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Synthetic Roofing Underlayment

Synthetic roofing underlayment is vastly superior to felt underlayment. It's one of the most overlooked and important components of a metal roof system. Synthetic underlayment functions as a vapor barrier or water-resistant material that’s put under metal roofing. It's installed directly onto the roof deck and is applied under all of the other materials. Synthetic underlayment for roofs will provide an extra layer of protection against extreme weather conditions.

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Sharkskin® Roof Underlayment

We only sell Sharkskin synthetic underlayment because we feel it's the best roofing underlayment on the market. If you're going to invest in an expensive metal roofing material, it's important that all of the roofing components work as a whole. If the standing seam metal panels will last you 50 plus years, then you need a paint system and a roofing underlayment that's rated for the same period of time. Sharkskin Ultra and Ultra SA both have 50 year limited warranties and 12 months UV exposure after it's installed on the roof decking.

Synthetic Underlayment Benefits

Sharkskin synthetic underlayment will help to protect your home from water intrusion, but it also has these benefits:

  • 25 to 50 Year Limited Warranty
  • 6 Months To 12 Months UV Exposure
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Slip Resistant
  • ICC - ES Approved (ESR-1708)
  • All Temperature Performance

Types Of Synthetic Roofing Underlayment

Sharkskin synthetic roofing underlayment is available in three types of synthetic underlayment. There are two types of non adhesive underlayment and it's also available in a peel and stick roofing underlayment. 

  • Worst = Felt Underlayment
  • Good = Sharkskin Comp – Non Adhesive
  • Better = Sharkskin Ultra – Non Adhesive
  • Best = Sharkskin Ultra SA – Self Adhesive

Synthetic Underlayment Comparison Chart

Sharkskin Ultra SA®

SHARKSKIN ULTRA SA® is a “state of the art” high temp rated peel and stick synthetic roof underlayment. This underlayment was developed in 2006 and sticks in the cold – down to 10˚F – without primer.

  • 50 Year Limited Warranty
  • 12 Months UV Resistance
  • Self Adhesive

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Sharkskin Ultra®

The original premium synthetic roof underlayment for asphalt, metal, slate and tile. It's made from the same materials as the Sharkskin Ultra underlayment, but it's non adhesive.

  • 50 Year Limited Warranty
  • 12 Months UV Resistance
  • Non Adhesive

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Sharkskin Comp®

Sharkskin Comp was designed to replace felt underlayment at an equal price point. You get a superior roofing underlayment, but it will not cost you more money. It can be used for metal roofing, but is used more often for asphalt shingles. It has a shorter warranty and we would recommend upgrading to Ultra synthetic underlayment if it will be used under metal.

  • 30 Year Limited Warranty
  • Up To 6 Months UV Resistance
  • Non Adhesive

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Sharkskin Ultra Radiant®

SHARKSKIN ULTRA RADIANT® is a high-performance roof underlayment that also acts as a radiant barrier for all metal, slate, tile and shingle roof installations.

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Sharkskin Ventilated Roof Mat®

SHARKSKIN VENTILATED ROOF MAT® used in conjunction with our Sharkskin Underlayment products helps to create a more complete roofing system to allow for proper air transfer and circulation.

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What Is Synthetic Roof Underlayment?

Synthetic underlayment is a roofing accessory composed of laminated polypropylene or polyethylene plastic that goes over the roof deck and serves as an extra layer of protection from the elements for a roofing system. It has excellent durability as the synthetic material does not absorb moisture. This makes it the right material to choose when drying in a roof.

How Much Does Synthetic Underlayment Cost?

Synthetic underlayment will cost a little more than felt underlayment, but it has a much longer lifespan. The price of synthetic roof underlayment will vary depending on the lifespan of the product and whether it’s non adhesive or self adhesive. It costs a nickel per square foot to upgrade from a 25 year product to a 50 year product. When you look at the overall cost of your installed metal roof, this is a drop in the bucket as underlayment material is one of the most important components of a long lasting roof. 

  • 30 # felt underlayment = $.15 to $.20 Per square foot
  • 25 year non adhesive underlayment = $.15 to $.20 Per square foot
  • 50 year non adhesive underlayment = $.20 to $.25 Per square foot
  • 50 year self adhesive underlayment = $.55 to $.65 Per square foot

Why Use Synthetic For Your Underlayment Product Instead Of Roofing Felt?

Synthetic underlayment has superior performance and better tear resistance compared to roofing felt. Non bitumen synthetic underlayment also does not absorb moisture which is critical in the prevention of water penetration which is the main function of underlayment. Synthetic is also a longer lasting product compared to felt or tar paper and comes in different forms including self adhered underlayment and non bitumen synthetic. When comparing felt vs synthetic roof underlayment, it's a matter of price vs performance. While felt underlayment is more affordable,  synthetic underlayment provides greater long term value.