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Why Use A Synthetic Underlayment On Your New Roof?

A complete roofing system includes field shingles, starter shingles, hip and ridge shingles, underlayment, leak barrier, pipe boots and proper roof ventilation. There are many different options for each of these key components of the roofing system. Roofing underlayment is critical to the roofing systems longevity and overall effectiveness, and is especially critical in areas like Tacoma, Puyallup and Seattle Washington where we get a lot of rain.

Chase Construction NW Inc. has installed virtually every type of roofing underlayment on the market in Tacoma, Seattle, Puyallup and the surrounding Puget Sound cities. After our many years of experience we have found our favorite underlayment, GAF’s Tiger Paw synthetic roofing underlayment. Tiger Paw Synthetic underlayment is not only superior for its application on the roof, but its much easier on our installers as well. Here are some of the features of the new underlayment.

Safer for Installers: It’s specially designed surface helps provide excellent walkability for installers versus conventional felts, or typical synthetic underlayment’s.

Special Moisture Control Design: This helps remove nearly twice as much damaging moisture from your roof deck as the leading synthetic non-breathable underlayment.*As per ASTM D570-modified.

Stronger: The synthetic non-woven construction provides at least 600%, or at least 7 x’s greater tear strength than standard #30 felt.

Lightweight: At 40 lbs. per roll, it’s approximately 33% lighter that a roll of #30 felt.

Installs Faster: The 10 square, 48” wide roll installs up to 33% faster than conventional felts.

Roll Length: 250 feet; Roll Width: 48”; Total Area: 10 squares (1,000 sq. ft.); Roll Weight: 40 lbs.

Check out the photos below to view Tiger Paw Synthetic roofing underlayment of jobs that we have performed in the Puget Sound area.

A quality roofer in Tacoma, Puyallup and Seattle will always use a roofing underlayment on your home when performing a re-roof. Do not settle for a fly-by-night roofer re-using the old underlayment in your new roof system, or cutting corners by not using underlayment at all.

Make sure you verify your contractors credentials before you hire or sign a contract to verify that they are a safe choice for your project. Please read How to safely hire a roofing contractor for some critical information that can help you make a safe choice, and avoid becoming a victim in the world of crooked contractors.

Check out what our customer are saying about us on !
For more information on complete roofing systems or to request a free estimate in Tacoma, Puyallup, Seattle or the surrounding Puget Sound areas please visit our free estimate page.

Thanks for reading our roof life blog, and cheers from our family to yours.

The Sumner re-roof was easy to perform with increased walkability due to the Tiger Paw synthetic roofing underlayment.
Tiger Paw on a shake tear-off in Maple Valley, Washington Re-roofed with GAF Grand Sequoia.


The Tiger Paw looks great and created a safe working environment for our roofing technicians.

Photographer for bottom two photos: Barbara Retelle

15 thoughts on “Why Use A Synthetic Underlayment On Your New Roof?”

    1. Donovan Gladstone

      Chase Construction, NW is exactly right on all the points they make about the benefits of GAF TigerPaw Underlayment’s superior characteristics vs standard 15 or 30 lb. asphalt saturated paper felts. Another challenge with the outdated technology of 15 and 30 lb. asphalt saturated paper felts is that they get wet and buckle up and then roofing contractors use their knives to cut it to lay it down flat to not telegraph through to the overlying shingles and it then loses it’s needed characteristics of being a vapor barrier and secondary layer of protection. If the bubbles are left and not cut to lay flat, then when roofed over, the bubbles and wrinkles in the 15 and 30 lb. asphalt saturated felt will telegraph through to the overlying shingles. This is an inherent problem to the old technology of outdated, once only offered 15 and 30 lb asphalt saturated felts. GAF TigerPaw Underlayment even when wet lays flat prohibiting all of these problems. TigerPaw Underlayment can also be left exposed to UV Rays up to 6 months giving plenty of dry in and roofing time. In final, I would like to applaud an recognize Chase Construction NW, Inc. for being experts in the field of roofing and protecting their homeowners, builders, and all customers by using the best roofing components offered in our roofing industry. It is a compliment to see such professionalism and high standards of excellence. That is one more reason that re-enforces why GAF, which is The Largest Roofing Manufacturer in North America has approved Chase Construction NW, Inc. as one of only a hand full of top level GAF Factory Certified Master Elite Contractors in the country. Less than 3% of roofing contractors will ever attain this top level credential with GAF. Excellent job Chase Construction NW, Inc. – Donovan Gladstone (GAF Corporation)

  1. I couldn’t agree more regarding synthetic underlayments. I believe it really shows progressive thinking to try new, superior technology that passes the real world testing that these synthetics have. I think the Tiger Paw is top quaity when compared to the othe generic synthetics on the market too. Kudos Chase!

  2. Looks to me like.a heated home, where I’m from u use ice and water barrier at least 3 feet past the top plate unless its such a flat pitch we ice and water the while thing. But I do use gaf synthetic underlayment . But its blue works well . Use it every time

  3. I heard one comment long ago that synthetics are not waterproof. They are a moisture barrier, but not waterproof. Fact or fiction? It seems felt would not be waterproof either after application of fasteners. It was salesman that clearly wanted to sell the client on the benefits of felt.

      1. Yes Tiger Paw is a breathable sheet. By itself it is water shedding and resistant, it does have a saturation point. What i have found from personal experience is if you are drying in a roof that is going to be exposed to the elements for a long period of time and are wishing to keep the structure dry below GAF recommends ductaping the seams. And I would also recommend ductape over the fasteners. Once that has been performed than your structure will be able to stay dry for many months. Beyond that timeframe I am unaware of its performance I am strictly speaking from personal experience.

        1. I’m wishing/hoping Joel is right — I’m ref-roofing my house in Seattle myself. Doing this in my spare time (after work & weekends), I figure the whole roof should take me about a month.
          I’ve been looking for an underlayment than can be left exposed to some light, Seattle, late-summer rain.
          I considered Tigerpaw but got scared off since GAF does say it is NOT waterproof.
          But, if it can stay dry for a month by simply taping the seams, that would be perfect for me.
          Does anyone have any advice?

          1. Yong,

            A few years ago, we were installing a new construction metal roof and using Tiger paw as the underlayment. The project was taking place in the middle of the winter. Yes, we were able to keep the building dry by using plastic cap nails, not staples, to secure the underlayment and also installing a high grade duct tape (Nashua 557). If you were thinking of upgrading the underlayment, you can use GAF Deck Armor, which has kevlar.

            Good luck with your project!

  4. I understand the benefit of more air/moisture penetration however If installed in an area that succumbs to hurricane and tornadoes I would feel better using a woven synthetic that repels water 100%. Although the nails inflect holes that will leak potentially there is much less chance of saturation and mold infestation . It seems to me that better ventilation in the attic will help not only the shingle/roof but house air and structure. When approached about the fluctuating temperature , i would prefer upgrading the insulation and air leaks. I still feel strongly against foam applications i the attic since many I have seen are excessive and look to cause other issues.

  5. Joel,
    We were having a great conversation today but bad connections
    cut us off. If you have time call me and thanks again for the good info.

    Mark from Chicago

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