Can Roofing Underlayment Be Used On Walls?

Can Roofing Underlayment Be Used On Walls

No, using roofing underlayment is not recommended for walls. Roofing underlayment is made to keep water out, but it might not let walls ‘breathe’ enough. This could cause moisture problems inside the walls.

Quick Summary 

SectionKey Points
IntroductionExploring the use of roofing underlayment on walls.
What is Roofing Underlayment?A layer under the roof to protect from water includes asphalt-saturated felt, rubberized asphalt, and non-bitumen synthetic.
Traditional Use of Roofing UnderlaymentIt protects roofs from water, enhances durability, and offers weather resistance.
Using Roofing Underlayment on WallsIt is possible to use on walls for extra protection, but with considerations.
Considerations and LimitationsConcerns about breathability, compliance with building codes, and warranty issues.
Comparison with HousewrapDifferences in breathability and moisture protection compared to house wrap.
Expert Opinions and Case StudiesImportance of professional advice for specific situations.
ConclusionUse on walls is possible but requires careful consideration and professional consultation.

What is Roofing Underlayment?

Roofing underlayment is a layer that sits directly underneath the outer materials of your roof, such as shingles or tiles

Think of it as a hidden armor that prevents water from entering your home. This layer protects your house from water damage, especially during heavy rain or snow.

There are several types of roofing underlayment, each with unique properties and suitable for different roofing needs:

  1. Asphalt-Saturated Felt: This is one of the most traditional types of underlayment. Made from felt paper soaked in asphalt, it offers a basic level of water resistance. It’s flexible and can be a more economical option.
  2. Rubberized Asphalt: This type is more advanced and offers superior waterproofing. As the name suggests, it’s made from rubberized material and asphalt, which makes it highly effective at sealing around nails and providing a watertight barrier. This kind is often used in areas prone to extreme weather conditions.
  3. Non-Bitumen Synthetic: This modern underlayment is made from synthetic materials, often resembling plastic. These synthetics are highly durable, resistant to tears, and often lighter than traditional materials. They can also be more breathable, allowing moisture from inside the house to escape, which helps reduce the risk of mold and rot.

Each type of underlayment has its strengths and ideal uses, depending on your home’s roofing materials, climate, and specific needs. 

It’s important to choose the right kind to ensure the longevity and protection of your roof.

💡 Recommended: Top 8 Qualities Of The Best Roofing Company in Framingham

Traditional Use of Roofing Underlayment

The traditional use of roofing underlayment is crucial for roof protection and longevity. This layer serves important roles:

  1. Water Protection: It acts as a barrier against water, preventing leaks and water damage inside your house.
  2. Enhanced Durability: By shielding the roof deck from elements like wind, rain, and sun, underlayment extends the life of your roof.
  3. Weather Resistance: Underlayment provides an added layer of defense in areas with extreme weather, keeping your home dry and safe.
  4. Prevention of Damage: It helps prevent wood rot and mold growth in the roof structure by keeping moisture out and maintaining the roof’s integrity and indoor health quality.

Using Roofing Underlayment on Walls

Guess what? You can use this underlayment on walls, too! It’s because it’s good at protecting against heavy rain and snow. Just like it does for roofs, it can help keep walls safe.

Considerations and Limitations

But wait, it’s not perfect for every wall. Here are some things to think about:

  • Breathability: Some underlayments might not let your walls breathe properly. This means they could trap moisture inside.
  • Building Codes: They might not follow all the building rules.
  • Warranty Issues: Using them in a way they’re not meant for might invalidate warranties (or promises that things will work).
BreathabilityIt could trap moisture inside walls.
Building CodeIt might not meet all the rules.
Warranty IssuesCould cancel warranties.

Comparison with Traditional Housewrap

Housewrap is another material used on walls, but it’s different from roofing underlayment. Housewrap lets walls breathe better, while roofing underlayment is better at stopping moisture. But it’s not always the best choice for every wall.

Installation Considerations

If you want to use roofing underlayment on your walls, you must be careful about how you install it. Make sure it’s the right choice for your wall and that it’s put up correctly.

Expert Opinions and Case Studies

Some building experts think roofing underlayment on walls can be a good idea, but it depends on your situation. There are some examples where this has worked well for people’s homes.


In summary, roofing underlayment can be adapted for use on walls, but this application must be cautiously approached

It’s essential to consider your house’s specific needs, structure, and potential moisture and breathability issues. 

Compliance with local building codes is crucial. Always seek advice from a construction or roofing professional to make an informed decision. For wall protection, exploring alternatives designed specifically for walls is also advisable.

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