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9 Peel And Stick Roofing Underlayment Problems: What To Watch Out For

Posted on August 24, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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peel and stick roofing problems

Roofing projects can be quite the undertaking, and you’re probably looking for the best ways to protect your home. While peel and stick roofing underlayment might seem like a fantastic solution for the convenience and relatively easy installation, there are some potential issues you need to be aware of. 

While regular roof underlayment may cause water intrusion through nails and fasteners, peel and stick underlayments also, though free of that hardware, are not immune to leaks. In this article, we’ll dive into nine peel and stick roofing problems that you should keep an eye out for.

Understanding Peel and Stick Underlayment

Peel and stick roof underlayment, also known as self-adhering underlayment, is a specialized type of underlayment that comes with an adhesive backing. This layer makes installation remarkably easy as it adheres directly to the roof deck, creating a secure, watertight seal.

Common Problems With Peel And Stick Roofs

1. Insufficient Adhesion

Peel and stick underlayment relies heavily on its adhesive properties to remain stuck to the roof and effectively protect it. However, if the adhesion isn’t sealed correctly, you could face serious problems such as water infiltration and wind damage. Therefore, ensuring proper surface preparation and temperature conditions during installation is crucial to maximize adhesion.

2. Improper Installation

It is important to install any type of roof correctly, and peel and stick roof underlayment is no exception. Even the best underlayment, like synthetic underlayment, won’t perform well if it is not installed properly. Mistakes such as improper overlap, incorrect adjustment, or inadequate sealing can compromise your entire roofing system. Consider hiring a professional or follow the manufacturer’s installation guidelines to avoid this. 

3. Moisture Trapping

While peel and stick underlayment acts as a barrier against water intrusion, it can also trap moisture between the underlayment and the roof deck. This trapped moisture can lead to rot, mold growth, and structural damage over time. Therefore, proper ventilation and drainage are essential to prevent this issue.

4. Incompatible Roofing Materials

Not all the roofing materials are made the same. Certain materials might not be compatible with peel and stick underlayment. Since metal roofs can expand and contract significantly with temperature changes, they can potentially cause the underlayment to buckle or tear. This is why we recommend homeowners always check with a roofing professional to ensure compatibility before making the final decision.

5. Lack of Breathability

Roofing systems need ventilation to release any moisture that accumulates. Peel and stick underlayment, due to its design, might hinder this crucial breathability, leading to a build-up of moisture and hot air under your roof. So, if you live in areas with high humidity, consider using a more breathable underlayment.

6. Temperature Sensitivity

All underlayments are sensitive to heat and extreme temperatures, including peel and stick. In cold conditions, the adhesive might not bond effectively, while in very hot weather the material could become too soft and lose its integrity. To combat this issue, use an underlayment that best suits your environment and climate. 

7. UV Radiation Breakdown

UV radiation can be harsh on roofing materials. If your peel and stick underlayment remains exposed to heat, it can break down due to the UV rays, which can cause potential leaks and failures. Regular roof inspections and maintenance are therefore necessary to keep your roof and underlayment in place and secure. 

8. Durability Concerns

While peel and stick underlayment is generally durable, its longevity can vary based on factors like the quality of the material and the installation process. Thicker underlayments often offer better durability, but they can also be more expensive. Balance your budget with your long-term roofing goals.

9. Cost Considerations

Speaking of budget, peel and stick underlayment tends to be more expensive upfront compared to traditional options. While it offers convenience, you’ll need to weigh the initial cost against the potential long-term savings in terms of repairs and replacements.

Peel and stick roofs

When to Use Peel and Stick Underlayment

Peel and stick underlayment can be an excellent choice in specific situations, such as complex roof designs or areas prone to ice dams. Its durable and long-lasting properties make it a great solution for preventing water infiltration in vulnerable areas.

Alternatives to Peel and Stick Underlayment

If you are concerned about the potential problems of peel and stick underlayment, consider other options. Synthetic underlayments, for example, offer breathability and water resistance, and they’re often more budget-friendly.

Tips for Successful Installation

If you’ve decided to go ahead with peel and stick underlayment, make sure you follow these tips for a successful installation:

1. Proper Surface Preparation: Clean and dry the roof deck thoroughly before installation. 

Also Read: Is Your Roof Decking Up To Code?

2. Temperature Awareness: Install the underlayment within the manufacturer’s recommended temperature range.

3. Overlap and Seal: Ensure proper overlap and seal all seams and edges to prevent water infiltration. If you find any leaks, patch them with a high-quality roof sealant.

4. Ventilation: Install the adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.

5. Regular Maintenance: Whether you choose peel and stick underlayment or an alternative, regular maintenance is key to a long-lasting roof. Inspect your roof periodically for any signs of damage and address issues promptly to avoid costly repairs down the line.


Peel and stick roof underlayment can be a great option for your property, offering convenience and protection. However, being aware of the potential problems and understanding how to mitigate them is crucial. Whether you’re dealing with insufficient adhesion, compatibility concerns, or durability issues, taking the time to research, plan, and install the underlayment carefully will ensure your roof’s longevity and peace of mind.

Are You Facing Problems With Your Peel And Stick Roof In Tulsa, OK?

You shouldn’t ignore peel and stick roofing problems, as they can create more trouble for your roof later on. Make sure you address any issues promptly and maintain your roof so you can enjoy its long-term benefits. If you need professional assistance to repair or replace your peel and stick roof underlayment, consult the professional team of roofers at A. Fricker Roofing and Waterproofing. We are expert roofing professionals skilled in many services, including roof replacement, installation, and repair. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 to talk to a roofing expert. 


A. Not necessarily. Due to their expansion and contraction characteristics, some roofing materials might not be compatible with peel and stick underlayment.

A.While possible, hiring a professional is recommended to ensure proper installation and minimize the risk of issues.

A. Yes, synthetic underlayments are often more budget-friendly and offer similar benefits.

A. Regular inspections should be conducted at least twice a year and after severe weather events.

A. Address the issue immediately. Consult a roofing professional to assess the situation and take appropriate action to prevent further damage.

peel and stick roofing problems