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Columbus Roofing: Article About Underlayment Damage

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A loose shingle or tile is easy enough to see from the street, but degraded underlayment may not be apparent until the problem gets much worse. Columbus roofing contractors are trained professionals who can spot potential problems before they get out of hand. Having the roof professionally inspected once or twice a year is a good policy to ensure everything is functioning properly. Failure of the underlayment, while not immediately visible, can lead to serious structural damage down the road. Underlayment is generally well protected by the roofing material on top and the decking beneath, but premature failure still happens from time to time. There are many factors that affect the longevity of different underlayment materials.

For asphalt saturated felt and rubberized asphalt underlayment, the main causes of premature failure are similar. First among these is the use of poor quality materials. Some manufacturers use lower grade asphalt in producing their underlayment products. Typically, it is best to go with companies that manufacture their products to meet independent standards set by groups like ASTM. The lower quality materials will be more prone to moisture absorption and damage from heat and UV exposure.

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The second big reason for failure among asphalt underlayment materials is exposure to heat and ultraviolet radiation. Depending on the climate and the roofing material chosen, the temperature on the deck can reach over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme heat causes the asphalt to soften and some of the volatile chemical components can evaporate, which speeds up the process of roof degradation The evaporation of the roof's structure chemical components occurs slowly over time regardless of temperature. The hotter it gets, the faster it evaporates.

UV radiation is another killer when it comes to asphalt underlayment. Luckily, the underlayment is usually protected by the chosen roofing material. When a shingle or tile or sheet becomes loose, the sun will dry out the asphalt. UV rays in particular cause the asphalt to become more brittle and loose many of their desirable properties.

One final thing to watch out for with underlayment is installation damage. Since underlayment is installed prior to the roofing material, the installers must move across the underlayment during the process of installing shingles or other roofing materials. This leaves plenty of opportunity for careless or improperly trained crew members to damage the underlayment. Working with a licensed and insured contractor will help mitigate most of the risk to the homeowner.

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