Last updated: August 7, 2021
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The dream of a beautiful little garden cottage, with flowers climbing up it, where you can enjoy your morning coffee. That would be it. But every few years you have to replace the whole house because it has become too wet due to rain in autumn and winter.

That's exactly what roofing felt is for. It protects the roofs in your outdoor area from the weather and allows you to enjoy them for as long as possible. In our article, we show you what you should pay attention to when buying roofing felt and clarify all the important questions about roofing felt.




Summary

  • Roofing felt is not only a practical material for the skilled roofer, but also for do-it-yourselfers at home. Whether for garden sheds, carports or birdhouses, roofing felt is very versatile.
  • Roofing felt should never simply be disposed of in your own household waste bin, because some of them contain harmful substances such as tar or asbestos. For this reason, they belong in hazardous waste.
  • Not all roofing felt is the same, so you should always pay attention to the material when buying it. A bitumen coating and sanding can be particularly important. Here it depends on the purpose of use.

The best Roofing Felt: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for roofing felt

In order to better prepare you for the purchase of your roofing felt, we have listed all the important purchase and evaluation criteria that you should consider when buying roofing felt. The most important criteria are as follows:

We will now explain to you in detail what exactly you have to look out for in the individual criteria.

Material

Roofing felt is almost always made of the same basic material. We want to give you a feeling for what this material should be able to do so that you buy a high-quality roofing felt and do not have any problems with it over time.

What you should look for is that the roofing felt is coated with bitumen.

Some roofing felt is soaked in bitumen, others are glazed with it. It doesn't really matter. The important thing is that it contains bitumen, because this protects against moisture and makes the roofing felt waterproof and also protects it against other weather conditions, such as strong UV radiation.

If you choose conventional roofing felt, it is also advantageous to sand the roofing felt. This protects against abrasion, so your roofing felt lasts longer. If you use other types of roofing felt, such as aluminium-supported roofing felt, the sanding may not be necessary.

Installation

The installation depends on the type of substructure you have on which the roofing felt is to be installed. Your own craftsmanship also plays a role.

The most basic method of attachment is the roofing felt nails. They are simply hammered into the roofing felt. You should always make sure that the nails match the length of the substructure. They should not be longer than the thickness of the wooden struts. This method of attachment is particularly suitable for garden houses or smaller projects.

On house roofs, roofers often weld the roofing felt, because this is even tighter than nailing it. However, private households often lack the right equipment. This method is not absolutely necessary for small projects.

In the meantime, there are also more and more self-adhesive roofing felt. They can make the installation much easier, because you do not need any additional tools. Which of the options you choose depends on personal preference, just make sure that your roofing felt is suitable for your type of application.

Size

In general, you will always apply roofing felt in single sheets. However, some roofing felt roll widths may vary. You should always keep your project in mind.

For large, straight areas, wider rolls are best because they allow you to lay fewer individual strips. For smaller, misshapen areas, it is better to choose narrower roofing felt, as this gives you more flexibility.

Optics

Especially when it comes to roofs that you can see because of their height, it makes sense to pay attention to the appearance of the roofing felt. For a garden house that you can look down on from your terrace, it is worthwhile not to use just any roofing felt. For house roofs or similar, safety is more important than appearance.

Normal roofing felt is usually dark grey to black and available without patterns or the like.

This option looks rather unattractive on most garden sheds or similar. An alternative to this are shingles made of roofing felt. The rounded shape offers the look of a completely covered roof and is also available in different colours. So they nestle perfectly in your outdoor space in red, green, black and much more.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about roofing felt answered in detail

We want to inform you even better about roofing felt and have therefore answered the most frequently asked questions in detail. This way you are perfectly prepared for your new DIY project.

What is roofing felt suitable for?

As the name suggests, roofing felt is designed to be used on roofs. As a rule, it does not matter what kind of roof it is. For house roofs, roofing felt is often used as a substrate or protection under the roof tiles. On flat roof houses, however, it is also used as the sole roof covering.

Roofing felt is also suitable for DIY projects. All roofs that you work on as a layman are suitable for roofing felt. These can be garden houses, bird houses, children's play houses, carports, sauna roofs or much more. There are no limits to what you can do.

Dachpappe

Roofing felt is also ideal for small garden sheds. (Image source: Antranias/ Pixabay)

However, roofing felt not only protects against moisture from above, i.e. rain, but can also help insulate against moisture from below. It can also be used, so to speak, as a substructure for a floor covering. The best thing to do here is to ask specialist staff in DIY stores for advice.

What types of roofing felt are there?

There are two basic types of roofing felt. Here is an overview of the two types:

  • Roofing membranes
  • Bitumen sealing sheeting

Roofing membranes are sanded on both sides and in most cases are fastened with roofing felt nails. However, they can also be glued with bitumen adhesive. In some cases they are not fixed at all.

The second type of roofing felt is bituminous sheeting. Their core is made of jute, glass fibre or polyester and they are soaked in bitumen during manufacture. They are used when moisture protection is the main concern, because they can also withstand standing water. They are therefore particularly suitable for house roofs.

What does roofing felt cost?

To give you a better overview of how much you might have to spend on your roofing felt, we have provided you with an overview of the prices of roofing felt.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (20 - 30 €) smaller roll sizes, simple roofing felt, sometimes additional features like self-adhesive
Medium-priced (35 - 45 €) larger roll sizes, roofing felt shingle, bitumen roofing felt
High-priced (from 50 €) high-quality material, brand products, processed aluminium

The type of roofing felt you choose depends on the purpose for which you use it. In each category you will find good quality materials for your project.

How do you dispose of roofing felt?

It is very important that roofing felt cannot simply be disposed of in household waste. So never simply throw it in your own dustbin, because roofing felt is considered hazardous waste and must therefore be taken to a recycling centre. In some places you can also collect it in a container.

When disposing of it, costs may be incurred. These vary greatly depending on the recycling centre. If you want to dispose of roofing felt with tar or asbestos, this will definitely cost significantly more than unpolluted material. For more information on the costs of disposal, you should enquire online or directly at your recycling centre.

Conclusion

So you see, roofing felt is not just for professionals, but also for many DIY projects. It is versatile and can make many things much more durable. Roofing felt comes in a wide variety of designs. Above all, there are differences in colour, application method and shapes. But there is something for every purpose.

However, you should always make sure that you use the right type of roofing felt for your purposes. Advice from a specialist shop is very useful here. You should also inform yourself in advance about disposal, because there are special rules that you have to follow.

(Cover image: Pixabay / Pexels)

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