The product category of roofing underlayment is gaining considerable esteem these days, but not before it took some serious beatings. Traditional asphalt-saturated felt underlayment, the most commonly used and most familiar of the three basic residential roof underlayments, has been especially criticized by contractors. As a result, manufacturers like Atlas Roofing Corporation have stepped up to create a high-performance felt underlayment that addresses contractors’ concerns. In this case, Gorilla Guard EVERFELT Engineered underlayment is the answer.

There are numerous functions of roof underlayment, and at the same time there are distinct things underlayment should not do. Namely, underlayment should not disrupt the roof’s drainage, degrade the aesthetics or performance of the primary roofing, impair the application of the roof, or be too slippery to walk on. Yet these are all common issues among contractors using traditional felt underlayment.

Andrew Dalby, owner of Atlanta Re-Roof Specialists Inc., an Atlanta-based roofing company, has used EVERFELT in his recent projects. In comparison, he feels that “old” felt underlayment tore easily, split when nailed, wrinkled if damp, and tracked asphalt when warm. “Especially #30,” adds Dalby.

Asphalt-saturated felts have been in use as underlayment on steep-slope roofs for the past century. So why the sudden complaints? Well, as time has passed, roofing materials have evolved. Lighter-weight shingles began to be commonplace, and they easily display irregularities from below. Also, in order to stay competitive, manufacturers of asphalt-saturated felts began making products more economical. Unfortunately, all too often these low costs also meant low quality.

In a failed attempt to fix the problems, other felt underlayment products started to surface, all creating their own unique issues. Heavier asphalt-saturated felts were made for better weatherproofing and greater absorption capacity. However, they weigh significantly more and are stiff and non-conforming.

Atlas Roofing Corporation put its innovative product knowledge and industry expertise to work and created Gorilla Guard EVERFELT engineered underlayment. EVERFELT was designed to outperform traditional felt underlayment by adding a specially developed formulation of additives to the glass fibers, and it has succeeded in surpassing contractors' needs.

In third-party independent testing, EVERFELT Spec 30 had 142 percent stronger tear resistance and was still 40 percent lighter when compared to traditional felt. EVERFELT is engineered with advanced substrates to allow it to lay flatter, resist wrinkling and reduce slippage. It’s tougher, yet easy to handle for a smooth application.

The labor cost and time saving of using EVERFELT encourages more contractors to offer the premium underlayment to customers as standard, rather than an upgrade. Dalby also recognized that EVERFELT has similar cost per square of traditional felt.

When asked if using EVERFELT rather than traditional felt underlayment changed the way he felt about a completed project, Dalby responded, “Yes. I feel we have provided a better finished project for the consumer, a safer environment for the crews and a longer- lasting underlayment product, which allows me to provide a 10-year labor and installation warranty.”

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