In Florida - is peel and stick underlayment worth it

bommaiNovember 21, 2009

We are building a house with a semi custom builder in Florida. The builder did not suggest to us an underlayment that is called peel and stick. This provides secondary water barrier in case of a hurricane. We are relatively safe in Florida in Melbourne (about 25 miles south of Cape Canaveral), but still this is Florida. We are new to this place but have heard that hurricanes to strike once in a while. Our house is a two story and has about 1400 sqft in each. The roof area is not that big. My builder wants $2200 to add on the peel and stick. This seems expensive to me. Is it really that expensive?

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It is the best defense against water driven rain but it won't keep the roof on your house in high winds. The cost should be about $.75/s.f. installed but you should get a small credit for the normal underlayment that was deleted.

Find out more about the product your contractor recommends; "peel and stick" is just contractor slang. IMHO the only products that are acceptable are made by WR Grace and I would avoid the stuff made by the various shingle roofing companies.

Grace makes a self-adhering rubberized-asphalt membrane called "Ice & Water Shield" for northern climates but it also makes a self-adhering butyl membrane called "Grace Ultra" for high temperature regions. A call to the company would help you decide which is appropriate for your location. The WR grace reps are really good unlike most roofing company reps.

I would also avoid any product that has a mineral surface, or is not at least 40 mils thick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grace roofing underlayments

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 12:17AM
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We are relatively safe in Florida in Melbourne (about 25 miles south of Cape Canaveral), but still this is Florida.

I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion. All of Florida is subject to hurricane force plus winds. Coastal Florida is especially vulnerable. Melbourne is no exception. Atlantic hurricanes can strike anywhere along the eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico.

The most important and cost effective thing you can do is to make sure the roof and the rest of the house is properly constructed and meets all Florida codes for coastal construction. A lot of the damage from hurricane Andrew was directly attributed to shoddy construction and corner cutting. The state learned a lot from that fiasco and upgraded their codes accordingly, but that doesn't mean all builders and building inspectors are following it to the letter.

Hire an independent inspector who knows what he is doing to make sure you house is built to code. It will be money well spent.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 11:54AM
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and buy Grace products, it is not if you roof leaks
it is a prevenitive for when it leaks.
watch the videos on Grace's site on window flashing also
you may have to educate your builder as to how to correctly
cut housewrap and flash the windows. these are costly repairs later on that can be easily and cost effectively
done in the building process now.
best of luck.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 6:51PM
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