing investment. 

Popular Metal Roof Underlayment Options

Here are the five underlayment options that are considered best for metal roofs:

1. Synthetic Underlayment

Average Cost: $0.05 to $0.50 per square foot

Titanium® synthetic underlayment by owens corning

Synthetic underlayments for metal roofs are made from polymers, such as polypropylene or polyethylene, and are designed to be lightweight, durable, and resistant to moisture and UV radiation.

One of the key advantages of synthetic underlayments is their breathability. They allow trapped moisture to escape, preventing condensation, humidity, and potential damage to the roof deck. Additionally, synthetic underlayments are easy to install and can withstand harsh temperatures without cracking or becoming brittle.

Some popular options for synthetic underlayment for metal roofs include:

2. Peel and Stick Underlayment

Average Cost: $0.50 to $0.90 per square foot

Stormguard® film-surfaced leak barrier by gaf

Peel and stick underlayments, also known as self-adhering underlayments, are a reliable choice for metal roofing systems, especially in areas prone to high winds or severe weather conditions. These underlayments consist of a rubberized asphalt compound laminated to a high-strength reinforced polyethylene backing.

Peel and stick underlayment for metal roofs provides exceptional waterproofing capabilities and excellent adhesion to the roof deck. They are particularly useful in areas like valleys, eaves, and rakes, where water is more likely to accumulate. Installation is straightforward, as the underlayment adheres directly to the roof deck without the need for additional fasteners or adhesives.

Some popular options for peel and stick underlayment for metal roofs include:

3. Felt Underlayment

Average Cost: $0.05 to $0.15 per square foot

Gorilla guard® 30 underlayment

Felt underlayment, also known as asphalt-saturated felt, is a traditional and cost-effective option for metal roofing systems. This underlayment is made from organic materials, such as wood fibers or recycled paper, saturated with asphalt for waterproofing and durability.

While felt underlayments may not be as durable or long-lasting as other options, they provide a reliable moisture barrier and are easy to install. They are often used in conjunction with other underlayment types, such as synthetic or peel and stick, in high-risk areas like valleys or eaves.

Some popular felt underlayment options include:

4. Fiberglass Felt Underlayment

Average Cost: $0.15 to $0.70 per square foot

Fiberglass felt underlayment is made of fiberglass material coated or soaked in asphalt. The asphalt coating makes it water-resistant and protects against moisture getting through to the roof deck underneath.

Fiberglass felt is considered a traditional and affordable underlayment option for roofing jobs. However, it may not last as long or be as durable as some newer synthetic underlayment products available on the market.

One potential downside is that fiberglass felt underlayment can sometimes absorb water, wrinkle, or get damaged during the installation process. If it’s not installed properly, it could lead to leaks or moisture issues.

A popular fiberglass underlayment option for metal roofs includes:

5. Cedar Breather® Underlayment

Average Cost: $0.15 to $0.20 per square foot

Cedar breather® underlayment

Cedar Breather underlayment is a unique option specifically designed for metal and wood shake roofing systems. These underlayments are made from coils of polymers that provide space between the metal panels and roof deck for ventilation and drainage. 

The primary benefit of the Cedar Breather underlayment is its ability to provide ventilation and moisture management. It allows trapped moisture to escape, preventing condensation buildup and damage to the roof deck and metal roofing system.

Additionally, the Cedar Breather underlayment does not require specialized installation or tools. This option offers an effective solution for maintaining the durability and longevity of your metal roof.

Benefits of Having the Right Underlayment For Your Roof

Here are some benefits that a roof underlayment offers to your roofing system:

Moisture Management

Metal roofs are prone to condensation buildup due to their ability to absorb heat from the sun. The right underlayment for metal roofing systems acts as a moisture barrier, preventing condensation or water from reaching the roof deck. This helps prevent issues like rot, mold growth, and structural damage caused by moisture accumulation.


Some underlayments, like the Cedar Breather underlayment, are designed to provide ventilation channels that allow trapped moisture to escape from beneath the metal roof panels. This feature is crucial for preventing moisture buildup and potential damage caused by condensation.

Thermal Regulation

A high-quality roof underlayment for metal roofs acts as a buffer and an added layer of insulation, protecting the roof deck from temperature extremes and preventing premature deterioration.

Wind Resistance

Metal roofs are known for their durability in high-wind conditions, but an underlayment adds an extra layer of protection. Peel-and-stick underlayments like Grace Ice & Water Shield and rubberized asphalt options provide exceptional wind resistance, preventing wind-driven rain and debris from reaching the roof deck.

UV Protection

Synthetic underlayments offer excellent UV resistance, shielding the roof deck from sun rays that can cause premature aging and deterioration.

Call A. Fricker Roofing and Waterproofing for Roof Installation in Tulsa, OK

If you’re looking for roof installation services in Tulsa and the surrounding areas of Oklahoma, we are here to assist you at A. Fricker Roofing and Waterproofing. Our experts can easily handle your roofing project, whether installing a completely new roof or replacing an old one.

Feel free to give us a call today at (918) 402-7167. We’re here to answer all your roof-related questions and to guide you through the roof replacement process. We will install a roof that protects your home or building for many years to come. 

Metal Roof Underlayments