New roof - 15 vs 30 lb felt?

thanks again for all the help with my previous question-

another question:
my estimate mentions 15lb felt underlayment.
i’ve got a very straightforward, steep gable roof in New Jersey.
should i ask for 30lb felt, or something else?

will it make a difference in the end?

thanks again in advance for the help.

30# is better for protecting your home during the re-roofing process.
Once the shingles are on, the weight of the felt matters very little.

If you experience high winds and some shingles get blown off, the felt will protect your home until repairs can be made.
A high quality (fiberglass) 15# or a standard 30# will do this very well.

Standard 15# felt can get saturated and leak.

all you have to do is aske the roofer who will
be up there walking on it and he/she
will tell you they would rather have 30Lb.
thicker stronger, better footing.


always better, but not required.

Is there other felt besides Roofer Sellect? I haven’t touched another type in over three years.

We’ve tested it up to 60 mph wind with no blown off paper. Houses near by lost shingles. Won’t wrinkle and lays out flat.

30# gets mushy under feet when it’s warm and wrinkles really bad when wet.

In my opinion, felt paper is a vapor barrier plus keeps the oils in the shingles from leaching out and into the wood substrate (i.e. plywood or OSB roof deck), so #15, 20, or 30 will work for any shingle roof. The type I recommend depends on roof slope.

For slopes less than 4/12, I recommend 2 layers of #15. Helps reduce the possibility of leaks. The felt overlaps in “shingle fashion”.

Slopes 4/12 to 6/12 I recommend one layer of #15 or #20.

Slopes greater than 6/12 I recommend one layer of #30. The steeper the slope, the easier it is to slip and tear the felt. #30 is heavier so on steeper slopes, you don’t slip and tear it as easily.

Don’t seem to have a problem walking on the Roofer Sellect on pitches up to 10/12. Of course you have to pay for quality felt. I could get the cheap 15# at the big box stores for half what I pay for the Roofer Sellect.

It’s nice telling the home owners they are getting top of the line shingles, ice and water, and felt paper.

Getting a thicker felt doesn’t means it’s the top of the line quality. The homeowners just pay more money for something that a thinner felt could do. Felt don’t act as waterproof, but to keep the surface from moisture and shingles from sticking to the roof deck. Ask anyone that knows about roofing…manufacturer that makes felt or roofing school. It’s the shingles that protects the roof. Otherwise, why are we spending money for shingles if felt could do the job? Paying more money for architecture shingles over 3 tabs shingles would make the differences, not felt.

One of my biggest fears as a shingle roofer is the felt tearing beneath me, and sliding uncontrollably off the roof as a result.
Standard 15# felt is dangerous to the roofers IMO.
It has a low tear strength and usually a poor walking surface.
Low wind resistance also, no matter how many fasteners are used.
It shrinks and tears away from the fasteners also.
This is not an issue if you are able to shingle over it the same day, the tearing danger is still there…

Roofer select is an excellent product as Dougger pointed out.
However I don’t use it on existing homes because It has small holes in it, not a lot of them but they are there, consistently.
I use roofer select on all new builds, where potential leakage (before the shingles are applied) is not an issue.
I don’t notice it leaking on the new builds, despite the holes, I just am not willing to take that chance on an existing home.
If it weren’t for the holes in it I would use Roofer select exclusively for all roofs.
It is the best felt on the market, it lays flat, it stays flat, it holds up to wind very well, it doesn’t curl or bubble, it has an excellent walking/working surface, it holds lines very well.
Roofer select has 2 downsides that I am aware of, it can be itchy to work with and it has small holes in it.

I find it hard to believe that all the roofer select users here have not noticed the holes, they have been there since the products inception.
Next time you use Roofer select pay closer attention, you will notice the holes, as I said there are not a lot of them but they are there and they are potential leaks.
I have told Certainteeds product rep this from the beginning, they have done nothing about it…

I don’t like shinglemate because the surface is a bit slippery and it doesn’t hold fasteners as well, it doesn’t cut very well either.
Shinglemate feels kinda thin also.

I am not too impressed with the 30# that has been available to me either, it doesn’t have holes in it though…

Like many of the regular posters here I am not looking for the cheapest materials to do the job, I want the best, and I am willing to pay for it.
Jobs are not sold on price, they are sold on quality, value, and trust.
This is not a commodity…

Dougger222 wrote:

Doug is right, this is how you sell quality, trust, and value.
I always list the brands of material on my bids, I use these brands for a reason, I believe in them.
The labor to install the roof is the largest percentage of the bid, the cost difference between cheap materials and quality materials is rather small given the entire scope of the project.
The value added by using quality materials is significant.

Unfortunately there is a market for cheap roofs.
Many times people buy what we sell them, they just don’t know any better.
It is part of our job the explain the difference and why we use what we use.
If you present yourself as an experienced professional most people will listen to you.
As a result they will get a better roof and we will get a better price, good for everybody.

/End of rant/ Let the great felt debate continue… :roll:

I don’t like using either if it’s a insurance job I’ll go back with synthetic underlayment it’s the best thing you can put up there difficult as shit to tear and can be exposed to the element over 110 days and still pass code. I personally hate doing warranty work I would rather spend a little up front and never have come back out there. In Texas a role of synthetic like atlas summit 60 is about 100 but covers ten squares so it’s almost as cheap as regular felt