Felt paper, also known as roofing felt or tar paper, is a common material used for the installation of asphalt shingles. One of the most frequently asked questions by homeowners and roofing professionals is whether felt paper can be installed on a wet roof. In this article, we will explore this topic in detail, discussing the potential risks and benefits associated with installing felt paper on a wet roof.
Understanding Felt Paper
Before diving into the question at hand, it’s important to understand what felt paper is and its purpose in roofing applications. Felt paper is a thin material made from organic fibers or fiberglass that is saturated with asphalt. It serves as an additional layer of protection between the roof deck and the shingles. The primary functions of felt paper are to provide a moisture barrier, prevent resin from leaking onto the roof, and improve the overall performance and longevity of the roof.
The Risks of Installing Felt Paper on a Wet Roof
Installing felt paper on a wet roof can pose several risks that homeowners and roofing professionals should consider. When felt paper is exposed to moisture for an extended period, it can retain that moisture and potentially lead to mold or rot issues. This can compromise the structural integrity of the roof and may require costly repairs in the future. Furthermore, wet felt paper may not adhere properly to the roof deck, leading to potential buckling, wrinkling, or tearing during or after installation. These issues can create an uneven surface for the shingles and negatively impact their durability and lifespan.
The Benefits of Installing Felt Paper on a Wet Roof
While installing felt paper on a wet roof comes with its risks, there are instances where it may be unavoidable or necessary. In cases of emergency repairs or urgent roof replacements, it may not be feasible to wait for the roof to dry completely before installing felt paper. In such situations, installing felt paper on a wet roof can provide temporary protection against water infiltration until proper repairs or replacements can be made. Additionally, felt paper can act as a barrier between the wet roof and the interior of the building, preventing further water damage in the meantime.
Best Practices for Installing Felt Paper on a Wet Roof
If it is absolutely necessary to install felt paper on a wet roof, certain precautions and best practices should be followed to minimize potential risks. Firstly, it is crucial to ensure that the roof is as dry as possible. This can be achieved by removing any pooling water, using fans or dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process, or waiting for suitable weather conditions. It is also essential to inspect the felt paper carefully before installation and discard any damaged or excessively wet rolls. Additionally, extra care should be taken during the installation process to avoid wrinkles, folds, or buckling. Rooftop conditions should be evaluated regularly to detect any lingering moisture issues that may impact the performance of the felt paper.
While felt paper is typically not recommended for installation on a wet roof, there may be circumstances where its immediate installation becomes necessary. Homeowners and roofing professionals must understand the potential risks associated with installing felt paper on a wet roof and carefully evaluate whether alternate solutions or temporary repairs should be considered. If there is no other option, strict adherence to best practices, thorough inspections, and ongoing monitoring can help minimize potential damages and ensure the best possible outcome.