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What Goes Under Cedar Shingles?

Diverge from the standard exterior design and material choices of your neighbors with a stunning cedar shingle roof. Cedar shingles are the most stylish and sophisticated roofing material available today, guaranteed to turn the heads of those who drive down your street. Even as the material ages, it transforms from bright reddish tones to a distinguished silver and gray hue.

Along with unmatched natural aesthetics, cedar shingles offer a range of advantages, including improved energy efficiency, durability and natural resistance.

Cedar Shake Wood Roof Underlayment: What to Put Under Shingles

Even with cedar shingles' superior appearance and performance, you may wonder what goes under shingles. Cedar shingles still rely on proper roof underlayment and installation techniques to guarantee lasting home protection, appeal and longevity.

Cedar shakes and shingles are known for their outstanding natural beauty and exceptional long-term functionality. But the longevity of your cedar roof will largely be determined by what type of underlayment is installed under the cedar shingles.

What Is Roof Underlayment?

Underlayment is a material layer installed over the roof deck, below the shingles and other roofing materials. With proper cedar shake underlayment, you can minimize updrafts that cause fires to penetrate the roofing materials, improve household insulation and prevent moisture and other harmful elements from entering your home.

Underlayment will also let the cedar roof shingles last longer, better protecting the materials from damaging weather conditions that can prematurely cause the wood to rot, break or crack.

Why Is Roof Underlayment Important?

As a homeowner, you could wonder if roof underlayment is worth it. Roof underlayment is an investment in your home that can add protection for your house, longevity to your roof and defense against moisture.


If you're someone who is trying to take extra precautions to protect your home, then roof underlayment is essential — proper roof underlayment will ensure that debris won't easily infiltrate your house.


Underlayment can also help extend the longevity of your roof. Having that extra layer underneath gives your roof an extra layer of durability and counters any curling or cracking that may take place otherwise.

Defense Against Moisture

Heavy rains and storms are some of the major problems that plague roofs. With roof underlayments, you can take active steps to defend against bad weather. During heavy rainfall, you can have more confidence that your home will be protected. Underlayments can also help defend against mold and mildew and your home will have better defenses against the dangers of moisture.

Types of Underlayment for Cedar Roofs

The most common underlayment installations beneath cedar shingles are felt and synthetic.

Felt Underlayment/Tar Paper

Felt underlayments are usually made from synthetics such as fiberglass or natural materials like wood cellulose. They're then layered with a protective asphalt coating to defend against debris and moisture. This is a traditional underlayment option for cedar shingles.

Felt underlayment is typically available in 15-pound or 30-pound rolls. Felt underlayment offers extra weather barriers to reduce blow-offs and water damage, provides roof deck protection and prevents roof sheathing unevenness.

Synthetic Underlayment

If you're looking for a high-quality material currently installed under cedar shingles, synthetic underlayment could be right for you. These types of underlayments are made from polypropylene, fiberglass and polyester and use modern improvements and manufacturing techniques.

Synthetic underlayments are lighter than felt materials, more resilient and resistant, resist UV damage, are easier to install, offer improved insulation and extend the life span of cedar roofs.

But what is the best underlayment for shingles? While either felt or synthetic underlayment will provide dependable results and support the performance of your cedar roof, synthetic options are considered the best installation option today.

Reasons to Install Synthetic Materials Under Cedar Shingles

Your home’s roofing provides dependable and lasting protection and only the best roofing materials and installation techniques should be utilized to ensure improved results. Cedar roofs are susceptible to excessive damage if installers don’t use proven tools and techniques — that’s why synthetic underlayment should go under cedar shingles. Cedar Roof Coatings can provide you with the roofing expertise and services you need.

The several advantages of synthetic underlayments include:

1. Versatile Materials

Synthetic materials are versatile — instead of asphalt, which tends to break down easier and can't handle moisture as well, synthetic materials are designed to withstand wear and defend against a variety of different elements. This gives homeowners a huge advantage when it comes to protecting their homes. With all of the versatility synthetic underlayments offer, they are a worthwhile investment for your house.

2. Fast and Simple Installation

Synthetic underlayments also tend to be much easier to install than more traditional underlayments. This is because synthetic underlayment usually comes in longer rolls, which means installers will be making fewer trips to and from their truck to install the new materials. Professional installation and maintenance by Cedar Roof Coatings make the task even simpler.

3. Lightweight Construction

The more modern underlayments also tend to be lighter than traditional underlayments. Synthetic materials can often be constructed to be lighter but just as effective as heavier alternatives. The lighter weight can be better for your home and also easier for roofers to install.

4. Durability in High Wind Velocity Zones

Synthetic underlayments are extremely durable. For those who live in areas of high winds or frequent storms, investing in synthetic underlayments can give you the protection you need for your home.

5. Improved Long-Term Performance and Protection

Overall, synthetic underlayments give you better longevity and defense against moisture, wind and debris. When it comes to your roof, you want to be sure you're getting the highest-quality materials available. Synthetic underlayments can offer that. Work with Cedar Roof Coatings to find the cedar roofing services you need.

Cedar Roof Coatings: Fairfield County's Best Source for Cedar Roof Repair and Maintenance

For years, Cedar Roof Coatings has been the most trusted, sought-after cedar roof inspection, maintenance and repair company for homeowners throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties. As a family-owned and operated company, we care about the quality of our services and strive to always provide our Connecticut and New York clients with the most effective, comprehensive and reliable solutions for lasting comfort and protection.

Schedule cedar roof repair or maintenance services today by calling 203-847-5740 or complete our online contact form to request a project quote.

17,248 views2 comments


Ben McWilliams
Ben McWilliams
Jun 05, 2023

What is the best way to install


Nov 16, 2022

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