Can Roofing Felt Get Wet?

Apr 16, 2021Roofing0 comments

Roofing felt, also known as roofing tar paper, is a layer of protection installed between roofing shingles and the roof deck. The base comprises natural materials such as wood cellulose or synthetic ones like fiberglass or polyester. It is then covered with a protective coating made from bitumen which acts as a moisture barrier that allows the product to breathe.

Although the felt ensures that water drains off the roof, it can still get wet. However, even after being wet, the felt maintains its integrity but only if it is not exposed to other elements for a few days. For instance, exposure to sunlight and more rain will cause it to break down.

Since felt is flaunted as helping to keep the roof moisture-free, you must be wondering what happens after it gets wet. Well, below are answers to some of the questions you probably ask yourself regarding wet roofing felt.

Can You Install Shingles on Wet Roofing Felt?

You should not install shingles on damp or wet roofing felt because the trapped moisture will not evaporate when the sun heats the shingles. Installing shingles over wet felt can result in premature aging; when properly installed, the roof can last for at least 20 years.

Additionally, if the shingles are placed on wet felt, it will cause blistering. Wet felt bubbles up, but after it dries out, it relaxes, enabling the shingles to lay down for a much better appearance. The wrinkles and bubbles create heat pockets that will damage the shingles over time. Moreover, if the surface is still wet when placing the shingles, mildew and mold will grow, leading to disintegration of the felt and the subsurface. Therefore, the roofing felt will no longer protect the roof.

How Long Does It Take for Roofing Felt to Dry?

Since we have already established that you should not install shingles on wet roofing felt, you should wait at least 24 hours for it to dry. If you are installing shingles on the entire roof, it can take a few days; usually, in the United States, residential homes have roofs spanning between 1,600 and 1,700 square feet.

As a result, it can take 2 to 3 days to place shingles on the entire roof, so if it rains for the next few days, yet you had exposed the roof, you will have compromised your felt’s integrity. The best way to go about it to prevent such mishaps is to tear down only what can be fixed within a day. That way, you will not be risking the felt being exposed to external elements.

Installing Shingles on Wet Felt Could Void Your Manufacturer Warranty

Sometimes you might start installing shingles, and the weather suddenly changes when you are yet to finish. It can take a few days to have the shingles in place, but once it starts raining, it is best to wait until the weather clears up before going up there. Wet roofs put workers at risk of injuring themselves, and installing shingles on a damp roof could void your warranty too.

Most roofing material manufacturers have a set of conditions that must be followed for your warranty to be valid. However, if their products’ quality is compromised due to your negligence, the chances of them not honoring the warranty are high. One of the ways to void your contract is installing shingles under harsh weather conditions such as rain.

The wet felt will damage the shingles, and the manufacturer can say that the product’s quality was good until you compromised it.  Since shingles should not be installed under high humidity conditions, a manufacturer is not to blame for faulty installation.

Re-roofing on Wet Felt Could Void the Repair Warranty

New construction gives you more time to watch for any bulges or wrinkles that may appear if the contractor installed the shingles on the wet felt. You can point out the substandard roofing and have the contractor repair it before you part with your money,

On the other hand, re-roofing takes at most two days meaning that the contractor will be done and paid before you have time to inspect the roof for any bulges. It can be especially tricky when you don’t know what to expect with wet felt, and the contractor could say that the bubbles and wrinkles will flatten out with time.

However, as you wait, the warranty can expire. In Arizona, the contractor is obligated to repair the flaws. However, that is if you notice a defect within one year since the job was completed. Unfortunately, after that one year, you waive the right to have the fault corrected and claim a breach of warranty.

Why Should You Even Want to Have Felt on Your Roof?

Protection from Water Damage

During extremely cold weather, ice and snow on the roof can melt due to the heat emitted by the house. The water can then seep into the roof, but thanks to the layer of protection provided by felt, you have a water-resistant barrier to prevent leakages.

Helps Achieve Class A Fire Rating

Arizona has a hot and dry climate that makes wildfires a serious concern hence the need for Class A roofing and asphalt fiberglass composition shingles qualify. Class A roofing can:

  • Last 2 to 4 hours before ignition
  • Experience 6 feet maximum spread
  • Resist 15 cycles of gas flame turned on and off
  • Withstand burning brand weighing 2,000 grams and 12″ by 12.”

Get a Free Consultation Today

Finding a roofing contractor you can trust can be challenging, but your search is over because Ultra Foam Roofing is here to help. We are a family-owned and operated company based in Phoenix metro area. Ultra Foam Roofing has been serving central Arizona for more than 20 years, and we aim to offer customer satisfaction. Therefore, we provide you with the best warranty, and if you need re-roofing or repairs done, we do it all for free. We also conduct free annual inspections, so you will never have to worry about void repair warranties.

Our expertise goes beyond shingle and foam roofing; we are skilled in all types of roofing for both residential and commercial projects. If you are unsure which roof best suits your home, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We are open Monday through Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00 am to sort out any roofing issues you may have.


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