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Understanding Roofing Underlayment

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Shingles, tile, barreled clay roofing, slate, cedar shake… these and other forms of roof coverings have proven to be effective barriers against nature’s punishing elements. What many property owners don’t realize is that the secret weapon against moisture intrusion is not the handsome coverings atop their roofs, but what lies beneath… aptly known as the roofing underlayment.

When it comes to roofing underlayment and other roofing products, contractors deal in terms such as “bitumen underlayment,” “modified bitumen,”  “asphalt,” and “tar.” It’s important to understand the distinction between these substances… or lack thereof!

bitumen roofs
  • Bitumen is the naturally occurring residue from crude oil. It’s a black, sticky “goo” that can be mixed with other ingredients to create rolled roofing underlayment products.
  • Asphalt is not a naturally occurring product – it’s a factory-produced mixture of gravel and sand, plus bitumen which binds the mixture together. 
  • Tar is similar to bitumen, but is distilled from crude oil. Tar is like “pitch,” but pitch usually refers to the substance derived from coal-tar.   
  • Modified Bitumen is bitumen reinforced with polymers. “Mod-Bit” underlayment takes the form of  multi-layered sheets composed of mats or films often covered with mineral granules. While there are several companies that produce modified bitumen products, Polyglass® is a world leader in roofing underlayment. The company’s self-adhering products represent a tremendous innovation in roofing underlayment and roof system installation.
polyglass roofing underlayment

Roofing underlayment types

Roofing Felt Underlayment

The term “roofing felt” refers to asphalt-saturated underlayment. It’s reminiscent of tar paper, but is made with asphalt instead. This underlayment material has proven durable and effective in protecting homes and buildings from the sharp impacts of hailstones, falling limbs, and flying debris.

Rubberized Roofing Underlayment

Like the tube from a bicycle tire, rubberized underlayment is elastic and totally water-resistant. Most often referred to as rubberized asphalt, this underlayment’s flexibility allows it to perform very well in climates that see hot summers and frigid winters.

Plastic Synthetic Underlayment

Also known as non-bitumen synthetic underlayment, many of today’s homes are using this type of polymer-reinforced moisture barrier made from plastics similar to those used for spring water bottles and restaurant take-out containers. These polypropylene/polyethylene materials are elastic, strong, and utterly waterproof. 

By using Polyglass® full or hybrid self-adhered underlayments, contractors save time and money on the labor costs of installation. Their self-adhering technology makes for safer and cleaner installation.

roof underlayment

Polyglass® leads the industry in self-adhered roofing underlayment products. Already the leading manufacturer of modified bitumen roofing membranes for commercial applications, Polyglass® engineers developed self-adhered underlayment systems. By using their full or hybrid self-adhered underlayments, contractors save time and money on the labor costs of installation. Polyglass® also contends that their self-adhering technology makes for safer and cleaner installation.

How Polyglass® became a Game-Changer with Self-Adhering Underlayments

Polyglass® is also a leading manufacturer of modified bitumen roofing,  waterproofing membranes, and roof coatings for flat, low-slope, and steep-slope applications. 

The company was founded in Italy in 1960. By the 1970s, Polyglass® had established itself as a leading manufacturer of modified bitumen roofing membranes in Europe. In the 1980s, the growing company started exporting its products to the U.S. where it continues to be a leading innovator in the roofing industry. With its launch of patented self-adhered ADESO® technology in the 1990s — the first self-adhesive membrane introduced to the U.S. — Polyglass® took its place as a leader in self-adhered modified bitumen membranes. These Polystick® roof underlayments make installation easier for roofing contractors. There are eight varieties of Polystick® self-adhering underlayments for high-temperature and ice and water protection. 

iRoofing - The Portable App that Helps Contractors Measure, Estimate, Order Underlayments, and more

The iRoofing app contains roofing and siding products from all leading manufacturers, including Polyglass®! The products are displayed in digital detail and can be integrated right into a measurement report, estimate and swift ordering feature. Using iRoofing’s roof estimate calculator, contractors need not waste time and money on complicated spreadsheets or expensive software. The innovative roofing software is fully customized with their company’s pricing for underlayment products, roof tiles, shingles, metal, cedar shake, barreled clay roofing, accessories, labor, waste removal, and much more. 
Estimate iPad 2021 LR

Instantly generate estimates, invoices, and work orders. With iRoofing, there’s no cost per-use, and every membership includes unlimited access for three devices. It’s compatible with iPads, iPhones and most Android phones and tablets.

Test drive the iRoofing app today by scheduling a FREE demonstration CLICK HERE

Roofing Pros Save 50% Time/Labor Cost with Self-Adhered Underlayments

Polyglass® has demonstrated the efficiency of installing self-adhered modified bitumen products in time-trials which they recorded and published online. The company’s in-depth testing and research shows how installation of its ADESO® self-adhered membrane took less time and fewer crew members, compared to a 2-ply torch-applied roofing system. 

The company’s in-depth testing and research shows how installation of its ADESO® self-adhered membrane took less time and fewer crew members, compared to a 2-ply torch-applied roofing system.
To view other time trials related to self-adhered underlayments versus older technology, check out these short videos by Polyglass®

Benefits of Self-Adhering Modified Bitumen

  • Safe and easy installation
  • Reduced installation costs and fewer callbacks
  • Independently tested and certified
  • Warranties of up to 30 years
  • Proven track record of performance
  • Superior waterproofing characteristics
  • Broad range of application methods
  • Fire resistant
  • High tensile-strength
  • Satisfied clients who will fuel business growth

Contractor Incentive Programs

Several manufacturers of roof underlayment and roof coatings focus on the needs and profitability of roofing contractors. Polyglass® is no exception. Contractors who become part of the Polyglass Contractor Program enjoy a  three-tiered benefit program (1. Registered, 2. Preferred, 3. Quantum) that rewards them for installing Polyglass products.

Roofing contractors can access product data sheets, detailed drawings, specifications, warranties, and more. There is a specifications writing tool that’s furnished by Polyglass®, as well as an array of effective training videos. In addition, contractors can enroll in courses to learn best practices for installing, estimating, and selling Polyglass® roofing products.

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