Underlayment questions

HI All,

I’m going to be doing a tearoff on my house and replacing with GAF Timberline Ultra shingles. I live in upstate NY. I believe the sheathing is in pretty good shape, but I’ll know better when the shingles are laying on the lawn.

To get the super duper lifetime warranty, I have to use alot of GAF’s materials including the underlayment. I’m leaning towards the Deck Armor line. It needs to be held down with cap staples according to the instructions.

Has anyone used this underlayment? Is it worth the extra moolah? It looks to me like house wrap for the roof…thin polyester spun, super hard to tear, etc. Should I just go with the standard Leatherback or the Shinglemate line?

Any pointers will be appreciated.


As far as I know you can’t get a ‘Golden Pledge’ warranty unless you are a certified by GAF as a ‘Master Elite’ Installer. Shinglemate is fine.

Thanks for the reply. I called the warranty desk and they indicated that I could. I don’t have it in writing from them, maybe I should, eh?

They said that as long as I followed the install instructions to the letter and used all the “approved” materials, I was all set.

Now ya got me worried.

They have other warrantys that do not require Master Elite status but you need it for the ‘Golden Pledge’, which is the top warranty GAF offers.

deck armor is thicker and more clothlike looks like thin carpet padding. much more $$ no ones uses it around me. gaf rep pushes it like crack. my supplier dosen,t not even stock it.just use shingle mate its ok for all warinties.

you can warranty your own roof for 10 years on an ultra (i think). deck armour is not weather proof so dont leave it exposed overnight. i have some as a drop cloth for paint in my shop. where are you located in upstate NY?

if you bought the shingles you have a material warranty.anyway what good is it. if it leaks they kick it back to the inataller. if it fails they will find something not up to spec and kick it back to the insaller. if they pay they give you a coupon for new shingle that you still have to install. since your the installer your screwed

dont bother worrying about the warranty. if you do it right it should last a long time.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate it.

I’m in Le Roy, just down the Thruway from Newark.

I figured there’s no way GAF would pay a contractor to replace what I installed, but my thinking was if I replicated what a Master Installer would on the install, why shouldn’t I get the same warranty coverage (less the contractor fee to reinstall if something goes wrong).

Believe me, I’m not a roofer. Metal roofs are a total mystery to me. I’ve done hotmop in AZ in the summertime as a laborer (no fun), I’ve worked on tile roofs and regular shingle roofs in the past and can get by. So I figure if I can keep from falling off the roof and breaking my neck, go slow and double-check my alignment by snapping lines for each course, I should be OK.

What it comes down to is money. I don’t have enough to pay someone to do it. The quotes I’ve received are quite a bit more than I can afford, and since I’ve done it in the past, I think I can get it done.

It’s a simple gable roof with 4/12 pitch. No hips, valleys or skylights. I’ll be tearing off since the imbecile who put the first roof on didn’t vent it properly and the shingles are curling under, loosing the granules and essentially falling apart.

Let me clarify, the person who built the house is the same guy who roofed it. He wasn’t a GC, it was the typical owner/builder who didn’t hire out enough of the work to a professional. There should be a wanted poster at all the home centers with this guy’s face on it.

When I bought the house, the plumbing vented into the attic area, it wasn’t punched through to the outside. I’ve since fixed that, but the damage was done. Not only will I be removing the roof, but I’ve got to replace some of the sheathing because of the black mold from the plumbing fiasco.

So what I’ve taken away is…save the extra money on the Deck Armor and concentrate on doing a good job…correct?

yes…pay the closest attention to flashing details like chimneys and plumbing vents as these will be your most prone areas of leak.

Luckily, I have just three plumbing vents and nothing else penetrating the roof.

Did I mention the guy put the rake drip edge on top of the shingles? I’d attach a picture if I had one. Two white strips down both sides of the roof.

I’d better lay in a few more sheets of plywood just in case.

If money is an issue why don’t you just use the 30 yrs?
Significant savings there…
If you really think that those 50 yr shingles are going to last 50 yrs and look decent doing it I have a bridge in northern Michigan to sell you…
I don’t upsell the warranty because I don’t think it is worth it to the customer.
IMO A good reason to get 40 or 50 yr shingles is for higher wind resistance and/or thicker richer texture, not for the longer warranty.

In the last 2 yrs I have seen several Timberline roofs losing a significant amount of their granules, exposing the asphalt to the sun.
These roofs were all less than 10 yrs old.
Gaf refused to warranty them…
In the past I have experienced Timberlines coming apart out of the package (the main portion of the shingle separating from the laminant).
Timbertex cap is frequently less than 20 ft per bundle as stated on the package.
3 days ago I got a roll of Rubruoid Torch grade that was only 31’ 8" long, I needed 32 ft to cover a small roof…
I am not impressed with GAF at all, “back in the day” they made good products but that day has passed…

Money is an issue because for $1500 worth of product at my price (they spec’d 30 year shingles), I was quoted $5300 not including three sheets of sheathing I want to replace.

Yes, it’s a tear-off, but we’re talking one layer, less than 20 sq and it’s a straight forward gable roof. No hips, no valleys, no chimneys, no skylights. Three plumbing vents and that’s it.

I understand making a profit…I make a nice one doing computer repair, but that’s a lot of profit. Please don’t take this as a start of a discussion on what’s fair, how much workers comp costs, etc. We’re talking maybe two days for two guys who are professionals. $3500 labor is pretty steep.

For an additional $500, if I can add years to the roof lifespan, then I’m on board. I’m a bit concerned that GAF would blow off the warranty in the situation you described. I’d be in court over that. I could shave money by mixing and matching products, but then GAF has an excuse if the time comes. I’m trying to avoid that.

So to me, the difference between $1500 and $2000 is small for what I should get. But to get from $1500 to $5300 is quite a leap. I would LOVE to watch from the ground and save my back. But I can’t afford to.

I’m going overboard getting info, documenting and will be shooting video and taking pictures, all to go into the roofing file to show how it was installed. Anal retentive? Yes. That’s why I’m pitching out small questions to see what you guys think. I want to get it right the first time.




I don’t blame you for wanting to save some money, we all do.
If you are physically able to handle the job, more power to you.
You are doing the right thing by researching as to how to do it correctly.
I have seen some homeowner roofs that were applied better than most roofers do it, this is usually not the case though.
But there are an awful lot of hack roofers out there…
If you want a 50 yr roof by all means get one, don’t get me wrong, they are better than 30 yr.
They look better and they are more wind resistant, they will look better longer than a 30 yr.
But they aren’t going to last 50 yrs…

Hey, thank you for your feedback. I want to hear the good and bad so I know what to look out for. I know ventilation is a bit part of the longevity of the roof, and I have a separate thread on that topic.

I will be very careful now to document the roof being applied so if GAF gives me any crap some day in the future, I’ll be better prepared.


I have been in this game for over 14 years here in michigan and you know what. Never have i seen GAF fail to warranty there roof IF installed correctly. I have seen them not warranty roofs not installed per specs. But since most roofers dont read the freaking back of the bundle it is a normal thing. Hell i just make a call to my rep and its covered. Same with certainteed.

fat did you do competitive bidding or did you call ONE company? I would call more people to look at your roof. Res might be different becuase I do commercial, but the tricks of the trade make a huge difference in the roof quality. Its like you just said you build computers, I have built computers before myself, I feel confident in doing it, then a buddy of mine in tech school came over and told me I had a hole list of problems. Just my personal opinion, although I’m being a hypocrite I guess.

Thanks for the additional info.

This is why I plan on making this install a freakin documentary. I had a feeling that if I couldn’t prove I did the job correctly (without tearing the roof apart to show that I did), that GAF might say “it’s another stupid homeowner not knowing what they’re doing wanting us to warranty his mistakes”.

As far as the quotes, I called three roofers, two showed up and gave the quote. One was a good ol boy who was more interested in showing samples of his siding work…was going to get his brother in law (or some relative) to help him. I asked if the BIL was covered by his insurance, workers comp, etc. and was told not to worry about it, it was taken care of. Uh huh, well, I will worry about it since it’s my ass if he falls off the roof and breaks his neck. His quote was not in writing, but was $4500. Too many red flags to make that one work besides being about a grand more than I had to spend. The second one was a fairly big name company (renovations and such) and they had their I’s dotted and T’s crossed. Gave me a written proposal, would provide a cert. of insurance, etc. So that I was happy with, but they were $5300 plus the cost of the sheathing.

So I decided after that one that it’s time to start planning on doing it myself. As I stated earlier, I’ve done roofing in the past but as a laborer. I’ve been studying and reading how it should be done and I’m trying to commit it to memory so it’s second nature.

If it’s like most things, 95% of it is pretty easy if you follow the directions, it’s the other 5% that makes a difference. That either it was done by a hack or a professional.

yea everyone always says it doesn’t take a trained monkey to lay the field of a roof, its the detail work that matters. Well if your making a “Documentary” out of it you might be okay, I don’t know like I said I do commercial work. Do you not have any friends from when you where in the biz to help you out? You could try finding a professional roofer that needs a side job for extra cash, our guys do side jobs like that all the time. If you are unsure of yourself anyway, if your 100% confident in your work, go for it. Just do like everyone said and make sure before you even start you will actually get that warranty.

Thanks, I did contact GAF and ask upfront would I get the warranty and they said yes. Now, since then I think the Golden Pledge warranty is out of my grasp since I’m not a master elite installer, but the middle one should be. I’ll be calling to get clarification on that in a few hours.

The only people I know in the trades are pipefitters and electricians…neither of which do me much good here. I have an old co-worker that is going to help me. Hopefully, he can keep an eye on me and correct me before I manage to F things up too badly. It would be hard to do worse than the guy I’m following.