Understanding Roofing Felt: Is It Water Resistant?

Understanding Roofing Felt: Is It Water Resistant?

When it comes to keeping your home dry from the elements, your roof is critical. But beneath your shingles lies another layer of defense: roofing felt. Everyday thousands of homeowners search the web to find the answers to questions like: "Can roofing felt get wet?" As experts in the field, we're here to give you the answers.

Getting to Know Your Roofing Felt

Roofing felt, typically made of synthetic materials or asphalt-saturated felt, serves as a protective barrier between your roof deck and the final layer of roofing material. While it is designed to be water-resistant, it's important to note that roofing felt alone is not completely waterproof. Its primary function is to provide additional protection against water infiltration beneath the shingles or other roofing materials.

Credible Sources Speak

  • The National Association of Roofing Contractors (NRCA): According to the NRCA, roofing felt is indeed water-resistant, but it's not impervious to moisture. This vital component of the roofing system helps reduce the risk of leaks and minimizes damage caused by water seepage.
  • GAF: GAF, North America's largest roofing manufacturer, emphasizes the role of roofing felt in defending your home against excess moisture.

The Impact of Moisture on Roofing Felt

  • Mold and Mildew: Excessive moisture can create an ideal environment for the growth of mold and mildew on roofing felt. Besides compromising structural integrity, this can pose health risks to occupants.
  • Diminished Effectiveness: Prolonged exposure to moisture can diminish the effectiveness of roofing felt over time. This may increase the likelihood of leaks and reduce its overall protective capabilities.

Preventive Measures

  • Correct Installation: Adhering to manufacturer guidelines and ensuring proper seam overlap during installation enhances roofing felt's ability to withstand water.
  • Ventilation: Adequate roof ventilation is essential for preventing moisture buildup in the attic. Proper ventilation not only helps safeguard the underlayment but also prolongs the life of the entire roofing system.


Roofing felt serves as an essential defense against moisture infiltration, but it is not completely waterproof. Understanding its limitations and implementing preventive measures during installation and maintenance is crucial to ensuring its effectiveness. Remember, roofing felt is just one component of a comprehensive roofing system. Regular inspections and timely repairs are key to preserving the integrity of your roof and protecting your home from future water-related issues.