Peel and Stick as Roofing Underlayment

Peel and Stick as Roofing Underlayment on a Shingle Roof.
Corrine Asked,
This is the first time I’ve gone on-line to investigate a home project and I’d like to tell you I really appreciate this. I bought my home in Florida 3 years ago the roof is the original (25 yrs old). The new roof will be Lifetime Timberline shingles 2 roofers recommend doing the peel and seal underlay and the third wants tar paper. I’m weary and perplexed a widow living on my own and having to make these decisions on my own for the first time. Thanks you in advance for consulting.
Peel and Stick as the underlayment and asphalt shingle would be a great roof, but so would an expensive copper roof. It all comes down to dollars. I am not sure you need to spend that kind of money on underlayment.
GAF Roofing SystemThe GAF Timberline shingles can be one part of a great roofing system that was designed to protect your home in the harshest climates. In the picture you will notice the deck protection covers the entire roof. This is also called felt. I advise using the # 30 it is thicker and does not wrinkle up in the winter like the thinner #15 felt. The “Peel and Stick” you refered to, GAF calls Leak Barrier and is used on homes in colder climates, it is installed on the sheathing at the eaves and up past the outside walls two feet. This product is to protect from ice dams that can occur on roofs in colder climates. It is also used on the rakes, valleys and protrusions such as a chimney or skylight and pipe flashings. Installing this Leak Barrier will provide a great roof in the snow or in raining climates, but using it over the entire roof may not be needed unless required by some local codes.
When I think of Florida roofs, I think of high winds but definitely not snow. To answer your question, may I advise seeking out the local building department and ask them this question. There are many different codes per each jurisdiction and that would be the best place to get to correct answer. If the roof is greater than 4/12 pitch I think the #30 would be a good choice and is approved by GAF as one of their premium systems.

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Bob 270 posts

Since 2005 Bob has been answering questions, free of charge, here at With a strong background in residential roofing and provides a practical and simple answers to hundreds of roof related questions, so it is easy to understand the issues you may have with your roof. Our answers are free so feel free to ask what you want. Use the green question box to contact myself or I have spent ten years as a union shingler, seventeen years as a California licensed roofing contractor with a general contractor endorsement and since Feb. of 2005 a roofing consultant. If I don't know the answer to your question, I will point you in the right direction.

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  1. Sandra Daffer
    October 31, 12:04 Reply
    You would be fine with a synthetic underlayment, water and ice in the valleys and edges. It's not just for snow but for the water (rain) also. Stay away from tar paper we don't even use that anymore. Gaf makes their tiger paw paper and their own water and ice barrier. With these two items on the roof and your regular shingles over that you should be fine. Peel and stick (ice and water, weathewatch ect) is super expensive to have a whole house done in that. It does two squares and is roughly about $85-100 a roll.
  2. j conklin
    March 03, 13:40 Reply
    Florida building code requires a secondary water barrier under the shingles. This cane be done by taping all the seams in the plywood or using the peel and stick underlayment. Your homeowners will also give a discount on wind insurance after you have a wind mitigation done.
  3. Djea3
    November 10, 06:21 Reply
    There is almost never a reason to use old fashioned felt on a residential roof where no hot mop is to be performed. In fact it is more expensive and less robust than the current synthetic underlayment available. I would be wary of any roofer that told you to use 30# felt in today's market (run don't walk). You need to contact your insurance agent BEFORE making a decision. Using peel and stick may actually reduce your insurance enough that it is worth the difference long term. Either way you do not want tar paper under your roof today. Use synthetics regardless of your decision. This is Florida where the insurance industry owns the legislature and has created the "Citizen's Plan", one of the biggest rip offs in the world. It easily DOUBLES the cost of insurance and guaranties profit (in case you don't understand, in order to be insurance the company has to be at risk, there is ZERO risk and guaranteed profit, that is NOT insurance).

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