Using shingles without felt - is this really allowed?

Hi everyone

I’ve got a house, 5 years old in Ottawa Ontario (cold winters, hot summers). The roof leaks due to wind damage and missing shingles. I only found out about this recently as I am living out of province. Fortunately insurance will pay for a new roof.

My question is, is it really normal to put shingles on a roof without any felt? The singles are nailed directly into the OSB. I’m certainly not a roofer, but I felt a bit sick when I saw how this was done. Somebody in construction (not a roofer) looked at it and said that although it may be crap, it is up to code and is quite common practice on houses these days. Is this really true?

The shingles are BP. I’m getting them replaced with CertainTeed Landmarks. As the insurance quote includes felt I hope the new roof will be of better quality. I was originally going to go with IKO but thanks to this board I’ve steered clear of them.

One word answer…
it used to be common practice over ten years ago in these parts , but all manufacturers and building code now require it…at least in these parts…

johne5 :slight_smile:

It is common practice around here to install landmarks and iko cambridge directly onto osb due to the fact most jobs are insurance and homeowners arent interested in paying more. I have never had a problem doing this, if done correctly water should never make it way to the deck therefore the felt is just an extra insurance policy.

What pitch is your roof, I was under the impressions that the BP Harmony on certain slopes 4-6:12 required fetling in order to eligible for manufacturer warranty (I may be wrong because I don’t use this product)

Unfortunately I don’t know the pitch. It’s just a bungalow. Maybe an experienced eye can judge from this picture as you can see down to the ground. CertainTeed Landmarks will go onto the roof, I don’t know if they require felting or not for this roof but it’s listed on the insurance claim so I guess it can’t hurt anything to have it in place.

If your roofer doesn’t use an underlayment that is a pretty good reason to find a different roofer.

A roofer or “pretend to be roofer” who does not use felt underlayment or that would try to justify the point is a Hack plain and simple.

What is this “felt” word you guys speak of?

it’s the stuff you make the funny pirate hats out of… isn’t it??

Supposed to use it. Doesn’t seem necessary.
I picture is worth a thousand words. Look at your picture.

How much water damage do you see where the felt is missing, caused by the lack thereof? Any water?
Now, look again. How much damage do you see caused by the improper placement of the nails? Any shingles blown off?

i see jack roofers not putting down felt and valley materals here but once completed looks like a good roof. sometimes it takes a while for the home owner to relize he got a bad job that looks good, :frowning:


I am with Tinner on this.

If the shingles were nailed properly, there would be no need for felt.

well then I guess you guys do not know about wind driven rain or north easters. Why justify doing things wrong? I have heard this story from supposed roofing mechanics that were trained by a hack so they think the wrong way is right.I either retrain or fire them. Roofing 101 basicly says that a shingle roof system depends on sheding water, it is not an impermeable waterproof barrier. common sence some might say

Is felt a moisture barrier? a water proofer? or is it all a scam by roofing company’s? haha we will never know. I guess its peice of mind to have a secondry layer under every thing, including your underwear :mrgreen:

Felt = Seat-belt.

You might not need to wear your seat-belt all the time; or even feel like you have no use for it.

When the time comes and their is that big crash, lets just hope they had their seat-belts on.

[quote=“RooferR”]Felt = Seat-belt.

You might not need to wear your seat-belt all the time; or even feel like you have no use for it.

When the time comes and their is that big crash, lets just hope they had their seat-belts on.[/quote]

Nicely put :smiley:

That is the perfect analogy RooferR. If you argue againts using a seatbelt these days you look like an idiot.

Make sure that your new roof is nailed properly ,or those shingles will be on the ground next to the 3 tabs that were HIGH NAILED… :roll:

My question is this…

What is the felt actually doing? I mena if youre depending on it to be a secondary water shedding protection, then let’s delve into this a little deeper…

Water enters the roofing system, and onto the felt. Water runs down the felt and gets stopped and/or diverted by the shingles. Where does it go? Out of the roof? NO. Into the home/building/structure? YEP. The thousands of holes are going to allow water in anyways, or else my residential repair business wouldn’t be as busy as it is.

The whole theory really is blown out of the water when we observe and think, rather than just beleiving what they tell you to think.

Ice barriers are remedies for bad roofing. Plain and simple.

I replaced a roof last winter in CT with a friend. I am sure I have told this story before.

No felt on roof, roof was 20 years old. Homeowner never had a leak. When we tore off, there was ice frozen onto the plywood at the eaves. We hacked it off with hammer claws. No rot anywhere on the roof. There had been 18" of snow 2 days prior, we shoveled it off the roof. We then proceeded to add ice and water at the eaves.

Sure made tear-off easy! Nothing worse than little felt fragments in the bushes.

ahh…Celotex shingles…Typical new construction roofer that nails 2" too high…

Words of advice…Dont hire the roofer that did the roof in this picture.